29 Nov 2018
- By Junhan B. Todiño – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
SENATOR Sixto K. Igisomar is asking the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. to comment on his bill that would prevent CUC from “overcharging” customers for water usage due to leaks caused by Super Typhoon Yutu.
At the CUC board meeting on Wednesday, the senator said Senate Bill 20-114 aims to assist residential and business customers “struggling to restore normalcy in their lives by ensuring that CUC does not charge consumers an excessive amount of water usage due to water leaks.”
“You don’t have to follow what I have if you have a better idea or policy for the long- and short-term,” he told CUC officials.
But he said it would be faster if the government acts on the bill instead of CUC filing a proposed regulation with the Commonwealth Public Utilities Commission which has yet to be re-established.
Igisomar said the bill would save CUC from having to deal with “the burden of complaints over high water charges” and avoid going through the legal process.
CUC administration chief Betty Terlaje said they have a leak-adjustment policy in place. A CUC meter reader allows customers to repair their broken pipes while CUC make adjustment in the next water billings, she added.
Igisomar’s bill states that notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, CUC should bill residential and business customers for their October, November and December, the same amount charged for water usage for September, or whichever is less for the particular month.
CUC board member Weston Deleon Guerrero said they have adopted a policy to address the problem of possible overcharging.
He said CUC customers who are still at typhoon shelters should also be given enough time to file a complaint and fix any broken pipes.
“If we go with the bill, we can’t amend it directly. CUC policy, in contrast, can be amended quickly by CUC if needed,” he added.
In an interview, CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho said they will definitely review Igisomar’s bill. “As chairman of the Senate committee on public utilities, Senator Igisomar is bringing up the concerns of his constituents and allowing CUC to address those concerns.”
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/109144-igisomar-discusses-bill-against-overcharging-with-cuc