Household faucets in Mabalacat City run dry for 15 hours daily
MABALACAT CITY, Pampanga — Irate residents of the Mawaque Resettlement Center here lambasted Primewater Mabalacat for its failure to deliver potable water to them for two years now.
In a public hearing conducted by the city council’s committee on public utilities on Tuesday, April 25, residents disclosed that water flows from their faucets only between 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. every day.
“This is the situation being experienced daily by our towns mates at Mawaque Resettlement Center. And this has been going on for two years already. The water utility really needs to do something about this or we will be compelled to seek legal and administrative remedies,” Councilor Rox Peña, chairperson of the public utilities committee, said.
The Inquirer learned that more than 600 households and a public elementary school are affected by the daily water woes at the resettlement area.
Parents told councilors here that they have to stay awake until after 1 a.m. every day just to wash the dishes and do the laundry, as water does not flow from their faucets until 10 p.m. or 11 p.m.
Their children could also not take showers properly, as the water usually had an “iced tea” color.
“We’ve been enduring this for more than one year already… I feel sorry for moms like me who have to stay awake until dawn just to finish washing the dishes and doing the laundry,” Roan Manalus, a Mawaque resident, said.
Malous Galvez, branch manager of Primewater Mabalacat, told Peña and the other councilors that the low water pressure is caused by sediments that have accumulated inside the water pipes. She said the pipes are set to be replaced this year.
As for the brownish color of the water, Galvez said this is the result of minerals present in the groundwater, like manganese.
Pyra Lucas, chairperson of the United Pilipino Against Crime and Corruption, who attended the committee hearing, said it was wrong for Primewater Mabalacat to charge its customers for unusable “dirty” water. \
She said the company needs to fulfill its obligations to the public.
Primewater took operational control of the Mabalacat City Water District’s (MCWD) facilities via a joint venture agreement in 2019.
During the hearing, MCWD general manager Hector Aguilar said they will re-study the joint venture agreement with Primewater to see if the latter is complying with its obligations to water concessionaires.
Councilors headed by Peña gave Primewater Mabalacat a month to improve its water service in Mawaque. Another public hearing on this issue is set for May 25.