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Manila Water urged to look into compensating customers’ add’l expenses

Consumer group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) on Tuesday welcomed the one-time bill waiver to be implemented by Manila Water Company Inc., but said the water concessionaire should also look at compensating the expenses of its customers during the recent service interruptions.

“I think we appreciate that, kasi ‘yung kaniyang apology dinugtungan niya ngayon ng voluntary compensation,” LKI President Victorio Mario Dimagiba said in an interview on Balitanghali.

Manila Water earlier in the day said it would implement a one-time bill waiver scheme covering customers affected by the recent water service interruptions.

The company’s concession area covers 23 cities and municipalities spanning a 1,400-square kilometer area, dubbed as the East Zone. This includes Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan, Taguig, Marikina, most parts of Quezon City, parts of Manila, and 14 towns in Rizal province.

Ferdinand dela Cruz, Manila Water President and CEO, had apologized for the recent water supply issues experienced by the customers of the company, as the La Mesa Reserve breached its critical level of 69 meters which prevented the company from meeting the demand of 150 million liters per day from the reservoir.

Dimagiba noted, however, that Manila Water should look into the additional expenses that its customers had to incur during the interruptions.

“Ang medyo questionable pa, paano naman ‘yung mga naperwisyo — ‘yung mga bumili ng extra containers, ‘yung mga perwisyo, ‘yung mga bumili ng tubig sa ibang lugar,” he said.

“Marami pang danyos na dapat i-compute. Inumpisahan naman na ng Manila Water, ‘wag na niya hintayin ang MWSS (Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System) na mag-compute,” added Dimagiba. —Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/KBK, GMA News