Maynilad’s overcharges already amount to P4B and are still increasing. The company’s customers consuming an average of 30 cubic meters of water per month pay P240 extra due to continued implementation of forex loss recovery mechanisms that even the Regulatory Office declares are already unauthorized.

Maynilad’s overcharges already amount to P4B and are still increasing. The company’s customers consuming an average of 30 cubic meters of water per month pay P240 extra due to continued implementation of forex loss recovery mechanisms that even the Regulatory Office declares are already unauthorized.

Community leaders from Las Piñas, Kalookan, Quezon City and Navotas have complained of low water pressure, intermittent water supply, broken pipes, high water rates, and postponed and even abandoned projects to provide piped water connection.

According to the group, their communities’ water supply only comes late at night and usually lasts for an hour or two while other areas get no regular supply and have to resort to buying water from private vendors charging higher water  rates. Some families who cannot afford to pay excessive water charges, opt to find unsafe water sources such as improperly maintained deep wells. Most affected family members are women and children who usually get saddled with the chore of ensuring the family’s daily water requirement.

Still others complained of Maynilad’s seeming inattention to rampant illegal connections, broken pipes and proliferation of motorized water pumps in affluent households who want to ensure they get their water. This happens much to the detriment of families who cannot afford such luxury and consequently can only have water after waiting for those with motorized pumps get their fill.

FDC stresses that privatizing the water industry has not ensured equitable water access for all since the private water companies, Maynilad and Manila Water, by virtue of their being capitalists were primarily concerned in earning high rates of return from their investments.

This is probably the government’s greatest blunder. By passing on to the private sector its responsibility to provide adequate, safe and affordable water service to the people, the government has neglected its role in protecting the people’s basic right to water.

Ensuring human right to water now comes secondary only to the government’s intent to secure water corporations’ profit interests. Water tariffs had been skyrocketing since the privatization of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) in 1997. This saw Maynilad’s rate shoot up six times from P4.96 to P24.27 per cubic meter. Meanwhile, Manila Water raised its rate eight times from P2.32 to 14.40 per cubic meter.

FDC maintains that the government should reverse the privatization of the MWSS and strengthen its resolve to terminate Maynilad’s contract and proceed with the takeover of the West Zone water concession area.

Water is a human right. Public service, not private profit!
Oppose the privatization of water!

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