(Eagle News) – Officials of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and of its two water concessionaires failed to comply with President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent directive for them to release water good for 150 days from Angat dam, by noon of Friday, March 15, saying this was simply not doable.
The chief regulator of the MWSS, Patrick Ty, said the current water infrastructure would not be able to accommodate the President’s directive.
He said that the current allocations of 1,600 million liters per day (MLD) of water from Angat to Manila Water, and the 2,400 MLD to Maynilad were all that the “existing infrastructure” in Angat dam in Bulacan can accommodate.
“That is a total of 4,000 MLD, which is based on the actual amount that Angat can give with the existing infrastructure,” Ty said.
“We have actually released all the water already that can be accommodated sa La Mesa Dam and that’s about four thousand million liters per day,” MWSS chief Reynaldo Velasco said.
Manila Water Company, the water concessionaire experiencing severe water distribution problems to its customers in the east zone of Metro Manila and Rizal, said the same thing.
Dittie Galang, Communications Planning and Tactical Development Manager of Manila Water, claimed their aqueducts from Angat to La Mesa Dam were already operating in full capacity.
“I don’t know if Malacanang knows something that we still do not know yet… Ang alam ko lang ay maximum capacity na yung conveyance facilities from Angat to La Mesa,” Galang said.
“‘Yung mga existing aqueducts, yung malalaking tubo na nagdadala ng tubig… ay full capacity. Kumbaga punong puno na itong mga aqueducts na ito,” she said.
Even Maynilad said that this was not possible citing “infrastructure limitations.”
Maynilad corporate communications head, Jenny Rufo, said all that they could do right now is work within the limits of current assets.
“Right now we don’t see how that is possible kasi meron ngang infrastructure limitations,” she said.
“The MWSS is the owner of the asset so sila ang makakapag determine kung paano natin maa-accommodate ang request ni presidente,” Rufo explained.
She said that Maynilad would continue to cooperate with MWSS regarding interventions they would be able to come up with to accommodate the President’s request.
Earlier Friday, Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said failure to comply with the President’s directive would not be good for the water officials concerned.
“Failure to act or comply with this directive, the President will personally go to them and make the responsible officers account for such failure,” Panelo said in a statement.