Maynilad penalized P27M for disruptions
BY NIÑA MYKA PAULINE ARCEO WITH EIREENE JAIREE GOMEZ
The Manila Times
MAYNILAD Water Services Inc. (Maynilad) has been ordered to pay P27.4 million to customers affected by water service interruptions caused by problems at its Putatan Water Treatment Plant in Muntinlupa City. Lee Robert Britanico, deputy administrator of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System’s Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO), told reporters on Tuesday that regulators had determined a total rebate of P27,477,617.12 for customers deprived of uninterrupted 24hour water services from December 2022 to January 2023. Maynilad provides water and wastewater services for Metro Manila’s West Zone, which includes parts of Manila, Quezon City, Makati, Caloocan, Las Piñas, Malabon, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Pasay, Parañaque and Valenzuela. It also services parts of Cavite province. The areas affected by the service interruptions are in Pasay, Parañaque and Cavite. Britanico said the MWSS-RO found that firm had violated its service obligations, and “we have instructed Maynilad to address the issue and provide 24/7 water to their customers.” “We are aiming that this rebate will be implemented in the water bills of the affected customers by February. So, the rebate will reflect on the next water bill of the customers,” he added. Britanico added that regulators were still determining the rebate to be reflected in customer water bills. The MWSS-RO has scheduled a public forum on January 31 to discuss the rebate program. Affected customers and representatives of concerned local government units are being invited to attend. New treatment plant As this developed, Maynilad on Tuesday said it was planning to produce an additional 50 million liters per day (MLD) by the end of this year from initial operations of a new treatment plant in Muntinlupa. In a statement, Maynilad said the new Poblacion Water Treatment Plant (WTP) was 53-percent complete. Once fully operational by the first half of 2024, Maynilad said the facility would have the capacity to produce 150 MLD of potable water for the southern portion of its concession area, particularly Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa and Cavite. Maynilad has two treatment plants in Muntinlupa that provide 300 MLD of water for around 1.7 million customers in the south. “Our production of 300 MLD is stretched to meet the current requirements of our customers in the south,” Maynilad Chief Operating Officer Randolph Estrellado said. “Hence, whenever extreme conditions necessitate reduced production, there is no extra supply so some of our customers experience service disruption. The additional output that we will get from the Poblacion WTP will help to address that,” he added. The Poblacion WTP is part of Maynilad’s P220-billion service enhancement program for 2023 to 2027. Maynilad is managed by Maynilad Water Holdings Co Inc., a joint venture between Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), DMCI Holdings Inc. (DMCI) and Japan’s Marubeni Corp. that took control in 2007. Maynilad, originally under Lopez-led Benpres Holdings Corp., was granted a 25-year concession in 1997. The MWSS in 2009 extended the deal to July 31, 2037. MPIC shares closed 28 centavos higher of 6.88 percent on Tuesday at P4.35 apiece. DMCI was unchanged at P12.46 per share.