By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate has asked the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to look into and review the incidents of sudden water interruption in the National Capital Region (NCR), Rizal and Cavite, and its impact on consumers and implication to quality water service provision.
He filed House Resolution 2518, citing the plight of thousands of people who are affected by the water interruption.
“Thousands of people were deprived of water service since March 8 and were reduced to waiting for water tankers or opening fire hydrants just to have water,” he said in filing HR 2518.
Under the resolution, Zarate scored the failure of Manila Water and Maynilad to put in place measures in preparation for El Niño phenomenon.
“According to Pagasa (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration), the El Nino phenomenon is predictable and measures can be done to prepare for it, but it seems that the water concessionaires did not do so,” he said.
The Makabayan lawmaker pressed on the need for the House panel, chaired by Camiguin Rep. Xavier Jesus Romualdo, to hold a hearing on the issue, as the National Water Resources Board (NRWB) and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) assured there is no problem in water supply.
On March 8, 2019, Manila Water on its website said that it will be “implementing operational adjustments that may affect water service across the entire East Zone.” According to the advisory, 108 areas would experience interrupted water services, but it did not specify dates or time of the water interruption.
According to Manila Water, the adjustment on water services would “help arrest the rapid decline of the water level at La Mesa Dam,” following the announcement of Pagasa on El Niño.
“Aside from these areas affected by the water interruption ranging from low water pressure to no water at all, many more areas which were not on the list were also affected as of the night of March 8 based on media reports,” Zarate said.
He also noted that Maynilad announced its own water interruption schedule for the West zone of NCR for March 10 to 11.