Group asks MWSS to penalize Manila Water over service interruptions

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A militant group and some customers of Manila Water Company, Inc. filed with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on Monday a petition asking to hold the east zone concessionaire accountable for the current water shortage.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 25) — A militant group and some customers of Manila Water Company, Inc. filed with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on Monday a petition asking to hold the east zone concessionaire accountable for the current water shortage.

In a 21-page petition, they sought a suspension of the water bill for March and a rebate for consumers affected by service interruptions.

"Ang gusto natin dito ay magkaron ng paraan para mabayaran naman ang consumers na nagdusa, naperwisyo at gumastos ng malaki at gusto natin magkaroon ng proper public hearing para nang sa gayon, marinig naman yung boses ng mga consumers. Ayaw namin na 'yung nag-uusap lang dito MWSS at saka Manila Water," BAYAN secretary general Renato Reyes said.

[Translation: What we want to happen is is to create a mechanism to pay off consumers who suffered and spent a lot of money. And we want to have a proper public hearing so that we can hear the consumers' side. We don't want a discussion solely between MWSS and Manila Water.]

MWSS said it will first address the supply situation ahead of the remedy to customers.

"Ang priority number one po ng Manila Water ay mabalik po ang tubig sa ating mga consumers... Next time na po 'yung mga singilan," MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty said.

[Translation: The top priority of Manila Water is to return water services to normal for our consumers. I hope we understand this is our utmost priority. We can deal with the penalties next time. ]

Ty said should there be a rebate, it should be given in one go.

Portions of Metro Manila and the whole of Rizal province have been experiencing water supply interruptions since March 7.