Villar-owned water utility service slammed over 'poor' services

·Contributor
·2 min read
Steel water tower in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines. (Photo: Getty Images)
Steel water tower in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines. (Photo: Getty Images)

In Angeles City, Pampanga, locals have been raising concerns and complaints against water utility service provider PrimeWater over poor service and intermittent supply of water in different barangays.

Since last week, locals have been complaining through different social media platforms of dirty water and weak water pressure in their homes.

Through a resolution, the City Council of Angeles City has since launched an investigation over the water utility service to gather details on the worsening water situation. According to Angeles City Councilor Jesus Sangil, 70,000 consumers are affected by the issue in 22 out of 23 barangays of the City.

Sangil also bared that public hearings were initiated, but the water utility company stopped cooperating in the process. The councilor also bared that the committee handling the case are seeking a timeline with PrimeWater as issues from areas outside Angeles City surface.

“The agreement is for them to provide potable, sustainable supply of clean water, right? It’s been two years, but the problem has just worsened, and the same problems are being raised by other local government units,” Sangil said in a Rappler interview.

Yet to release a statement, the PrimeWater Angeles City Facebook page has since posted public service announcements and advisories of their maintenance and flushing activities.

The Villar-owned PrimeWater replaced the Angeles City Water District in November 2020, converting the public water utility service to a privately-owned one.

Last year, PrimeWater reportedly had already taken over more than 100 out of around 500 water districts all over the country.

In other cities and municipalities, local residents also report the same complaints over the water utility service. Last year, the Bacolod City Water District-PrimeWater Infrastructure Corp. was slammed by local organizations due to “turbid water, inadequate water supply, lack of pressure that limits water supply.”

Meanwhile, other organizations have criticized the privatization of water districts due to increases in utility bills and inaccessibility to low-income families. This was the sentiment of Water for the People Network (WPN) as they faced the then-impending privatization of Santa Cruz Water District in 2019.

Basti Evangelista is a news and opinion writer who focuses on Philippine national politics and sectoral issues. His personal advocacy includes press freedom and social justice.

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