MANILA – The Philippines' water regulator said Monday it committed to President Rodrigo Duterte that it would settle a supply crisis affecting tens of thousands.
Malacañang earlier ordered the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System to demand that Manila Water and Maynilad release more water from reservoirs and Duterte's spokesman said officials who fail to comply would be held accountable.
“MWSS understood very well the instructions of the President. We will comply. I assured the president, through the Secretary, we assured him that this problem can be settled at the MWSS level,” administrator Reynaldo Velasco said in a press briefing.
Maynilad, unaffected by the shortage besetting Manila Water, will share some of its allocation to its rival, according to its, president Ramoncito Fernandez said. Five more points of cross boarder transfers need minor pipe works, he said.
Currently, 11 barangays are left without water, down from 56 last week, Manila Water President Ferdinand Dela Cruz said. The company is “far ahead” of its target to restore 99 percent availability before the end of the month.
"We are working very hard to achieve this," Dela Cruz said.
Tankers supplying water to affected areas were reduced to 140 from 230, an “indication” that supply has improved, Dela Cruz said.
Manila Water is also monitoring the La Mesa Dam which could reach a critical level of 65 meters. If that happens, Rodriguez, San Mateo and Montalban in Rizal will be affected, Dela Cruz said.
"We are watching that closely because that plant produces 80 to 100 million mld (million liters per day). We will have to prepare for contingency," he said.
-- with a report from April Rafales, ABS-CBN News