Maynilad, Manila Water still can’t disconnect services during MECQ in NCR
MANILA, Philippines — Water concessionaires are still not allowed to disconnect services even as Metro Manila transitions to a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) said.
In a statement on Friday, MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty said that such operations might only be done by Manila Water Company, Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. after the MECQ status has been lifted in the National Capital Region (NCR)
This comes after Malacañang announced on Thursday night that Metro Manila, Bataan, and Laguna would be under an MECQ status until August 31, after going through two weeks of an ECQ status due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country.
“This is to inform the public that the MWSS Regulatory Office (RO) has directed Manila Water Company, Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc., to extend their suspension of all service disconnection activities until such time that the [MECQ] has been lifted, and to ensure water supply availability within their Service Areas,” Ty said.
Manila Water is responsible for providing water services to the eastern concession area of Metro Manila, while Maynilad handles the western part.
MWSS-RO said they are also asking local government units to help concessionaires conduct meter reading activities even with the MECQ status.
Continuous meter reading, Ty said, would prevent previous instances of bill shock or when consumers are surprised to see high bills.
“The MWSS RO requests for the continued cooperation and assistance of concerned Local Government Units (LGUs), as the concessionaires, conduct their meter reading and billing activities during the period of MECQ,” he noted
“This is to enable the Concessionaires to bill their customers based on actual water consumption and to detect underground and after-the-meter leaks early, to prevent bill shock,” Ty explained.
MWSS-RO made the directive last August 4 after the national government was forced to place Metro Manila under ECQ due to the threat of the Delta variant. The ECQ status was supposed to run until Friday, but Malacañang said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has decided to extend stringent lockdown measures further.
Earlier, the Department of Health (DOH) recorded 17,231 new COVID-19 infections, the highest-ever single-day jump in infections since the pandemic reached the country.
The high increase in infections brought the country’s active case count to 123,251, as only 5,595 patients have recovered from the disease, for a total of 1,653,351 recoveries.
At the same time, Ty pleaded to consumers to use water responsibly as it is an important resource, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, where frequent hand washing is recommended.
“In this critical time when public health relies on access to clean, safe, and sufficient water supply, the MWSS RO enjoins the public to conserve water by using this scarce resource responsibly and intelligently,” Ty said.
“Rest assured that the agency will continue to implement proactive measures to make water available, accessible, and affordable for everyone in its efforts to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
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