Manila Water consumers, Bayan file complaint vs Manila Water before MWSS
Consumers of Manila Water and left-leaning groups filed a petition before the Metropolitan Waterworks Sewerage System ( MWSS) asking to impose penalties against the water concessionaire for its failure to comply to its concession agreement.
In the 21-page petition, the petitioners asked the MWSS to press penalties against Manila Water for the water shortage which widely affected households in the east zone of Metro Manila.
Bayan also said in the petition Manila Water should voluntarily provide "actual relief" in the consumers' bills during the period of service interruption.
"Given the open, voluntary commitment of MWC (Manila Water Corp.), the MWSS-RO (MWSS Regulatory Office), particularly its chief regulator, cannot now say that it has no power to exact any form of restitution or compensation from MWC arising from the period of service interruption," the petition read.
"It should be noted that the MWC, facing intense public backlash has conceded to provide some relief in the water bills of affected customers during the periods of service interruption," it added.
Cited in the petition are the following "relief" for the consumers:
? General rebate for all MWC accounts covering the average reasonable cost for the unexpected, emergency purchase of incidentals (i.e. water drum, water pail, among others) due to the continuing period of service interruption;
? Waiver of the P83.14 minimum charge for all MWC accounts which experienced water service interruptions and consumed 10 cubic meters or less per month;
? General rebate for all MWC accounts covering the average reasonable cost of foregone revenue or earnings due to contingencies taken during the continuing period of service interruption.
The group also asked for consideration of cancellation or suspension of Manila Water's rate hike.
"Allowing MWC to continue charging customers at the new approved rates, over the next five years, is tantamount to rewarding inefficiency, mismanagement, if not untruthfulness to the public," the petitioners said..
"It is clear as day that despite the promises of better service during the rate rebasing period, MWC has failed to anticipate and plan for its own water crisis, to the utter dismay of millions of East concession area customers," they added. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS