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Grace Poe thinks MWSS is out of whack: Too many abogados, too few engineers

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Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday called for the reorganization of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) as she cited its lack of technical experts to provide engineering solutions in addressing the water shortage in parts of Metro Manila.

In an interview after the Senate public services committee hearing on water shortage, Poe said the MWSS has too many lawyers but not enough engineers to solve the water problem.

“The MWSS are full of lawyers, but they need more engineers. In short, they were not able to identify this problem because they cannot understand it. That’s the problem,” Poe said in Filipino.

“There should be an engineer or technical expert to understand the situation. Because, if they are all lawyers, then they would only deal with legal affairs and not technical matters that would affect the flow of water,” Poe added.

Poe noted that while the east zone concessionaire Manila Water is at fault for failing to provide 24/7 water service to its customers, the MWSS has a greater shortcoming and should also be held accountable.

Poe said the regulatory body could have averted the water shortage if it tried to reduce the non-revenue water — or water that is pumped and then lost or unaccounted for — to at least 20 percent, which she said is the internationally accepted standard.

Poe cited that west zone concessionaire Maynilad’s non-revenue water losses reached 35 to 40 percent.

“Kung naplug-in lang yung leaks na yun, that would have been 300 million liters (of water) a day,” Poe said. (PNA)