Poe wants rebate, compensation for consumers affected by water shortage
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday recommended rebates for consumers and compensation for local government units affected by the ongoing water shortage in Metro Manila and parts of Rizal province.
“Imposibleng wala dapat kompensasyon sa mga nangunsumo, dahil tayo ay nangungunsume talaga ngayon (It’s impossible not to award compensation for consumers because we are really inconvenienced),” Poe told reporters in an interview.
“So pati ang local government, ang laki rin ng gastos nila para mabigyan ng suporta habang walang tubig. Kaya lahat yan ay may damage. May amount yan (Even the local government has incurred huge expenses in ensuring that the affected residents are properly supported. There is an amount attached to that.),” she added.
The senator said she wants a rebate since it is given directly to the consumers. However, local governments could demand a fine from Manila Water as compensation.
“Ako gusto ko ng rebate kasi diretso yan sa mga consumers. Pero pwede rin sila (Manila Water) magbayad ng fine individually. Ang mga local government, pwede naman sila magdemanda para sa kompensasyon,” the senator said.
(I prefer a rebate because it will be given to the consumers directly. But Manila Water can also pay a fine individually. The local government can file a case to demand compensation.)
Poe also Manila Water should refund the fees it has collected from its consumers for the Cardona water treatment plant in Rizal province.
She added that if possible, consumers should be exempted from paying their water bill for two months as compensation for the fees they have paid for the Cardona treatment plant.
“Kung nakita ‘yun, at di pa naman tumatakbo yung Cardona (water treatment plant), siguro magkakaroon ng refund yung ating consumers (If the Cardona plant is not yet operational, may our consumers can get a refund),” Poe told reporters in an interview.
“‘Yun ang ating tinutulak eh, refund. Sana nga, kung pwede sana, magkaroon ng amnesty ng dalawang buwan, wag magbayad (That’s what we are pushing — a refund. If possible, an exemption from fees for two months),” she added.
It was revealed during the hearing of Senate committee on public services on water shortage in Metro Manila and nearby areas that the Manila Water has been collecting fees from its consumers even before the construction of the plant started in 2016.
READ: Lacson: Fee collection for unfinished water facility ’highway robbery’
Senator Panfilo Lacson raised the issue, saying the collection of fees for the treatment plant is tantamount to “government-sanctioned highway robbery.”
Manila Water president Ferdinand dela Cruz, however, said he could not ascertain how much has been collected from their consumers for their facility. /ee
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