Gov't to look into possible mismanagement, officials' inefficiency as cause of water crisis

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 14) — The government's investigation on Metro Manila's water supply problem is underway, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Thursday. 

Panelo, in his regular media briefing, said the probe will look into the possible "mismanagement" and "inefficiency" of water distribution, even as water levels in Angat dam-- the main water source of Metro Manila-- are still within normal range.

The spokesman said they are not discounting the possibility of an "artificial" water shortage, and assured the public that responsible officials will be held accountable.

"Kung totoo nga na puno ang Angat Water Dam, ibig sabihin inefficiency 'yan, mismanaged," Panelo told reporters in Malacañang.

[Translation: If the water supply in Angat Water Dam is indeed full, then it just means it's inefficiency, mismanagement.]

"Because if the source (Angat Dam) is puno (full), and other concessionaire (Maynilad) is puno (full) also, bakit naman yung isa ay hindi? Yun ang logic doon (why is the other concessionaire not providing water? That's the logic)," he added.

CNN Philippines on Wednesday was able to fly over the mountains of Sierra Madre to check on the situation in the dam in Norzagaray in Bulacan, located over 46 kilometers north of Metro Manila.

Upon checking, the water level was at 199.94 meters, which authorities said was normal.

RELATED: LOOK: Angat Dam water level normal

Panelo, citing the report, said there could have been a mismanagement in water distribution.

"Something is wrong with the efficiency in distributing as well as the quotas or the shares," the spokesperson noted. "That's why may executive order na ginagawa nga (that's being crafted), to do something about it."

Since last week, a few cities in the metropolis-- particularly Manila Water customers-- have been experiencing widespread water service interruptions which have affected businesses and individual activities alike.

The water concessionaire pointed to the critical water levels in the La Mesa reservoir as reason behind the low supply.

Lawmakers said they will also look into the water supply problem.

READ: All Manila Water customers start experiencing 6-18 hours of no water daily

CNN Philippines Correspondent Carolyn Bonquin and Digital Producer Alyssa Rola contributed to this report.