MWSS-RO secures power to impose penalties vs Maynilad, Manila Water

Published November 19, 2021, 2:23 PM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System-Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) has secured the power to directly impose penalties on water concessionaires – Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Company, Inc.

During a virtual public information drive on Friday, Nov. 19, MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty said that the respective revised concession agreements (RCA) between MWSS and the concessionaires – which are set to take effect next month – have strengthened the mandate of MWSS-RO in terms of the imposition of penalties to Maynilad and Manila Water.

Photo from MWSS-Regulatory Office

“The new RCAs now provide more penalties to two concessionaires and empower MWSS-RO to impose penalties. Before, we were just a recommendatory body. Now, we can now impose penalties ourselves,” Ty said. “This will allows us to protect consumers more.”

Based on their mandate, Maynilad and Manila Water are strictly required to ensure the 24/7 availability of safe and quality water supply among their respective customers.

MWSS-RO, on the other hand, is mandated to monitor and regulate the concession agreements. Among its many functions, RO reviews, monitors and enforces rates and service standards; arranges and reports regular independent audits of the performance of the concessionaires; and monitors water infrastructure assets.

Ty said MWSS-RO’s strengthened capacity will take effect upon the effectivity of the RCAs. These RCAs were supposed to take effect on November 18, 2021 but an official from Maynilad said a request has been made to extend the deadline on the effectivity of the RCAs, pending the undertaking letter from government, which is a major condition precedent to the RCAs’ effectivity.

During the public information drive, Lee Robert Britanico, deputy administrator for customer service regulation at MWSS-RO, said as many as 474 of Maynilad’s water service connections or customers in BF Homes, Parañaque will receive a rebate of P109 each during their next billing.

This, as the company failed to provide a 24/7 water supply to its customers in BF Homes, Parañaque sometime in May of this year.