29 July 2020
MWSS RO Serves Show Cause Order to Manila Water and Maynilad Over Surge of Customer Complaints on Water Bills
On 23 July 2020, the MWSS Regulatory Office (RO) issued Notice to Explain to Manila Water Company, Inc. (MWCI) and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (MWSI) over the alarming number of complaints escalated to the agency by their customers. From June 2020 to date, the MWSS RO has received over four hundred (400) billing complaints from the Concessionaires’ customers.
It may be recalled that meter reading and billing activities have been suspended, and the average billing policy has been applied during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and Modified ECQ periods. Prior to the resumption of the Concessionaires’ read-and-bill operations the previous month, the MWSS RO has installed various measures to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the financial situation of customers, as well as prevent the potential bill shock that may be experienced once customers receive their water bills. As evidenced by the surge of billing complaints monitored and investigated by the agency, both Concessionaires have been ordered to explain their noncompliance to the following agreed directives:
1) Verify the consumption patterns of customers, check for irregularities, and automatically withhold any Statement of Account (SOA) with observed significant deviation from these patterns for further investigation and necessary adjustment; and
2) Communicate effectively, and in a timely manner, all information regarding the directives to customers and concerned stakeholders.
The Concessionaires are expected to resolve these observed violations, and issue an official explanation within this week. Meanwhile, customers are advised to escalate billing complaints that remain unresolved by both Concessionaires to MWSS RO Customer Service Regulation Area (CSRA) through 3435-8903 / 8925-6619 / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com for immediate action.
The MWSS RO will continue to address customer concerns regarding the Concessionaires’ services, as well as actively monitor and validate the Concessionaires’ compliance with the agency’s strategies and directives. The agency assures the public that sanctions will be imposed over violations of such policies that aim to protect public welfare.
PATRICK LESTER N. TY