Lawmaker hits,questions Cardona water treatment plant deal
MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker on Monday said it is unfair that water consumers have been paying for the Cardona, Rizal water treatment plant since 2008 which remains unfinished to date.
At a House of Representatives hearing, assistant majority leader and Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy pointed out that the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) only approved the Cardona plant in May 2016.
“But this has been in the business plan since 2008 and we, the consumers, have been paying for it for 10 years already,” Herrera-Dy lamented.
“So bakit kaming mga consumers nagbabayad sa business plan na 2016 pa lang sinisimulan?”
MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Lester Ty insisted that the inclusion of the Cardona plant in Manila Water Company, Inc.’s business plan since 2008 was fair and above board.
He did not elaborate.
The party-list lawmaker explained that the computation of rates of water is being based on business plans that the concessionaires submit.
“So pag kinompute mo ‘yun, kung ano ‘yung ending mo ng rate ng tubig, kasama ‘yung pag-build ng Cardona plant,” she added, stressing that the facility could have helped in alleviating the effects of the water deficit that the Manila Water experienced since March 6.
Manila Water President Ferdinand Dela Cruz, meanwhile blamed an earlier arbitration for the delay in the full construction of the water treatment plant.
“Kung naaalala nyo po nung nakaraang rate rebasing, nagkaroon po kami ng arbitration nung 2013 at natapos ‘yun nung 2015. Nagkaroon ng bagong approved business plan. Kaya ang final go signal po ay binigay sa amin nung May 2016 lang,” Dela Cruz told reporters.
The Cardona plant is supposed to supply 100 million liters per day (MLD) of water to consumers.
The first 24 MLD of water flowed from the Cardona water treatment plant last March 14, according to Dela Cruz.
In a separate statement, Herrera-Dy said the MWSS should take over management and administration of the Common Purpose Facility “to prevent monopolistic acts and too much independence from government control.”
She also raised her House Bill No. 517 which proposes the creation of a Water Regulatory Commission. / gsg
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