By Madelaine B. Miraflor
It is going to be business as usual for Metropolitan Water Works and Sewerage System (MWSS) even if a potential Senate inquiry plans to zero in on its operations.
Following the filing of Senate Resolution 747 by Senator Cynthia A. Villar to conduct an inquiry on the state of wastewater treatment in Metro Manila, MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to carry out its responsibilities as stipulated in Republic Act No. 9275, otherwise known as the Philippine Clean Water Act.
Velasco said the proposed Senate inquiry will put to rest allegations that “there is failure of implementation and enforcement of laws with respect to the provision of adequate sanitation, drainage and sewer facilities in Metro Manila”.
“We are continuously working with our concessionaires – Manila Water and Maynilad – to find ways to speed up the establishment of additional sewerage treatment plants in Metro Manila,” Velasco said.
He said this following a meeting with top water officials led by MWSS Regulatory Office Chief Patrick Ty, Manila Water President Ferdinand de la Cruz, and Maynilad President Ramoncito Fernandez.
Based on its mandate, MWSS is tasked to assist in the establishment, operation and maintenance of waterworks and sewerage systems within its jurisdiction.
While Metro Manila and nearby provinces are covered by concession agreements between MWSS and the two concessionaires, Manila Water and Maynilad, the country’s capital and most populated city is still not yet 100 percent covered by waste water treatment plants.
Home to more than 12 million people, Metro Manila’s sewerage coverage only stands at 22 percent.
In an earlier interview, Ty said the Philippine government already enforced Maynilad Water and Manila Water to invest billions of money so that by 2037, the country’s capital is already 100 percent covered in terms of sewage treatment system.
To be specific, both companies are looking to spend as much as P285 billion over the next 19 years to improve Manila’s sewerage capacity.