Manila Water CEO says ‘sorry’ for water woes
MANILA, Philippines — The chief executive officer (CEO) of the Manila Water Company, Inc. apologized on Monday over the concession’s “supply deficit situation” since March 6.
“Your honor, sa pamamagitan po ng tulong ninyo, ipinararating ko bilang pangulo ng Manila Water ang paghingi ng kapatawaran sainyong mga constituents… I am holding myself accountable for the sudden drop of our service levels,” Ferdinand Dela Cruz said at the beginning of the House of Representatives’ Metro Manila development committee discussion.
“Alam ko po ang hirap na dinaranas ng inyong constituents may kaya man po o mahirap,” he added.
Ready to resign
The Manila Water official said he was ready to resign, but doubts this would solve the problem.
“Ang hindi ko lang alam, pag nag-resign ako, ‘yun kaya talaga ang solusyon? But I’m ready to resign,” he told reporters in a separate interview.
Dela Cruz also said the concessionaire was ready to face any charges that would be filed against them.
“We will have to face what we will have to face when the times comes. But what is more important for us is to continue working and finding new solutions so that we could fast-track ‘yung recovery,” he said.
Dela Cruz said the supply deficit would last until before the end of the dry season. However, he said they were continuing to implement their contingency plan to address the “water shortage” which he attributed to the low water level at the La Mesa dam.
“Noon pong nagsimulang mag-serbsiyo ang Manila Water ipinangako namin na hindi na kayo magpipila-balde at maghihintay ng nagrarasyon ng tubig ngunit nung nakaraang linggo binigo ko kayo,” the official admitted.
Dela Cruz also said 80 percent of their service coverage had already been supplied with ground-floor water since March 15, and they hope to make it 99 percent by month’s end. From March to May, he said they would gradually increase the water pressure so it could reach households’ higher floors.
“By end of May, we expect that the situation would be 100 percent. What I cannot guarantee is [the water pressure],” he said.
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Administrator Reynaldo Velasco said their short-term solutions include Maynilad’s transfer of water allocation to Manila Water at the La Mesa portal, energization of 100 million liters per day (MLD) Cardona Rizal Water Treatment Plant, cross border gate valve opening, reactivation of standby 101 deep wells, and deployment of mobile water tankers.
Meanwhile, Velasco said long-term solutions entail the building of the new Centennial Water Source, possible new water sources by rehabilitation existing dams, as well as the construction of tunnels and aqueduct. /cbb
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