LOOK: Bayan Muna slams Manila Water for service interruptions
MANILA, Philippines — Members of the party-list group Bayan Muna have flocked to the office of Manila Water in Balara, Quezon City to protest the successive water service interruptions affecting Metro Manila’s eastern zone.
During the program on Tuesday, Bayan Muna chair and senatorial bet Neri Colmenares and Rep. Carlos Zarate demanded Manila Water to explain the service interruptions, after another water concessionaire and the state weather bureau dispelled rumors that the El Niño phenomena led to water shortage.
“Pinapasubalian ng Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) at ng National Water Resources Board (NRWB) ang sinasabi ng Manila Water na may problema sa supply ng tubig,” Colmenares said.
(The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and National Water Resources Board (NRWB) refuted the claims of Manila Water that there is a water supply problem.)
“So ano talaga ang dahilan ng water interrruption? Dapat kalampagin ang Manila Water para ayusin nila ang problema sa kanilang serbisyo,” he added.
(So what caused the water service interruption? There is a need to prod Manila Water to fix the problem.)
Meanwhile, Zarate said there are speculations that the water interruptions were done deliberately to justify an increase in water rates.
“We have been receiving reports that these water interruptions are induced [as] a prelude to further jacking up water rates or as a justification to push for the construction of destructive dams that will displace indigenous peoples,” he said.
“We have also received reports that some water tankers are charging as much as P7,000 for a tanker full of water even if the water is supposed to be free,” he added.
Earlier, it was reported that water levels at the La Mesa Dam have fallen to 68.85 meters — 11.30 meters below the normal level of 80 meters.
Colmenares suggested that Manila Water should prioritize water allocation for residential areas and depressed areas, and limit supply for malls, golf courses, resorts, and hotels. Zarate, meanwhile, blamed the water woes to the privatization of public services.
“Manila Water and Maynilad should also lessen the water supply for malls, golf courses, resorts, and hotels, and prioritize residential areas, the densely populated poor communities, hospitals, and schools,” Colmenares said.
“Ito talaga ang hirap nung prinivatize ng gobyerno ang serbisyo ng tubig, puro kita ang iniisip ng Manila Water at Maynilad hindi ang serbisyo para sa mamamayan. Dapat talaga ay muling isabansa ang serbisyo sa tubig at ikoordina sa ibang ahensya para di na uli ito mangyari,” Zarate added.
(This is the downside of privatizing water services. Manila Water and Maynilad only think of revenues, not services. Water services should be coordinated with other agencies so that this will not happen again.) /ee
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