Go to court, says MWSS to dissatisfied Manila Water customers
MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said Tuesday that disgruntled Manila Water customers could seek moral damages in court, as the Regulatory Office (RO) can only penalize the water concessionaire.
“Sa (damages dahil sa) abala? That’s not within the purview ng MWSS RO, ang ganyan ay dapat sa korte. Pwede mag-file ng court case ang ating consumers laban sa Manila Water,” MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty told reporters.
For moral and exemplary damages, “wala tayong power to impose that against them. Ang pwede lang nating gawin ay penalty […] that will be rebated sa ating publiko. The ultimate na pwede nating gawin is the cancellation of the concessionary agreement,” he added.
Ty’s remarks came a day after Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate and Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes filed a petition before MWSS asking the body to order the waiving of Manila Water’s minimum charge imposed on customers affected by service interruptions.
On Tuesday morning, Manila Water president and chief executive officer Ferdinand dela Cruz announced that it was volunteering to waive the minimum charge levied on all its consumers.
However, the groups are also seeking compensation for damages related to customers’ unexpected purchase of water containers and the financial effect on their livelihood and jobs.
Ty said they were studying the requests — which may be used as basis for penalizing Manila Water — but insisted that the RO could not act on some parts of the petition.
“I skimmed through the petition. I have referred it to the legal department for the proper remedy, proper action on that petition,” Ty noted.
“Hindi naman ‘yon lang (request for damages) ang nasa petition. May mga hinihingi silang iba na kino-consider natin. May iba na hindi under ng MWSS Regulatory Office,” he added. /cbb
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