Maynilad Water Service Inc. is now under investigation for its failure to adhere to its announced water service interruption schedules over the past two weeks as well as for the poor aesthetic quality of water coming out of its customers’ taps.
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Chief Regulator Patrick Ty said that MWSS Regulatory Office (RO) is now investigating the surge of customer complaints against Maynilad, which was received and monitored by the agency through various communication channels, including social media.
In the span of less than a week, Maynilad already received two Notice to Explain (NTE) from MWSS-RO.
The latest of two NTEs, issued on November 20, is demanding explanation for the complaints on the poor aesthetic quality of water coming out of customers’ taps as well as the concessionaire’s “non-adherence to its announced water service interruption schedules”.
“Maynilad is expected to submit an official explanation within this week regarding the aforementioned issues, which were observed by the MWSS RO as indication of the Concessionaire’s failure to be efficient and prudent,” Ty said on Monday.
“The Concessionaire is also expected to propose solutions that should prevent the recurrence of these issues with future typhoons,” he added.
Five days ago, or exactly a week since Typhoon Ulysses made landfall in the Philippines, Maynilad said it has yet to resume its normal production level due to still high turbidity level of raw water in Ipo Dam.
Jennifer Rufo, head of corporate communications at Maynilad, said the sustained inflow of turbid water from Ipo Dam affected the firm’s network pressure.
“Hence, some of our customers in high-lying areas are currently experiencing a longer service interruption than scheduled,” she said.
Turbidity refers to increased sediment concentrations in the raw water.
It was on November 12 when Maynilad began issuing advisories on rotational water service interruptions that affected more than 1 million Water Service Connections (WSCs) within its Service Area.
On November 16, MWSS RO served the first NTE to Maynilad for its failure to inform customers of the need to store water and prepare for possible water service interruptions prior to the onset of the typhoon.
This was in consideration of the expected increase in raw water turbidity levels and the subsequent decrease in water production in the treatment plants during a heavy downpour.
In the said NTE, the agency also directed the Concessionaire to ensure that affected customers do not experience low pressure to no water for more than 24 hours.
Rufo, in response to Ty’s statement, said Maynilad “will respond to our regulators and we will cooperate”.
Meanwhile, Ty assured affected customers that their interest is prioritized as the agency investigates the matter.
“The agency will protect, first and foremost, the welfare of the public in light of these issues,” Ty said.