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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Manila waters

Last night, I had to pass by one of the alleys to visit a "sister" from our handmaids. It was dark and I was really having difficult time since I can't see very well in the dark. I stumbled into something and when I uttered "what's this?" the people around said Tubo (water pipes). I felt them with my feet and looked closer. Right, there were several pipes lined. The Manila Waters is once more setting up more pipes with meters. It is part of their effort to curb illegal connections and improve services.

I really like the service of Manila Waters in our neighborhood. Some people may take for granted their service but I don't. Why? Because, we had bad experience in our water system before. I mean really bad!!!

Not only were the waters that come out of your faucet dirty but there was too little water coming out! Not only that, you could see the pipes exposed in dirty canals!

During those times, when water was scarce, I have learned how to really maximize its use. I really should not complain when water is scarce but there was one time I talked with a lady from a nearby community in our place. She was telling me that water was just flowing freely from all their faucets and they did not even have to pay for it! I was really so angry and felt so bad!!!

During those times my brother-in-law lent us a water pump so we could be able to get some water. Water would only flow to the faucet in our garage (which was low, can't reach those in our sinks nor bathrooms) and papa and mama would wake up at around 3:00 am so they could get waters and fill our containers for use for the day. I did get up and help fetch at times but more often it would be papa and mama who'll do it. This went on for quite a while until they discovered that someone put a rock on a valve in the pipes leading to our community so that water was diverted to the upper community (the one that had too much water!), I heard that many people there worked for the government water utility company so that they know how to manipulate the pipes (but that's just hearsay, since I don't really know the people from there or who did that despicable thing!) Anyway, the government utility fixed it and we had water once again flowing in our faucets. Not really clean water but we had filter in our faucet so there was remedy.

After just a day, the people from the upper community complained that they had little water and immediately our Barangay (local government unit) did something to help them. They asked the utility company to reduce the flow to our pipes so there would be water for them. Imagine that? Just one day and our Barangay people acted on their complain and coordinated with the government utility, while we have been suffering for several months and there was no action... and we are the ones paying for the services!

But that changed when the water services was privatized and our community was serviced by the Manila Waters, good thing since those being serviced by the Maynilad are not that lucky! The pipes were changed! They used bigger pipes and buried them deep! They removed all those pipes exposed in canals and placed the pipes in different locations. Now we don't get sand nor dirt in the water in our faucets and it doesn't smell anymore. And we don't run out of water!!!
Of course, since I have experienced the lack of it before, I still hate waste and try to conserve but having a regular supply of water is really something that I am thankful for.

And I also don't get to see much water waste in our community anymore. There were times that there would be holes in the road and water would just be flowing from it and some people would get their lot there. Since they transferred the water meters in one location and placed bars in them and any illegal connection to the pipes attached to this would mean that they'll be tapping on a paying customer, the paying people themselves have become vigilant!

Now they are doing the same on that alley I passed to. It is a bit inconvenient now with all those pipes exposed but eventually everybody would benefit in a better water service. It wasn't really that fast that the water service improved in our place but now that it is okay, I really appreciate it!

Hope that the good service continue forever and ever! :-)


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