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MWSS to Maynilad: Explain service interruptions

THE regulatory office of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has warned Maynilad Water Services, Inc. of another sanction if the concessionaire fails to address the recurring service interruption in areas served by the Putatan water treatment plants.

In a statement on Thursday, the regulator said it had issued a notice to explain (NTE) to Maynilad and ordered the company to resolve the issue immediately.

The MWSS Regulatory Office (RO) said it was closely monitoring developments on the issue, and warned of possible sanctions including fines that might be imposed on Maynilad.

“If the situation persists, the MWSS RO will not hesitate to impose another sanction on Maynilad, similar to the financial penalty implemented by the Office,” it said

Maynilad Spokesperson Jennifer C. Rufo said in a Viber message to BusinessWorld that the water interruptions in areas served by Putatan were due to damage in a facility.

“The water production of our treatment plant in Putatan, Muntinlupa, is currently reduced owing to a damage in the facility’s sludge removal equipment,” she said.

Ms. Rufo said the company had informed the MWSS RO about the situation.

“They are monitoring the steps being undertaken to facilitate repairs and intensify our information dissemination efforts,” she added.

In September, the MWSS slapped Maynilad with a P9.26-million fine due to prolonged water service interruptions. The penalty was implemented in the form of a bill rebated to affected customers in November.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which has a majority stake in Maynilad, is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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