Maynilad Water attacks the local Church, Missions and the Poor
What do you think when you hear the name Maynilad? Water? Not us. We think about an aggressive, totalitarian, corrupt organization who has the right to control the water and who gets it and makes capricious and arbitrary rules as to who gets it, how much they will pay and who does not get it.
This story started back in November of 2006 when we moved out of a local shanty and into a two story residential building. A group of us wanted to praise God together and so we formed a Church.
When we wanted to put the water on, it seemed there was a leak in the building and the last tenant incurred a p36,000 bill because of it. They moved and never paid the bill.
It appears that in the Philippines, the owner is in charge of collecting the money for Maynilad and so, it wasn’t going to be turned on anytime soon. With that, the owner supplied us with water and I really did not mind. Although inconvenient, we made do.
After a while I had my friend, go with the owner to negotiate the p36,000 bill and he wound up getting it dropped. The setback was, Maynilad wanted p18,000 to install a new water meter and turn on our services. I said forget it and we will continue with being supplied by the owner.
Back around the end of June, we were told there was a breakthrough. The owner said for p1000 I can have the meter installed and we would pay a residential rate. That sounded fine so we agreed. The meter was installed and at the billing period I received a bill for p1000 commercial rate. I called, screamed, hollered and sent emails. This is what I got:
Your Contract/account No is CA56345373, residential rate.
Your bill for June 2011 is P99.03 (5cum) which is minimum charge.
Your other concern was already endorsed to our Fairview/
Commonwealth Business Area.�
We will get back to you for the latest update.
Okay then, everything seems to be okay right? Wrong! The following month we received another commercial bill.
I sent them off an email:
“Let it be known that ours is a house where our Church meets. It is not a commercial operation but non profit. We use less water than a normal household. There are people who own stores who you charge residential rates.
It is therefore my conclusion that you are discriminating against a religious non profit organization in which you already told us we have a residential rate. We have a copy of that email on file.
Please know we absolutely refuse to pay a commercial rate. That was never our agreement and it will not change. Additionally, you give us water about two hours per day at times when we are not even at the premises and then try to collect thousands of pesos.
Please tell us your final decision on this matter. If it does not change we will spend much time going against you using all the political and legal help we might muster .
What you are doing is deplorable and we feel you are doing this because we are a religious group and because we oppose your unfair distribution of water to the poor people of Payatas.”
That was back in July. Look at the text in bold letters. If I told you that I would not pay you for something would you deliver it anyway? Maynilad did and they continued to deliver it until yesterday when they went on private property, broke the lock on the meter for which I paid, and locked my meter.
Merry Christmas from Maynilad to the poor!
So the big bad water company shut the water of a small, non profit organization and church. By the way, to get the full impact on how we help Payatas as Maynilad seeks to destroy it, go here: http://escobia225.multiply.com/
or here: http://www.payatasbaptistchurch.org/
or here: http://www.payatasmissionoutreach.org/
Let me tell you a bit more about Maynilad. Their water line goes up to the schools on Molave Street and Payatas Road where it supplies all the schools with water 24 & 7. then it goes straight to Amlac where it supplies them. The area in the middle is where our Church and 10-15,000 families are. We were only supplied water for two hours a day. They say it is because they don’t have the pumping facilities but they have pumping facilities to pump it right passed us.
I believe the reason is that there might be some theft below so if they limit the water, they limit the theft. Who cares if it’s poor people who are suffering.
On top of that they charge the same minimum prices for those who get water only two hours as they do for those who get if all day.
We have gone to Congressman Winnie Costello’s office and he promised to take care of the problem. We called a week later and he did not remember who we were. Then he put an assistant on the problem. We could never get her on the phone.
This is what I think. Maynilad is powerful and can tell Congress what to do. It seems that there was a bill that for five years has been trying to get passed. It is the anti-discrimination bill. I guess because of corruption you have to be able to discriminate.
Now it’s time to raise awareness. Filipinos, I came to this Country to help a place that gets no help from your Government. I love doing it because the Filipino people are a wonderful people as long as they are not politicians. I think there may be some good politicians that can’t do nothing because of corruption. Let’s hold their hands to the fire. Pass this blog to everyone you know. Call your politicians and demand they do something about this. Contact all the churches and let them call also. If you are a lawyer and want to do a class action lawsuit on a CONTINGENCY basis, give me a call. Call Maynilad at 1622. Keep burning their lines with calls. Ask them to correct their evil doings.