The government has ordered Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Manila Water Company, Inc. to suspend all service disconnection activities this week in Metro Manila and nearby areas.
This is in light of the government declaration of an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the NCR Plus bubble, covering Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal), from March 29 to April 4.
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Chief Regulator Patrick Ty said in a statement on Monday that he has directed its concessionaires to suspend all service disconnection activities for the duration of the ECQ period and to ensure the availability of an uninterrupted 24-hour water supply within their Service Areas.
MWSS-Regulatory Office (MWSS RO) also directed Maynilad and Manila Water to ensure strict compliance of their Meter Readers and other personnel with the prescribed health and safety protocols in the conduct of read-and-bill.
This, as the agency appealed to concerned Local Government Units (LGUs) in Metro Manila, Cavite, and Rizal, to allow the Meter Readers of both companies to continue their on-site water meter reading and billing operations during the ECQ period.
“This request for LGU cooperation and assistance will enable the Concessionaires to bill their customers based on actual water consumption, and help minimize billing complaints that may abound if the customers were to be billed based on average consumption,” Ty said.
Last year, during the early days of the pandemic, Maynilad and Manila Water were also ordered to suspend water service disconnection activities.
Eventually, the government allowed the two companies to disconnect customers to spare the concessionaires from further financial trouble.
MWSS though gave one last set of reliefs to the respective customers of these water utilities back in September, which included a 30-day grace period for unpaid bills from August 4 to 18.