METROPOLITAN Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and East Zone concessionaire Manila Water Company announced yesterday a one-time voluntary bill waiver to benefit all customers who were heavily impacted by water service interruptions.
The bill waiver plan is aligned with the company’s commitment and continuous efforts to bring back its water service to normalcy.
Prior to the company’s entry in 1997, only 26 percent of the area’s population had access to 24-hour water supply. This was mainly due to unaccounted leakages brought about by old pipelines, meter tampering, and hundreds of illegal connections, which also resulted in high incidence of water contamination and water-borne diseases. From delivering only 440 million liters per day in 1997, Manila Water has recovered water losses to deliver over 1.3 billion liters of water daily to 6.8 million residents even without a new water source.
Manila Water proposed the bill waiver plan to MWSS which is expected to be implemented for March and will be reflected in the April bill of customers.
This is an unprecedented gesture as it will be the first time that any form of discount will be given in the water sector as Metro Manila customers will be seeing a waiver of a portion of their water bills.
According to Manila Water President and CEO Ferdinand Dela Cruz, this development hopes to ease the inconvenience brought about by the water interruptions and show the company’s commitment to recover the trust and confidence of customers.
All East Zone customers will receive a bill waiver of the minimum charge for their March consumption. This represents 10 cubic meters covering water, environmental and sewer charges. The charge ranges from PHP 76/month to PHP 656, depending on the type of customer. Projected cost for the bill waiver is PHP 150 million.
As of this writing, 97 percent of consumers in the East zone now have longer hours of water availability for about 8 to 12 hours, at least at the ground floor level after the decision to implement a rotational supply scheme that started on March 14.
Since 1997, East Zone residents have seen significant improvements in their water and wastewater services brought about by Manila Water’s efforts to expand distribution lines and reduce system losses. Out of these, around 1.8 million people from marginalized communities were given access to clean and affordable water through the company’s flagship program, Tubig Para Sa Barangay, or Water for the Community.