THE Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) has authorized water concessionaires to apply average billing to their customers, as community quarantine measures on Luzon prevent them from sending out meter readers.
In a statement Monday, MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Lester N. Ty said that Manila Water Company, Inc. (Manila Water) and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) have been given approval to suspend their meter reading operations in observance of the COVID-19 quarantine.
Monthly bills will be computed based on average water consumption over the past three months.
MWSS also said that after resumption of regular operations, subsequent water bills will be adjusted based on actual meter readings.
West zone water provider Maynilad announced its meter-reading and billing suspension on March 20 and will be in effect until the end of the quarantine period on April 14.
East zone water concessionaire Manila Water suspended meter-reading on March 17 until further notice, or until the national government officially terminates the enhanced community quarantine.
MWSS said average billing is permitted under current policy.
Manila Water said the water supply is sufficient to serve all is customers during the quarantine.
In a statement Monday, Manila Water said it maintains minimal staffing to run its water supply and wastewater facilities to ensure uninterrupted service.
Manila Water recently expanded its capacity with the operation of the Cardona Water Treatment Plant in Rizal, which can supply 100 million liters of water per day.
Thiry-six deep wells are also in place drawing up to 44 million liters of water, with additional deep wells still under construction across the east zone. Combined with the deep wells now in place, all the wells can potentially draw up to 100 million liters when construction is completed.
Water line boosters have also been installed along distribution lines and in some hospitals along the east zone, it said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave