The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) clarified that they can penalize water concessionaire Manila Water Company for violating the concession agreement that they will deliver uninterrupted water service to their consumers.
MWSS chief regulator Patrick Ty made this clarification after saying that the agency has no authority to penalize water concessionaires during the hearing of the House of Representatives on Monday, March 18.
During the Senate hearing on Tuesday, March 19, Ty explained that the MWSS cannot impose fines on Manila Water. However, the agency can penalize the water concessionaire through a rebate to their consumers or downward adjustments in their water rates.
The head of the MWSS Regulatory Office added that they are studying whether they can implement, if any, financial penalty against Manila Water as early as June.
He said that they cannot immediately implement the penalties since they are still fixing the issue regarding the shortage in the supply of Manila Water, which provides water services to the east zone of Metro Manila and Rizal province.
“We are exploring the option of imposing, if there is any, either June or July,” Ty told senators.
“There are three things why. One, we want to focus first on fixing things. Second, we expect next month that the bill will be very low because the usage of everyone is very low. Third, we want to follow due process,” Ty added.
Ty stressed that due process needs to be observed since Manila Water can file an arbitration case against them. He further revealed that MWSS lost in some previous cases filed by the water concessionaire.