Poe warns Manila Water: Do not pass P1.13-B fine to consumers
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Thursday said Manila Water Co. Inc.’s fines, including the cost of improving water supply, should not be passed on to consumers.
Poe, who led a Senate investigation into the water shortage being the chair of the public services committee, made the call following the P1.13-billion fine imposed against Manila Water in relation to the water supply shortage experienced by some of its customers in March.
The senator said the fines should not be passed on to consumers since it is Manila Water’s responsibility to ensure there is ample water supply.
“Ang sa akin, ayaw naman natin na ‘yung ibabayad ng Manila Water ay, sa kalaunan, sisingilin sa atin, lalo na ‘pag naghahanap sila ng panibagong mapagkukunan ng tubig,” Poe said in an interview over AM radio station DZMM.
(For me, we do not want Manila Water to pay the fine and eventually pass it on to consumers, especially if they are looking for other means to improve water supply.)
While the senator welcomed the sanctions imposed against Manila Water, Poe called for improved services to ensure the water shortage incident will not happen again.
“Maganda naman na magbabayad sila ng multa, maganda rin na magbibigay sila ng refund, pero ang tanong din naman natin ay hanggang kailan tayo magkakaroon ng water interruption kasi hanggang ngayon meron pa rin ‘yan,” Poe said.
(It is good that they will pay the fine. It is also good that they will give consumers refund, but our question is, until when are we going to experience water interruption because it happens until now.)
Manila Water on Wednesday said it will pay the fines and took responsibility “for our inability to provide our consumers with the usual uninterrupted water service.”
Following the water shortage, the water company also said supply is expected to improve through its own facility in Cardona, Rizal by April.
“Sa long-term solutions [sa water shortage], kailangan po nating pag-aralan, na ang solusyon ba natin ay talagang makakabuti o makakasama sa atin,” Poe said.
(When it comes to long-term solutions on water shortage, we need to study if our solutions will be beneficial or detrimental for us.) /jpv
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