Refunds to be sourced from Manila Water penalties: MWSS


Posted at Apr 25 2019 01:10 PM | Updated as of Apr 25 2019 01:34 PM

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MANILA -- Some Manila Water consumers will get a refund that will be sourced from penalties imposed on the company over a supply outage that brought misery to tens of thousands in the capital, regulators said Wednesday.

The penalties include a P534-million fine and a P600-million fund to develop a new water source. This will be on top of a "self-imposed" P500 million plan to provide financial relief to customers, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System earlier said. 

The P534 million fine will be deducted from the June bill of consumers hit by the outage, while their May bill would be slashed with the P500 million self-imposed relief plan, said MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco. 

Each consumer will get around P2,000 in refunds for June, he said. 

Residents in Barangay Addition Hills in Mandaluyon CIty collect delivered water amid an ongoing water shortage in parts of Metro Manila on March 15, 2019. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

"Halimbawa, ang consumption mo lang is about P1,000, dalawang beses idi-deduct sa iyo. Ngayon kung P8,000 ka, outright yung P2,000 ma-deduct agad," Velasco told radio DZMM. 

(For example, your consumption is only worth about P1,000, your bill would be slashed twice. If you consume P8,000, P2,000 will be automatically deducted.) 

Sen. Grace Poe said the MWSS should bare how the penalties were computed. 

"Ayaw naman natin na iyung ibabayad ng Manila Water ay later on o sa kalaunan ay sisingilin sa atin lalo na 'pag naghahanap sila ng panibagong mapagkukuhanan ng tubig," she said in a separate DZMM interview. 

(We don't want the penalties against Manila Water would later on be shouldered by consumers especially once they search for a new water source.) 

Manila Water will abide by the MWSS decision and will hold itself accountable for "inability to provide our consumers with the usual uninterrupted water service," said its president and CEO, Ferdinand dela Cruz.

The company, however, is "not the root cause" of the inadequacy of raw water supply at Angat Dam, Manila Water said.