Consumer groups want refund from water firms
MANILA, Philippines - Consumers groups are clamoring for a refund from water concessionaires on top of the reduction on their rates ordered by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).
While the Water for All Refund Movement (WARM) claimed the reduction should have been P20/cubic meter, it also demanded that both Maynilad and Manila Water refund consumers the amount it had collected for unrealized projects like Laiban Dam and irrigation system.
Another consumer group, the Water Watch Coalition, also computed a P42 billion overcharge by the water firms, which it says should be returned to consumers.
The group's president Jun Gatmaitan, who is an accountant, said they have computed the overcharged amount from 2001 to 2011 based on documents submitted by the concessionaires.
In a forum hosted by the Philippine Medical Association, both consumers group said this issue must be supported as it even involves higher amounts than the pork barrel scam.
Gatmaitan said the decision is already a victory for consumers because there will be no increase in the current water rates.
But WARM's Rodolfo Javellana said it is just a partial victory since there are many more overcharges by both Maynilad and Manila Water that must be returned to consumers.