The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) ordered Wednesday Manila Water Co. Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. to give a 30-day grace period and a three-month installment payment scheme for consumers with unpaid dues during tight quarantine periods.
MWSS Regulatory Office (RO) said the order is in “solidarity with the spirit and intentions of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).”
The MWSS RO ordered the water concessionaires to grant all consumers a 30-day grace period to settle their water bills that fall due within the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and Modified ECQ (MECQ) periods.
Manila Water and Maynilad are also ordered to impose a three-month installment scheme for all cooperatives; micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); and domestic customers after the grace period.
“The said directives will provide customers ample time to update payments for water bills that fell due within the 04 to 18 August 2020 MECQ period without incurring interests, penalties, and other charges,” it said.
Metro Manila and its nearby provinces reverted to MECQ following the request of medical frontliners for a “time out” amid the surge of COVID-19 cases.
“The MWSS RO assures the public that it will do everything in its mandate to protect their welfare and provide the assistance they need to alleviate the financial burden brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic,” the regulator said.
Manila Water, Maynilad to comply
According to Maynilad corporate communications head Jennifer Rufo, the company will comply with the MWSS’s order.
“We will comply with the guidelines as we have always done,” Rufo said.
Likewise, Manila Water corporate communications head Jeric Sevilla said the water supplier will also abide by the 30-day grace period for ECQ and MECQ bills “since we have already been providing extended payment terms for our customers.”
“If you will recall, all ECQ bills since March 2020 were given initially six months to settle their bills until September 30. The 30-day grace period, especially for those MECQ bills covering August 4-18, 2020, will provide them further relief,” Sevilla said.
“Also, Manila Water does not charge customers with interest and penalties. Please note as well that before any current bill gets disconnected, there is already a 60-day window for customers to pay their bills,” he added.