Politics

Maynilad customers set to receive rebate

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CUSTOMERS of Maynilad Water Services, Inc. who were affected by the recurring service interruptions in areas served by the concessionaire’s Putatan water treatment plants are set to receive a rebate.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said Maynilad was found to have violated its service obligations of ensuring the availability of an uninterrupted water supply to its customers.

The agency did not specify details of the rebate, saying it was “currently in the process of assessing the final rebate amount, which shall not be recoverable or passed on to the consumers.”

Separately, Maynilad said that it voluntarily decided to pay a rebate to its affected customers, adding that the company has accepted the findings of the MWSS-Regulatory Office.

Maynilad said that the water service interruptions were due to the reduced production of its treatment plant in Putatan, Muntinlupa, damaging its sludge removal equipment.

The company added that the prolonged water service interruptions were due to the rise in turbidity levels of the raw water from Laguna Lake.

MWSS has ordered Maynilad to expedite the resumption of water supply to the affected customers “during this time of the pandemic when water is most essential for safeguarding public health.”

Meanwhile, Maynilad said that the repairs on the sludge removal equipment are now 75% completed, allowing the company “to increase water production to 91%, and gradually reduce the number of affected customers or lengthen the supply availability duration.”

The west zone water concessionaire also assures the public that it was stabilizing the plant’s system that was affected by the defective equipment.

Maynilad also said that it was expecting the water level to revert to the normal level by the end of the month. It said it was monitoring the turbidity trend in the raw water supply.

“Barring any complications, water service should revert to normal levels by the end of January 2023 or earlier,” Maynilad said.

Last month, the MWSS warned Maynilad that it would impose another sanction and a possible fine if it fails to address the recurring water service interruptions in areas served by the Putatan water treatment plants.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which has a majority stake in Maynilad, is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Ashley Erika O. Jose