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Consumers’ group urges Manila Water to defer collection of increased water rates

A consumers’ group on Sunday urged east zone concessionaire Manila Water to hold the collection of its increased water rates amid the ongoing water supply shortage.

“Wag munang maningil ng increase na aabot sa P2.10 per cubic meter simula ng March 7, 2019… ang breakdown nun ay nung October P1.46 per cubic meter at nitong 2019 dahil sa inflation is P0.64 kaya ang total nun ay P2.10,” said Laban Konsyumer Inc. lead convenor Victor Mario Dimagiba in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.

“Kaya nga sila binigyan ng increase eh 24/7 ‘yung kanilang serbisyo eh hindi naman nila nagagawa ngayon sa kasalukuyan,” he added.

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) previously approved water rate hikes pursuant to its concession agreement with water service providers Manila Water and Maynilad. The latest increase took effect on January 1, 2019.

Dimagiba said that their group has already sent a formal letter to Manila Water and that an official response from the concessionaire has yet to be received.

During a Senate committee hearing last week, Manila Water said it is open to implementing water rate adjustments in order to “provide some relief” to its customers affected by the water shortage.

Further, Dimagiba said that part of the water rate increase is allocated to the construction of the Cardona Water Treatment Plant in Rizal, which failed to meet its target start of operations in December 2018.

Manila Water announced last week that the treatment plant has already been operational since March 14, 2019 and has begun distributing 24 million liters of water per day initially to barangays in Binangonan, Angono, Baras and Jalajala, Rizal. — BM, GMA News