MWSS: Manila Water still faces possible penalties
MANILA, Philippines — Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has assured the public that Manila Water is aware of possible penalties due to violations in the concessionary agreement, even as the company waived minimum charges for its customers.
“They are aware that there are violations of the concessionary agreement that they are going to face,” MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco said in a briefing on Tuesday.
Earlier, Manila Water announced that customers will not be charged the minimum fee in their March billing, after a massive service interruption in the East Zone concession area. This would be reflected in the April 2019 bill of customers.
Velasco explained that Manila Water’s move was voluntary, noting that the MWSS Regulatory Office (RO) is still studying the possible next actions to take.
“This is just this voluntary scheme. There is still penalty within the concessional agreement, (RO) has to study what are the other penalties. This voluntary action is the product of our negotiation,” he added.
On whether the MWSS management is satisfied with it, Velasco said that they could not ask for more from Manila Water as the nature of the waiver was voluntary.
“We cannot ask for more because that is voluntary. That one is under the concessionary agreement under the Regulatory Office. Meron naman kaming mechanism,” he said.
“The fact that nag-volunteer sila […] siguro dapat masaya na tayo. Palagay ko ito ay pinag-aralan nila,” he added.
Manila Water President and CEO Ferdinand dela Cruz acknowledged that there are other possible penalties to follow.
“This (voluntary waiver) is, as General (Velasco) said, separate and on top of whatever RO will impose, and this is a scheme that somehow… ito lang po ‘yong kaya naming ibigay sa ngayon,” Dela Cruz noted.
On Monday, MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty said that they had given Manila Water a notice to explain why there was a violation of the concession agreement. He also said that they would seek rebates by June or July 2019, to provide Manila Water the time needed to fix the problem and to give due process as well. /cbb
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