Maynilad under probe over customer complaints, quality issues — MWSS-RO
MANILA, Philippines — Water concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. is currently under investigation amid a surge in complaints from customers about water supply and quality issues, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System – Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) said on Friday.
MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty said in a statement the regulatory body gave Maynilad a Notice to Explain on Wednesday following the complaints within the concession zone, or the west side of Metro Manila and the neighboring province of Cavite.
Ty said the MWSS-RO is alarmed over the complaints, given that Maynilad has a sufficient allocation of water, and that the company has already implemented measures to address water quality.
“On 08 June 2022, the MWSS Regulatory Office (RO) issued a Notice to Explain to Maynilad Water Services, Inc., following a surge in customer complaints received and monitored by the Office through various communication channels, including social media,” the Chief Regulator said.
“The MWSS RO is alarmed that the said issues remain despite Maynilad’s current allocation of more than 2,400 MLD at the Novaliches Portal, and implementation of various measures to mitigate the impact of problems surrounding its Putatan Water Treatment Plant,” he added.
Ty said that it is important for Maynilad and other water suppliers to provide clean water especially that the country is still in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic — which is fought through frequent handwashing.
“The Office is gravely concerned about the adverse effects of the continuing water supply and quality issues on the health and welfare of the consumers. The MWSS RO recognizes the importance of ensuring an adequate supply of potable water for all customers, especially during this difficult time of the pandemic,” Ty said.
“Based on the Concession Agreement, Maynilad is expected to provide an uninterrupted 24 hour supply of water to all connected customers in its Service Area, and to ensure that the quality of water being supplied to its customers is compliant with the Philippine National Drinking Water Standards set by the Department of Health,” he added.
Maynilad, according to Ty, explained in a meeting on Thursday that the company had to enforce water interruptions due to the high algae count at the Laguna Lake, and with the delays in the delivery of the algae mitigating equipment.
The concessionaire supposedly promised to improve water production by Saturday, and resume full operations not later than Wednesday, June 15.
“The MWSS RO warns Maynilad that it will not hesitate to impose the appropriate sanctions, disallowances, penalties, and/or fines on the Concessionaire for any verified violation of its contractual obligations, or any failure to efficiently and prudently provide water, sewerage, and sanitation services to all of its customers,” Ty said.
“Meanwhile, the MWSS RO assures affected customers that their welfare and interests are prioritized while investigations are ongoing in light of these issues,” he noted.
This is not the first time MWSS-RO subjected water concessionaires like Maynilad to an investigation: last November 23, the office asked Maynilad why there were water interruptions without prior warnings on the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses’ onslaught over Metro Manila and Central Luzon.
MWSS then penalized the same company for interruptions, promising consumers of the company — or those in the west concession zone — rebates by April.
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