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Manila Water should be fined again, says solon

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By Ellson Quismorio 

A Party-List Coalition Foundation, Inc. (PCFI) official pestered by the continuous poor water service by Manila Water is recommending the imposition of another hefty fine on the erring water concessionaire.

Rep. Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr. (Ako Bicol Partylist Website / MANILA BULLETIN)

Rep. Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr. (Ako Bicol Partylist Website / MANILA BULLETIN)

PCFI Spokesperson AKO-Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin did not mention a particular amount, but going by his poor assessment of Manila Water’s performance, it could be another significant sum like before.

“I’m still [personally] affected and continue to suffer from their unreliable supply of water,” Garbin said of the Ayala-owned company, which services Metro Manila’s east zone.

“There’s no other way but to impose another round of fines as they are recalcitrant in violating their mandate,” said the lawyer-congressman, who served as Senior Deputy Minority Leader in the just concluded 17th Congress.

It was only last April when regulating body Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) imposed a P1.13-billion fine on Manila Water following an extended water shortage in its service area that began the previous month.

Of the hefty amount, P534 million served as penalty for the water shortage while P600 million will be used for the development of a new water supply source.

It was also amid the water supply woes last April when Manila Water Chief Operating Officer (COO) Geodino Carpio resigned. House members welcomed the move since it gave the water firm the opportunity to clean up its act.

But Manila Water is grabbing headlines again for days-long “waterless” spells in several barangays in Mandaluyong City, and elsewhere.

Makabayan Bloc member Bayan Muna Party-List Rep. Carlos Zarate, who was among the consumer-complainants who sued Manila Water before the MWSS Regulatory Office last March 26, is already planning file another complaint against the company.

“We will definitely file another complaint against Manila Water for more rebates for their customers,” Zarate said.

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