Manila police HQ without water due to unpaid bills worth P14-M
MANILA, Philippines—Maynilad Water Services Inc. has cut off the supply of water to the Manila Police District’s headquarters on United Nations Avenue for failure to pay P14.178 million in unpaid bills since 2005.
The headquarters of Manila’s Finest is also on the brink of losing its electricity as it owes the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) close to P100 million in unpaid bills since 1998.
Supt. Luis Francisco Jr, head of the MPD Logistics Division, told the Inquirer that the water supply was disconnected on Thursday after a series of demand letters from Maynilad starting from the last week of May remained unheeded.
Francisco said that on May 25 the water company, through its key accounts management department, sent a notice of disconnection to the MPD, giving the police district five days to pay the amount of P14,177,823.71. Maynilad again wrote the MPD on June 9 as a final notice before disconnection, giving the MPD another 15 days to settle the amount.
Francisco said they had informed the National Capital Region Police Office of the demand letters since it is the NCRPO that is designated and authorized to pay the water bills.
On average, the total monthly water consumption of the MPD, including the headquarters and nine of its 11 stations, amounts to P600,000. The NCRPO is given a monthly fund allocation of P948,166.67 for water, but each district is allocated only P161,188.33.
Francisco told the Inquirer that the the MPD’s arrears on its electricity consumption stood at P83,317,508.66 at the end of last year.
“I have been getting visits from Meralco representatives and all I could tell them is I would inform the NCRPO. That has been happening since I assumed this post two years ago,” Francisco said.
Based on records, the MPD’s electricity consumption for 2010, prior year accounts, and penalties on illegal connections from 1998 to 2004 total P96,491,349.70.
Out of this, only P13,173,841.04 was paid by the NCRPO using the district’s annual allocation of P13,249,800, leaving the P83.3 million balance.
The NCRPO has a monthly fund allocation for electricity of P6,495,000 out of which P1,104,150 is allocated for each district. On average the MPD, including the headquarters and nine of its 11 stations, consumes about P1.8 million of electricity a month.
“This amount (P83.3 million) still does not include the consumption for the months of January to June this year. So I would estimate that it could now be at the P100 million mark,” Francisco pointed out.
He told the Inquirer that apart from informing the NCRPO of the obligations on utilities, the MPD has been implementing energy and water conservation programs.
“But we can only do so much,” he said, adding that water and electricity rates are constantly rising while the fund allocation for utilities in each district remains the same.
Since Thursday, strikers or errand boys carrying pails of water were a common sight around the headquarters. One errand boy commented, “We’ve been getting water to maintain the restrooms. Who would want the MPD to smell bad?”
Another remarked, “It’s hard to move without water. What would we do if we have visitors here at the headquarters? It would be embarrassing if they said the police headquarters of Manila smells foul.”
Last year, a station of the Quezon City Police District had its electricity cut off because of unpaid Meralco bills reaching P5 million.