Bayan Muna asks MWSS to rebate all Manila Water fines to customers
MANILA, Philippines — Bayan Muna has filed a petition asking the Metropolitan Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System’s Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) to rebate to customers all fines imposed on Manila Water Co. Inc.
Petitioners from establishments in Maginhawa Street in Quezon City led by Bayan Muna chair and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares asked MWSS on Monday to include the P600-million fine on Manila Water projects in the amount to be returned to customers affected by service interruptions last March.
“Wherefore, premises considered, it is most humbly prayed that of this Honorable Office: To declare the entire P1.134 billion as a fine that must be distributed and rebated to customers in accordance with Section 10.4 of the Concession Agreement, without prejudice to another imposition of MWSS on ensuring that Manila Water develop new water sources,” the petitioners said.
Last April 24, the MWSS Board of Directors slapped Manila Water with the fine after households and establishments in the east zone concession area experienced service interruptions, which lasted up to more than a week for some.
However, MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco clarified that only P534 million of the total fine would be rebated to customers, while the remaining P600 million will be charged against Manila Water’s impending projects.
Velasco explained that with the fine, Manila Water cannot seek tariffs from P600 million worth of projects.
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Colmenares also reiterated the requests of previous petitioners to conduct a public hearing to determine whether there is a need to impose additional penalties and to stop Manila Water from implementing rate hikes.
READ: Groups want Manila Water penalized
MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty has said that the RO cannot impose fines on Manila Water, as it does not have a quasi-judicial function. Petitioners, however, disagreed with Ty’s claim. /ee
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