The Committee on Metro Manila Development of the House of Representatives concluded, that both Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and Manila Water Company, Inc. (MWCI) must be held accountable for the water shortage, as well as for the failure to properly implement contingency plans to stop the adverse effects of the water shortage to the public.
The committee, chaired by Quezon City 2nd District Rep. Winnie Castelo, made the recommendation after the conduct of a hearing last month on the water supply shortage in Metro Manila.
“The supply shortage had been earlier forecasted, they should have addressed it immediately and prepared for the scenario, instead of reacting after the crisis had reached critical levels,” Castelo said.
“The supply shortage had been earlier forecasted, they should have addressed it immediately and prepared for the scenario.”
“The water supply problem cannot be attributed to El Niño or climate change alone but also to lack of foresight or mismanagement on the part of the regulator, MWSS, and the concessionaire, Manila Water, which should have proactively implemented contingency plans in accordance with their demand growth forecast and their supply profile,” Castelo added.
The Committee also recommended that MWSS must study how Manila Water should compensate its consumers as soon as possible for the inconvenience and losses experienced.
According to the committee, compensation may be made through a rebate based on Section 10.4 of their Concession Agreement and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
The committee also recommended that government find and develop additional sources of water and new technology to recycle water and enhance its supply and distribution.
“We must be prepared. The growth of population in Metro Manila, comes with steadily increasing need for food and water.”
Meanwhile, local government units, the national government, water regulator, and water concessionaires must work together to develop and implement a water security master plan, the committee proposed.
“We must be prepared. The growth of population in Metro Manila, comes with steadily increasing need for food and water. With climate change and the devastating effects of El Niño and La Niña weather patterns, and it is logical to see that this should not be treated only as an environmental protection problem or a disaster reduction goal, but a national security issue,” Castelo said.