ILLEGAL USE OF DISTRICT WATER,METER TAMPERING

No one except an employee or duly authorized representative of the District shall, at any time, and any manner, operate its curb cocks or valves, interfere with its water meters, or their connections, street mains and other parts of its water system. Any similar action done by anyone not an official or employee or any authorized representative of the Orani Water District shall be illegal.

The existence of any illegal, unauthorized or tampered service connection deprives the District of much needed revenues. Thus, in order to solve this problem, a set of policies have been set up by the District.

The District always seeks the help of the local government units to inform the public on the negative effects of these illegal acts. The District maintains a bulletin board in front of its office to support the said public information campaign.

Also, the District has formed a specialize group composed of District employees to help uncover leakages, or any act against the District such as illegal connection, tampering, etc. and their apprehensions can effectively establish a tight case against these violators.

List of Sanctions:
1. Payment of fines or penalties
2. Payment of water consumption assessment
3. Payment for the repair costs of damaged facilities and/or their appurtenances and fittings, or if beyond repair, the costs of replacements based on current market price;
4. Payment for administrative costs which include incidental expenses such as: cost of picture taking, man-hours exerted in the investigation, apprehension, documentation (reports and affidavits of investigators and witnesses and the entry to the police/barangay blotter), transportation and security costs as well as the efforts in the computation of the unpaid water consumption
5. Payment for the restoration costs of physical assets or works which were destroyed in order to undertake investigation to uncover and verify the existence and extent of the offense. This includes roads, fences, driveways, walks, floorings, etc. not owned by the offender
6. Payment for lost opportunities for the District
7. Payment for legal expenses which include notarial fees, attorney s acceptance and appearance fees and other costs of litigation; and
8. Imprisonment upon conviction for a period of SIX (6) months to SIX (6) years per Section 31 of PD 198, as amended and per OWD Bounty System.


DETERMINATION OF SANCTIONS

A. Fines / Penalties

National Goverment

NOTES: Included here are the costs involved as stated in No. 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the list of sanctions.

For the fourth offense and if any violation prior to said fourth offense whereby the offender fails to settle amicably, the compromise payments set forth in this policy, the case shall be referred to the legal counsel for the legal action and ultimately file a court suit. When a court suit is filed, the compromise settlement may be altered and plead for the maximum penalties based on Section 31 (d) of PD. 198, as amended.



B. Water Consumption Assessment

CASE NO. 1 - For Unregistered Water Connection
The estimated consumption shall be computed using the discharge (flow) capacity of various sizes of service lines, to wit:
1. 1/2" 2.5 gallons per minute
2. 3/4" 4 gallons per minute
3. 1" 8 gallons per minute

Example: For 1/2" illegal connection. The monthly consumption shall be:

2.5 gpm*60 min./ hr. *24 hrs/ day*30 days/ mo.
264 gallons/ cu.m."
= 409 cu. m/ month

This will be multiplied by the estimated time when illegal connection started using other related facts plus fines/ penalties.

CASE NO. 2 - For Disconnected/ Inactive Connection

Use case no. 1 above but computation shall have reference date as the day when disconnection was affected plus fines/ penalties.

CASE NO. 3 - Active Connections

If there was substantial unexplained decrease in consumption between different periods, a differential or additional billing to the client may be made equivalent to the difference of the average of six highest consumptions within a year prior to the tampering incident depending on circumstantial evidences available.

Example - Given the discovery of the violation on December 2002 and the consumption patterns for 2001 and 2002.

National Goverment

X - the 12 month period where to select the highest 6 consumptions per month to determine the average
Y - affected months whereby consumption drop is noticeable
Z - the month when tampering was discovered.

COMPUTATION:

Estimated Average Consumption (within 12 mo. period)

45 + 43 + 41 + 41 + 40 + 40 = 250 = 42 cu. m.

National Goverment
1. Consumption Assessment P 2,024.50
2. Fines/ Penalties (1st offense-Domestic) P 10,000.0
3. Damage to property XXX
4. Cost of Court litigation P XXX
5. Interest (Opportunity Cost) P 85.90
  TOTAL AMOUNT DUE P 12,160.40


NOTE: Damage to property includes repair costs of damaged facilities and/or their appurtenances and fittings, or if beyond repair, the costs of replacements based on current market price and the restoration costs of physical assets or works which were destroyed in order to undertake investigation to uncover and verify the existence and extent of the offense which may include roads, fences, driveways, walks, floorings, etc. not owned by the offender

Upon discovery of any illegal act, water meter must be disconnected right away. A complete written report and assessment must be prepared and submitted by the Customer Service Assistant to the Division Manager for his review within 24 hours and finally submitted to the General Manager’s Office the following day. The violators are required to pay for the above-mentioned sanctions.

BOUNTY SYSTEM

This system, which awards cash to informers or facilitators aims to encourage civic-spirited individuals help in ferreting out dishonesty and improve the revenue-generation capacity of the District.

The District shall install a suggestion box to keep people avoid recognition of volunteers by anybody, including the officials and employees of the District. The informers shall write the following information requirements: name and address of the violators, the description, sketch, where and time when offense is being made.

The said information shall be written in a piece of paper torn into two halves. The first half shall be sealed in an envelope and drop in to the suggestion box. The other half will serve as identification and proof upon claim of the cash reward. In another way, if the informer does not want to use the suggestion box, he or she may go directly to the office of the General Manager to report the existence of any violation in the use of the District water facilities. The informer may also inform the General Manager through telephone if they do not want personal appearance. The bank account number of the said informer may be taken by the General Manager in order that his/her cash reward can be deposited on it if the offense has been rightfully proven and the corresponding penalty be collected.

Upon gathering all substantial information from the informer, the General Manager shall instruct the Special Water Accountability Team (SWAT) to do the necessary investigations with the assistance from the Barangay Officials. The SWAT shall produce all evidences necessary to assure conviction in case the court of justice will seek them such as:
  • complete name and address of the violator;
  • DMA number;
  • pipe size;
  • date and time of apprehension/ investigation;
  • picture of illegal connection/ illegal use of District water;
  • picture/ signature of the witnesses, if any;
  • estimated date when the connection was installed based on the queries from the people around and other circumstantial evidences gathered in the area; and
  • copy of the report noted in the barangay and the police blotter;
The SWAT will then submit all information to the Customer Services Group who in turn will prepare the assessment to be charged against the perpetrator. This shall be composed of fines/ penalties and consumption assessment plus all applicable sanctions. The General Manager, upon receipt of the written report and assessment submitted to him by the Customer Services Group, invites the affected customer by letter to visit the ORANIWD office for formal information of the violation. The General Manager shall advise the said violator the possible solutions to the case.

If the violator does not accept his offense, the case will be referred to the District’s Legal Counsel for court action. If he is willing to settle the case amicably or out of court, the manner and character of settlement shall be put in writing establishing the facts that the suspect accepts guilt and is willing to pay the fines and consumption assessment imposed by the District and further promising not to commit the same or similar offense again.

For record purposes, if the violator is a registered consumer the Customer Service Assistant in-charge shall ensure that the total approved fines/ penalties and consumption assessment shall be posted in the consumer’s ledger in the system.

The offender shall settle his account as agreed upon with the General Manager’s Office and if not, the District will refer the case to its Legal Counsel for legal actions. The Legal Counsel shall send a communication letter to the offender advising him to settle his account within ten (10) days upon receipt of the said letter. After the ten-day period has elapsed and no action was received from the offender, a last warning letter is sent. If the offender still refuses to settle his obligation, the District and its Legal Counsel will decide whether or not it will file a collection suit and a criminal case in the proper court against the offender.

Upon payment of the corresponding penalties, the informer is awarded 50% of the fines/ penalties specified under Fines/ Penalties