Metro Manila police command to settle MPD water debtBy Jaymee T. Gamil
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) assured the Manila Police District on Friday it will get its water supply back soon as the NCRPO already has procured the money to pay MPD’s P5-million water bill debt.
The MPD has had no water supply for the past week, after it was cut off last Friday due to P5.7 million in unpaid bills to water concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. since 2005.
Last year, the water supply was also cut off in the police district for the same reason. The arrears in July 2011 amounted to P14.178 million but police authorities managed to whittle that amount down to P5.7 million through installment payments.
NCRPO spokesperson Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said that as the authorized payer of their five districts’ utilities bills, the NCRPO has been trying to settle the MPD debt since 2009, and has done so little by little from the fixed expenditure fund released by the national police headquarters.
The fixed expenditure fund is a budget used to pay utilities, and is released monthly to regional police headquarters. The NCRPO divides it among its headquarters and five districts according to how much they need, Carlos explained.
Carlos said with the scheduled payment to Maynilad of P4.7 million next week, the MPD will be left with a debt of only P1 million.
Aside from the monthly bill and the partial debt payment, the NCRPO has also been able to set aside P400,000 for Maynilad to fix the water pipes at the MPD headquarters and its 11 stations. He said the repairs may begin next week.
The water connection will remain cut until the repairs are completed.
“It will be a waste to reconnect the water if the pipes still leak. Based on inspections, there are underground and surface leaks on the pipes. The pipes are old. The water tends to leak out and that’s why the water bill balloons,” Carlos said.
Though Carlos declined to give figures, last year, the Inquirer reported that the average monthly water consumption of the MPD amounted to P600,000. The NCRPO was reportedly given a monthly allocation of P948,166.67 for water, but each district was allocated only P161,188.33.
Carlos warned the police districts to “use water wisely.”
“We tell them if the budget is, for example, only P1 million, don’t use P5-million’s worth,” he said.
Comparing the police stations to private homes, he said the police should also be alert to pilferage or connection problems with respect to their utilities.