Bayan eyes suit vs Manila Water amid supply shortage
MANILA, Philippines — The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said Friday it is eyeing to sue east zone water service concessionaire Manila Water Co. for the shortage that has been affecting millions since last week.
The group held its Black Friday Protest at Manila Water’s Balara Office, denouncing what it claimed to be an apparent failure of the water firm to ensure water supply to its customers and demanding accountability for the suffering of residents in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
Households as well as businesses, offices, hospitals, schools, and other institutions have been enduring waterless days since March 8.
“Nag-iipon pa kami ngayon ng impormasyon, ng data para malaman kung ano ‘yong extent ng kapabayaan ng Manila Water sa ginawa nilang management ng supply at demand ng tubig,” said Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes.
“Kung gayo’n, pwedeng gamitin ito para magsampa ng demanda on behalf of the so many thousands of consumers na naperwisyo, nagdurusa sa kapabayaan ng korporasyon,” he added.
The water supply shortage occurred prior to the onset of dry season and looming El Niño event. Manila Water said the water supply shortage was due to low water levels in La Mesa Dam.
But according to Reyes, Manila Water’s decision to expand its operations to areas outside of Metro Manila and even outside the country, purportedly without preparation, could be the cause of the problem.
“Pumunta kami dito para mangalampag sa opisina ng Manila Water, on behalf of the thousands of consumers na pumipila para magkatubig, napeperwisyo at nagdudusa dahil sa kapabayaan ng korporasyon na inuna ang pagkita, inuna ang tubo bago ang interes ng ating mga kababayan,” he explained.
“By now, malinaw hindi po totoo ang sinasabi nila na El Niño ang ang pangunahing dahilan kung bakit nagkaroon ng krisis sa tubig, malinaw na mayroong problema sa pamamalakad ng Manila Water, nag-expand ng sobra sa kabila na hindi naman handa para tugunan ang pangangailangan at lumalaking demand,” he added.
Reyes, at the same time, called for vigilance amid efforts to justify the speedy construction of the Chinese-funded Kaliwa Dam supposedly to curb the water shortage situation.
“Krisis na po ito, at kailangan ng agarang aksyon sa gobyerno, hindi ‘yong magpapagawa na naman ng dams na nakakapinsala. Ang kailangan po, ayusin ‘yong pamamalakad,” Reyes noted. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.