Manila Water president resigns

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 9) — Manila Water Company President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ferdinand dela Cruz has resigned from his post, citing personal reasons.

Dela Cruz, who also sits as director and chief sustainability officer, will remain with the utility firm until Aug. 31. He will be replaced this September by Jose Rene Almendras, who is currently president and CEO of AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation.

Almendras was president and chief operating officer of Manila Water before being appointed as Secretary of Energy by President Noynoy Aquino in 2010. He will concurrently serve as the head of the two Ayala-owned companies by September.

Manila Water said they achieved 100 percent customer satisfaction rating under Almendras' watch back in 2009.

Dela Cruz's resignation comes after the Supreme Court slapped Manila Water with a ₱921.46 million fine for violations of the Philippine Clean Water Act, after it supposedly failed to put up sewage facilities in its service areas.

This is the second hefty penalty handed to Manila Water this year. The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System slapped a ₱1.134 billion penalty on Manila Water for a week-long supply disruption for its customers.

Over 260,000 Manila Water consumers were left without water or with low water pressure for a week, with Mandaluyong City residents hit hardest. Beginning March 14, the east zone concessionaire has rationed supply to all its customers.

Dela Cruz told lawmakers during a House inquiry that he will not resign over the water supply crisis, saying that he "doesn't run from problems."

The Ayala-owned water concessionaire supplies customers in the east zone of Metro Manila.

Dela Cruz told reporters that he finally resigned "now that our services are relatively stable, a new water resources roadmap is in place and a demand management plan has been initiated."

Fernando Zobel de Ayala, president and chief operating officer of the Ayala Corporation, will serve as chairman of Manila Water's executive committee by September 1.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Carolyn Bonquin contributed to this report.