QUEZON CITY – Customers of Manila Water Co. Inc. will receive rebates starting this June, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Services Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) announced on Tuesday.
In a press briefing, MWSS chief regulator Patrick Lester Ty said the bill relief will be implemented in two tranches.
All active Manila Water accounts as of March 31 will receive rebate for their first 10 cubic meters of consumption in a month that is equivalent to P153.93 for a residential customer.
On top of that, those severely affected by the water service interruption will get an additional rebate of P2,197.94 each.
According to Ty, severely affected customers are those who have no water supply for 24 hours for seven consecutive days, whether consecutive or intermittent, from March 6 to 31. This covers more than 140,000 based on the list of 45 barangay or villages provided by the listed firm when it offered a one-time bill relief in April.
This will be credited to customers and can be used to pay bills in the future until the entire rebate amount is used up.
“Every centavo of the P534-million fine imposed against Manila Water will be returned to customers thru the rebate, and the P600-million additional penalty will be used to develop new water resource for the East Zone,” Ty told reporters.
This is different from the one-time bill relief that Manila Water implemented in April this year.
For its part, Manila Water said it will comply with the agency’s order on the bill rebate.
“We will comply with the mechanics set by the MWSS-RO regarding the bill rebate to Manila Water customers. We will coordinate with the Regulatory Office and will implement as prescribed this June,” the Ayala-led utility firm said in a statement.
Ty said water availability in the East Zone concessionaire has declined to 71 percent in March 7 when massive service interruptions were experienced by customers following operational adjustments implemented by Manila Water to protect the level of La Mesa Dam, which has already hit its critical level of 69 meters on March 6.
“To all our customers, and to the general public, again we hope for your full understanding throughout this crisis. We are still working closely with Manila Water, and we are doing everything we can to resume uninterrupted services to each household that has been affected,” he added.