Malacanang on Thursday, March 14, raised questions on the veracity of the water shortage that affects residents of Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo revealed that Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana expressed his doubts regarding the water shortage of the Manila Water Company since Angat Dam has no problems with their water supply.
Angat Dam serves as the main provider of water supply for both Manila Water Company and Maynilad Water Services.
“Eh kung totoo na ang Angat Dam is punong-puno at lahat naman nanggagaling doon, oh di hindi nga totoo. So something is wrong with the efficiency in distributing as well as the quotas or the shares,” Panelo said during a press briefing in Malacanang.
However, Panelo clarified that the statement of Lorenzana is not the official position of Malacanang regarding the water shortage, and that they’re still investigating the issue.
“We are precisely investigating to know exactly what is happening or what’s the cause of the lack of water supply,” Panelo stressed.
When asked for his personal thoughts, Panelo suspects that Manila Water Company might have been in-efficient and mismanaged since Maynilad does not experience problems with their water supply.
He also said that the water shortage might be artificial.
“If the source is puno, and another concessionaire has puno also. Eh bakit naman iyong isa hindi. Iyon ang logic doon,” Panelo expounded regarding his opinion.
Meanwhile, Panelo assured that Manila Water will be held accountable if the investigation shows that the water concessionaire was at fault for the water shortage.
Since last week, Manila Water, which provides water services to the east of Metro Manila and Rizal province, has been announcing interruptions to their water service due to shortage in the supply of water in La Mesa Dam.
La Mesa Dam serves as the back-up water supply for Manila Water in case the water from Angat Dam does not suffice.
As of Thursday, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the water level in La Mesa Dam has dropped to 68.74 meters, its’ lowest in the last 21 years and below the critical level of 69 meters.