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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The Makabayan bloc is seeking a congressional probe over the 78 percent water rate hike proposed by Prime Water Corporation for their customers in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan.

Makabayan bloc said the P219.53 hike for the first 10-cubic meter proposed by the water company of former Senate President Manny Villar and his wife, Sen. Cynthia Villar is unjustifiable considering the complaints gathered from their customers due to poor customer satisfaction.

“There were complaints on the quality and supply of water provided by Prime Water, including the non-potable water, intermittent supply, and unreliable billing and meter reading system,” the resolution read.

The group composed of leftist party-list legislators recently filed House Resolution No. 10 urging the House Committee on Government Enterprise and Privatization, to investigate, in aid of legislation, the privatization of water utilities in the country including those that were already taken over by Prime Water.

From present P280 for the first 10 cubic meter, Prime Water’s minimum rate will soar to P499.53 by 2027 if their proposed hike will be approved by the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).

The Commission on Audit (COA) in their recent 2018 annual report red-flagged Prime Water’s operations in Guagua, Pampanga due to high levels of arsenic.

VIllar’s company took over the operations of more than 30 local water districts using the joint venture agreement scheme of the public-private partnership program amidst the reported poor customer satisfaction in their present areas of responsibility.

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