MANILA — Manila Water Co and Maynilad Water Services Inc said Thursday they were investigating customer complaints on bills during the pandemic lockdown.
Manila Water, which has some 1 million customers on the east side of Metro Manila, received 7,900 complaints. Out of this figure, investigators so far found that 6,000 bills reflected the actual water consumption, said corporate communications head Jeric Sevilla.
“Lahat po ng tinatanggap nating complaints ay talaga pong iniimbestigahan natin,” he told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.
“Binabasa pong muli ang metro at kung kinakailangan ay i-test po ang metro sa harap ng kustomer natin para malaman po natin kung depektibo o hindi,” he added.
(We investigate all complaints. We re-read the meter and if needed, we test it in front of the customer so we could know if it’s defective or not.)
Only 57 bills had to be adjusted, some due to defective meters, which Manila Water replaced for free, he said.
“Napakaliit po ng porsyento talaga noong mga bills po na kailangan itama dahil majority po, halos 99 percent po ng mga bills na ipinadala natin ay tama,” Sevilla said.
(The percentage of bills we have to correct is very small because majority, almost 99 percent of the bills we send are correct.)
Maynilad, on the other had, received 7,817 complaints on water bills, which is equal to about 0.53 percent of its 1.47 million customers in the west side of Metro Manila, said business area spokesperson Engr. Zmel Grabillo.
Out of these complaints, Maynilad has explained to customers that 4,921 bills reflected their actual water use, he said.
Consumption could have increased because the lockdown confined more people to their homes. Water that used to be consumed at the workplace or schools were used in houses, said Grabillo.
Water use also typically spikes during March to May, he said.
Maynilad customers can pay their bills on an installment basis or ask for an extension on the Sept. 30 leeway that regulators set, Grabillo said.
“Hindi kami agad-agad magpapatupad ng pagpuputol [ng linya],” he said.
(We won’t immediately cut water service.)