By Ellson Quismorio
Bayan Muna Party List Rep. Carlos Zarate on Tuesday described the Manila Water’s waiver of the minimum water charge for all customers that will be reflected in the April bill as a good move, but at the same time said, customers deserve more.
“The waiving of the basic charge of Manila Water is a positive start it does not preclude affected customers from still going to court and ask for further redress,” said Zarate, who is one of the petitioners against the troubled water utility.
The Makabayan solon said aside from the bill waiver, Manila Water should, among others, also compensate the damage it caused on the consumers.
He echoed the demand made Negros Occidental 3rd district Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, who during a House inquiry on the water crisis last week, told Manila Water President Ferdinand dela Cruz to “properly compensate” their patrons.
It can be recalled that lengthy water service interruptions affected different parts of the metropolis and nearby provinces.
Zarate also batted for additional relief for consumers by doing away with the rate increase allowed by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) last year.
“We will continue to seek accountability from Manila Water and MWSS for this catastrophic, greed-induced problem,” said the progressive solon.
“Making these people accountable will ensure that this would never happen again…government should look out more for the interest of consumers,” Zarate said.
Meanwhile, Bayan Muna chairman and Makabayan senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares also saw the bill waiver as a good move.
“This is a welcome development but we hope that Manila Water will not think that everything would be forgotten after this. They should also further improve the plugging of their water leakages to lower their system’s loss so that water interruptions would be prevented,” said Colmenares, a former congressman.