MWSS: No water shortage, rate hike during El Niño

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 17) — There will be no water shortage and rate increase amid the threat of El Niño, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) gave assurance on Wednesday.

"We will be able to overcome even with the occurrence of El Niño. We prepare for El Niño whether it is mild, moderate or strong. We prepare for the worst," MWSS Administrator Leonor Cleofas said during the House Committee on Metro Manila Development hearing on depleting water supply in the region on Wednesday.

Valenzuela 2nd District Representative Eric Martinez hopes this statement will hold water.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has allotted 52 cubic meters per second (cms) to the MWSS this May.

Cleofas said there will be additional volume of water delivered to ensure supply to the concessionaires will be enough.

"Because of the 52 million liters per day we requested from the NWRB, we have lessened water interruptions," she added. "The instruction of MWSS is to do the maintenance when people are sleeping."

The MWSS official also said there will be no rate increase during El Niño. She said the concession agreement is framed in such a way that it will only increase every five years.

Task Force El Niño

Last month, the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) assembled a team to address the effects of El Niño.

Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Director Cesar Idio said the Task Force El Niño met with Defense Officer-in-Charge Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez last Monday to discuss the national action plan including: food security, water security, energy security, health security and public safety.

The task force will be led by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and co-led by the Department of National Defense-OCD.