Politics

Maynilad, Manila Water told to implement supply measures for hot season

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PHILIPPINE STAR/RUSSELL PALMA

THE METROPOLITAN Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has directed its two water concessionaires to ensure the implementation of augmentation measures as the summer season begins.

“MWSS has already issued instructions to our two concessionaires to ensure that all our augmentation measures are operational,” Patrick James B. Dizon, manager of MWSS’ water and sewerage management department, said in a Viber message on Monday.

The statement came after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced the official start of the warm and dry season in the country last week.

Mr. Dizon said that Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Manila Water Co., Inc. are already implementing reduced water pressure.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said last week that it would cut the raw water allocation of Metro Manila to 48 cubic meters per second (cms) from April 16-31.

“MWSS [is] dependent on the approved raw water allocation from the NWRB. A raw water allocation of less than 50 cms could potentially impact our service areas, particularly those situated at higher elevations,” Mr. Dizon said.

Among the augmentation measures being implemented by the concessionaires is the installation of static water tanks to minimize any inconvenience to their customers.

Mr. Dizon said that Maynilad has 130 static water tanks in its service areas, while Manila Water has nine.

Jennifer C. Rufo, head of Maynilad’s corporate communications, said that the company is “aligned” with MWSS on its supply augmentation projects, which include deep wells, modular treatment plants, among others.

“These are already producing additional water supply from alternate sources, augmenting the supply we get from the main source (Angat Dam) and mitigating any reduction in the raw water allocation,” she said in a Viber message.

Maynilad recently inaugurated a modular water treatment plant in Muntinlupa City, which is expected to produce 20 million liters per day of potable water supply.

“Our preparations for summer happen all year round and that includes continuously exercising and working on our augmentation measures, especially this year when we have to also mitigate the effects of El Niño,” Dittie L. Galang, head of Manila Water’s corporate communications, said in a Viber message.

In a statement, Manila Water has assured its customers of 24/7 water service for Holy Week, with its key projects and mitigating measures in place.

“Anticipating the rise in water demand, the East Zone Concessionaire ramped up its system checks in its water supply augmentation projects prior to the announcement of summer by the [PAGASA] last week,” the company said.

Manila Water serves the east zone network of Metro Manila, covering parts of Marikina, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Pateros, Mandaluyong, San Juan, portions of Quezon City and Manila, and several towns in Rizal province.

Maynilad serves the cities of Manila, except San Andres and Sta. Ana. It also operates in Quezon City, Makati, Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas, and Malabon. It also supplies the cities of Cavite, Bacoor, and Imus, and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario, all in Cavite province.

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. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera