MWSS: Manila Water can’t let customers shoulder fines
MANILA, Philippines — Manila Water cannot let its customers shoulder the cost of the fines slapped on them, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Administrator Reynaldo Velasco said on Thursday.
According to Velasco, Manila Water cannot pass their P1.13 billion fine to customers as P534 million of it will be based on rebates for the month of June, or after their self-imposed bill waiver.
“Hindi po, hindi po ‘yan pwedeng isama sa ano (charges). Actually ‘yong multa nila, magre-reflect na ‘yan ibabawas sa bill nila sa June, kasi ‘yong May, kasama pa ‘yong kanilang self-imposed,” he said in an interview with DZMM.
“So ‘pag natapos ‘yong self-imposed penalty nila, mag-start naman ‘yong P534 million na inimpose ng Regulatory Office ng MWSS,” he added.
On Tuesday, MWSS announced that Manila Water would be fined for successive service interruptions last March. The company, which operates in the west concession area, said that it would abide with the MWSS’ decision.
Meanwhile, the rest of the fine which amounts to P600 million will be used for the development of a new water source.
Velasco also cleared notions that Manila Water would even benefit from the penalties, explaining that the fine means the company cannot seek tariffs from P600 million worth of its projects.
“Decision ‘yan ng board. Actually ang effect dyan, in simple terms siguro, meron silang project na P6.6 billion, ang maiko-consider na lang nila for rebasing or tariff is P6 billion,” Velasco explained.
“Meron silang immediate project eh, ‘yong kanilang Wawa (dam). So doon, ite-take na namin agad ‘yong P600 million,” he added.
After the service interruptions, Manila Water volunteered to waive its minimum charge for its consumers, as well as not charging all customers who have been affected for seven or more days. This would cost them around P500 million.
According to an earlier report, Manila Water can brace for the impact of these expenses, after generating a net income of P6.52 billion in 2018. /muf
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