Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System
The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) is the corporation supplying water and sewerage services to Metro Manila. It is one of the oldest waterworks systems in Asia, as well as one of the oldest government-owned and controlled corporations in the Philippines.
In 1878, Spanish Philanthropist Francisco Carriedo y Peredo donated funds to laid out in old Manila the first water system in the Philippines. It was called the Carriedo System. The construction of a water system delivered 16 million litters of water per day to 300,000 people. By 1909, the capacity of the system was increased to 92 million liters per day by the addition of pumping facilities and the construction of Wawa Dam. The name of the system evolved from Manila Water Supply System in 1908 to Metropolitan Water District in 1919. During the 1920s, Ipo Dam was created using water resource from the Angat basin. The capacity was increased in 1938 to 200 million liters per day for an urban population of 900,000 people. In 1954, its name was changed to National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA). After 18 years of service the government changed its name to Metropolitan Waterworks Sewerage System (MWSS), by which it is known to this date. From a national agency, the MWSS by virtue of its charter was tasked to control over all waterworks and sewerage system in a service area including the National Capital Region, the entire province of Rizal and part of the Province of Cavite, of a territory of more then 200,00 hectares.
By the early 1980s, Metro Manila was experiencing increased in industrialization and sustained population growth. The water distribution and sewerage collection networks were deteriorating and urgently required rehabilitation and expansion to meet the demands. Thus June 19, 1971, the MWSS charter was created and mandates that MWSS operate and maintain water and sewerage service in Metro Manila as an autonomous government owned and controlled corporation. In 1995, water crisis among the poorest countries were reported globally, saying that, the countries industrialization will lead to a severe water crisis within ten to twenty years due to the absence of pollution controls, population growth, and subsidized water for farmers. Thus in June 1995, the Philippine Congress passed the "Water Crisis Act" or Republic Act 8041. In December of that year President Fidel V. Ramos ordered the reorganization of the MWSS and encourage private sector participation in the privatization of MWSS operations and facilities. This is to address the issues related to supply distribution, finance privatization, and strengthening the governments anti-water pilferage efforts.
These are some of the main powers and function of MWSS in the Republic Act No. 6234.
- To construct, maintain, and operate dams, reservoirs, conduits, aqueducts, tunnels, purification plants, water mains, pipes, fire hydrants, pumping stations, machineries and other waterworks for the purpose of supplying water to the inhabitants of its territory, for domestic and other purposes; and to purify, regulate and control the use, as well as prevent the wastage of water;
- To construct, maintain, and operate such sanitary sewerages as may be necessary for the proper sanitation and other uses of the cities and towns comprising the System;
- To fix periodically water rates and sewerage service fees as the System may deem just and equitable in accordance with the standards outlined in Section 12 of this Act;
- To construct, develop, maintain and operate such artesian wells and springs as may be needed in its operation within its territory;
- To acquire, purchase, hold, transfer, sell, lease, rent, mortgage, encumber, and otherwise dispose of real and personal property, including rights and franchises, consistent with the purpose for which the System is created and reasonably required for the transaction of the lawful business of the same;
- To approve, regulate, and supervise the establishment, operation and maintenance of waterworks and deep wells within its jurisdiction operated for commercial, industrial and governmental purposes and to fix just and equitable rates or fees that may be charged to customers thereof;
- Water Crisis Found in World Bank Study (accessed on May 9,2008)
- Unequal Water Distribution Behind ‘Water Crisis’ Bulatlat.com (accessed on May 9, 2008)
- MWSS Regional Office