Manila Water explains how rebates were computed
MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) earlier announced that severely-affected Manila Water customers would be receiving a P2,197.94 deduction in their monthly bills starting June
But how did they come up with these figures?
Manila Water spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said the MWSS Regulatory Office subtracted all the waived minimum charges for the first 10 cubic meters from the P534 million rebatable fine imposed against the water concessionaire.
What was left of it was then divided among the 140,000 severely-affected customers, or those who experienced service interruptions for 24 hours for seven days or more.
“Lahat naman ng customers get a 10 cubic meter rebate, which is about P153.93 for residential areas. And then, ‘yong naiiwan no’n, that is going to be divided sa mga severely-affected customers, kaya they arrived at a computation of P2,197.94,” Sevilla told INQUIRER.net.
Sevilla further clarified that severely-affected areas were classified according to information given to them by their system, which informs them that no water was delivered to these areas; and through validation with local authorities.
“Two things. Operationally, we know the areas na nawalan ng tubig. Pero second, we have to validate that also on the ground, and that means actually talking to barangays, doing site inspections and site visits,” he said.
“‘Yong mga entry points, bago pumasok ‘yong tubig dyan sa area na ‘yan, may metro talaga tayo. So we know if water is flowing to the area. There’s a meter sa mga kalye so we know kung ito ay nagka-tubig, at ito ay wala. So that’s how we do the validation,” he added.
This supposedly was the reason why not all accounts in a single barangay would be labeled as severely-affected.
“That is why we were very careful din in releasing ‘yong mga barangays na affected, because not all customers within the barangay are severely affected. Case in point, let’s say dito sa Old Balara or Teachers Village — there are portions na merong tubig, meron naman talagang severely affected,” Sevilla explained.
Last March, several consumers in the east zone concession area — mostly from Mandaluyong and Pasig — experienced service interruptions allegedly due to dwindling supply from the La Mesa Dam.
This waived minimum charge is on top of the company’s voluntary waiver and the non-charging of severely-affected areas last April, costing them around P1.1 billion.
That is, aside from the P600 million fine imposed by MWSS on Manila Water’s future water source projects — which means that the company cannot collect tariffs or raise rates based on that amount.
Despite the losses, Sevilla re-assured customers that they will comply with the rebate system.
“When MWSS released their decision about the penalty in accordance with Section 10.4 of the Concession Agreement last April 24, nagsabi naman agad kami na we will be complying, we will be abiding by the decision,” Sevilla said.
“So kami, we will comply with the bill rebate program ng MWSS-RO. We will coordinate with them regarding the mechanics for the implementation kasi syempre, i-aayos mo ‘yon sa system because it’s already in June,” he added. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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