Egay Uy .
I POSTED on Facebook a “public notice” to the Cagayan de Oro City Water District that as of the time of posting I have not received my latest water bill yet while my neighbors already did. When I arrived home at the close of working hours that day, my wife Juliet showed me a water bill that had marks of being run over by a car, complete with traces of mud and dirt on it. It was our latest water bill.
Juliet told me that after verifying that our neighbors indeed had their water bills served on them, she looked for ours near our gate. Lo and behold, our water bill was on the driveway ready to be washed away had it rained.
The comments that my FB post generated may be summarized as coming from those who can relate to my predicament, their water bills having been similarly served – improperly. Some offered solutions such as putting up a mailbox in which the bills could be dropped or inserted. Another suggestion was for the bills to be electronically sent to customers or concessionaires.
Thanks for the reactions, friends. I hope the COWD will consider any of the suggestions to improve its delivery of water bills to us whom they committed to serve, albeit indirectly through its being a water service utility.
Another thing came to mind, triggered by a comment to my post. While the COWD immediately charges 10 percent in surcharges if we failed to pay the water bill on the date indicated as due date, it does not grant us any discount if we paid the bill before the due date. The imposition of the surcharge is one-way ticket to perdition.
A 10-percent surcharge per month is rather onerous to say the least. Will the COWD give us a 10-percent discount if we paid our bills before the due date? I don’t think the COWD has considered that.
Maybe the COWD could check the scheme used by Cepalco. If we paid our electric bills within so many days from meter reading date, we get a discount. If we paid the bill within a given number of days after the lapse of the prompt payment discount period, no surcharge is slapped. Surcharge is only slapped if no payment was made after the lapse of the no-discount, no-surcharge period.
Still another thing. It will best serve the interest of concessionaires of the COWD if not all costs attributed to the non-revenue water were charged to us. There has got to be a limit to what the water district can charge to concessionaires to at least ensure that it is undertaking programs to reduce wastage and non-revenue water (NRW). This way, if the water district opts to be inefficient, then it bears the brunt of its inefficiencies, not the concessionaires.
How about it, COWD?