By Patricia Lourdes Viray, April 24 2019; Philippine Star

Image Credit to Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has sanctioned private water concessionaire Manila Water over the water shortage in Metro Manila and Rizal province last month.

Government regulators fined the Ayala-led water service provider with an estimated P1.15 billion, according to a report from The STAR.

The MWSS earlier confirmed that Manila Water violated its obligation under the concession agreement to provide uninterrupted service to its customers in the east concession zone.

Following the supply mess, Manila Water announced that it would be waiving the minimum or basic charge for March.

The voluntary and one-time bill waiver scheme covers the first 10 cubic meters consumed each month.

“This minimum charge ranges for our lifeline customers of P76 but it also goes to all kinds of customers — lifeline, domestic, semi-domestic, commercial, industrial so it ranges from P76 to P656 for industrial customers, which represents the 10 cubic meters,” Manila Water CEO Ferdinand dela Cruz earlier said.

The penalties imposed on the Ayala-led water concessionaire are on top of the nearly P500 million that will be returned to consumers through its one-time bill waiver scheme.

Dela Ceuz said Manila Water will abide by the decision of the MWSS to impose a financial penalty upon the recommendation of the regulatory office. — Patricia Lourdes Viray with reports from Louise Maureen Simeon