Water firm must pay for water lack — Poe

SENATOR Grace Poe is resolved to make Manila Water Company Inc. pay for the water shortage that struck Metro Manila and Rizal province recently saying that an apology is best expressed in monetary value.

Poe exhorted Manila Water Company Inc. to implement a fair and just adjustment in the bill for the month of March and the succeeding months its customers had no water.

“Manila Water can absorb it. Their income will not dry up. It is a drop in their bucket of profits. An apology is best expressed monetarily,” Poe said.

The lady senator issued the statement as state regulator Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and Manila Water officials met yesterday to discuss the adjustments.

Poe said MWSS must be vigilant in seeing to it that the people are not shortchanged by the computation of the bill reduction.

She said it is critical at this point to provide immediate relief to the consumers, who were not only inconvenienced, but who also spent money to buy containers and water and bring it to their homes.

Manila Water, which covers Metro Manila’s east zone, has stated a number of times that it is looking at possible bill adjustments for its customers, who have been inconvenienced by the supply shortage.

“Manila Water should not be reaping profits even if the taps have run dry,” Poe said.  “Kung walang tumulong tubig sa gripo, bakit tayo magbabayad?”

As chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, Poe facilitated a public hearing last week that revealed the extent of the water supply shortage problem and the apparent lack of foresight of state regulators in identifying measures to undertake to avert a water crisis.

Poe said the panel is preparing its preliminary report on the matter.