The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said the agency can slap Manila Water Co. Inc. with sanctions for its water service interruptions that affected millions of households in parts of the metropolis, local reports said.
But MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Lester Ty said they would wait until June or July before deciding whether or not they would penalize the Ayala-led company.
“Yes,” Ty said when asked by Senate President Vicente Sotto III if Manila Water would be penalized. “We don’t want to say right now, yes or no, because any statement I make right now can be used against the MWSS. Right now, we want to wait until June or July,” he said.
“One, we want to focus first on fixing things; two, we expect next month, the bill will be very low because the usage of everyone is really low; and the third is to observe due process,” he explained.
Should the MWSS move to penalize Manila Water, the latter could file an arbitration case against the agency.
In the same hearing, the listed firm reiterated that it is targeting a 99-percent water availability with water flowing at the ground-floor level by the end of this month.
“Our target is by the end of this month is to reach 99 percent of our coverage area using this ground floor level standard so that we could spread our limited supply,” Manila Water President Ferdinand dela Cruz said.
Currently, Manila Water customers are enjoying about 90 percent water availability at the ground level from a low water availability of 70 percent since the water supply crisis first emerged on March 6.
Dela Cruz explained that the 9 percent supply deficit, or about 150 million liters per day (MLD), was caused by the La Mesa Dam breaching the critical level of 69 meters.
Manila Water, he said, is implementing some solutions to plug the supply deficit, such as the reactivation of the Cardona, Rizal water treatment plant project, decommission of deep wells, development of new deep well sources, the Maynilad-Manila Water supply sharing, and updating its existing water supply master plan.
“With these efforts, our 9 percent supply deficit will go down to 4.5 percent in April and further go down to 1.5 percent supply deficit in May before getting totally eliminated in June,” he added.