THE Commission on Audit has questioned the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System for the excessive water bills incurred by two of its guesthouses in 2015.
In a 2015 financial audit report, CoA told MWSS to justify its expenditures of P107,014 for such purpose.
MWSS paid the cost of water for its La Mesa and Quirino guesthouses that were not even proportionate to the reported use of the facilities, it said.
MWSS owns two guesthouses being rented out to private individuals and organizations as venues for seminars, social activities, and formal or informal meetings of agency officials, its two water concessionaires and other stakeholders in the La Mesa Dam development program and other institutions.
For the Quirino guesthouse, the audit team noted water bills from Dec. 17, 2014 to Feb. 16, 2015 and June 17, 2015 to July 16, 2015 which was occupied for only two days per billing period was higher than the amount billed for the period April 17, 2015 to May 16, 2015 when it was used for four days.
“For the billing periods from June 17 to July 16 and July 17 to August 16, the amount of water billed of P4,712.74 and 1,688.51, respectively, greatly differed, considering that it was occupied for two days on both dates,” the report read.
“For the period June 17 to July 16, the water bill for Quirino guesthouse amounting to P4,712.74 which was used for two days was four times the amount paid for La Mesa guesthouse in the amount of P977.74 which was used for three days for the same period. In the same manner, the water bill of Quirino guesthouse for the period April 17 to May 16, of P4,031.96 which was used for four days was twice the billed amount for the La Mesa guesthouse of P2,016.48, which was used for five days.”
As to the La Mesa guesthouse, the CoA report said the water bill for Dec. 17, 2014 to Jan. 16, 2015 of P47,235.83 was 16 times higher than the amount for the billing period of Feb. 17, 2015 to March 16, 2015 and April 17, 2015 to May 16, 2015.
“For billing period from Sept. 17 to Oct. 16, there were no reported guests in both guesthouses; however, the amount of water paid for the La Mesa guesthouse of P1,960.91 was twice the amount of P889.13 for the Quirino guesthouse,” the report stated.
The Commission directed the MWSS to explain the payments of water bill for various months which were not proportionate to the reported use.
It said the MWSS must save water through cost-cutting measures on the water consumption of the guesthouses.