A consumer group is calling for a decrease in water rates in light of the daily service interruption affecting Manila Water customers in Metro Manila and Rizal.
"Immediately, gumawa kami ng panawagan sa Manila Water. I-atras muna nila sa mga customer nila 'yung dagdag-presyo na in-allow ng MWSS until supply normalizes," Laban Konsyumer Incorporated (LKI) president Vic Dimagiba said Thursday.
In an interview on Balitanghali. the consumer rights advocate said he expected better service given that the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) approved a water rate increase for the company last December.
"Kung ikaw ang regulator, kung ikaw ang pamahalaan, bibigay mo lahat sa concessionaire ang hinihingi nilang rate increase. Di ba ang katumbas dapat nito is better and excellent service?"
Dimagiba also expressed worry over the agreement between Manynilad and MWSS, which directed the concessionaire to help in supplying water for the customers of Manila Water.
"Itong rate na in-approve ng MWSS? O may additional handling charge na idadagdag? Kung meron man, huwag na nilang ipasa sa consumers," he said.
The East Zone concessionaire's latest announcement said affected households could have little to no water for six to 20 hours a day and the interruption is expected to go on for several months.
Dimagiba emphasized that water, in itself, is a basic necessity.
He encouraged the government to take action against certain individuals who appear to be taking advantage of the people's suffering.
Particularly, he was asked what he thinks should be done about those who have begun selling water and water containers at too high a price.
"Mayroong batas diyan yung Price Act, profiteering 'yan. Huwag na silang magturuan, DTI (Department of Trade and Industry), local government unit, magtulong-tulong na sila. Kasi kung hindi nila ko-kontrolin 'yan, baka mangyari 'yung katulad ito sa experience doon sa Ondoy, doon sa Tacloban," Dimagiba said. —Margaret Claire Layug/NB, GMA News
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