MWSS regulator may face contempt – solon
MANILA, Philippines — Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Chief Regulator Patrick Lester Ty may be cited in contempt if he fails to submit the computation of possible penalties against the Manila Water Company, Inc. over its failure to provide 24/7 water to consumers since March 6, a lawmaker warned Thursday.
“Actually, we told Patrick, we want a computation of the penalties that they can impose on Manila Water for not doing a 24/7 service of water,” House assistant majority leader and Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy said during the weekly “Serye” media forum in Quezon City. She said Ty had yet to submit the computation as of posting.
“I hope Patrick Ty would follow Congres. Make them (Manila Water) accountable for once,” she said.
“We can cite him in contempt for not submitting because we requested it officially during the hearing,” Herrera-Dy added, referring to the House Metro Manila development committee hearing last Monday.
The House leader also pointed out the MWSS Regulatory Office (RO) should be an independent body and not be beholden to Manila Water and Maynilad Water Services, Inc.
“The RO should be independent because how can you regulate the people that feed you?” she asked, adding that the MWSS office and the offices of the two concessionaires share the same building.
At the hearing of the House public accounts on Wednesday, the two water concessionaires confirmed that the concession fees they pay MWSS per year, P522 million each, funds MWSS’ operating expenses.
Herrera-Dy said this was why she filed House Bill No. 517 which proposes the creation of a Water Regulatory Commission, an independent and quasi-judicial body that would “regulate water utilities, set the policy for water supply, sewerage, and septage management, issue and licenses, set, review and approve rates, review and suspend contracts, initiate probes on erring officials, and ensure that the welfare of consumers are prioritized.” /cbb
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