Sword says he is tired of similar excuse for water meter problem

Commonwealth Utilities Corp. chair Miranda V. Manglona presides over a board meeting yesterday at the CUC conference room. (Ferdie De La Torre)

KKMP Radio Station vice president Gerhard “Gary” Sword told the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board of directors yesterday that he is tired of following up with CUC about the meter problem in their family compound in Papago.

During the CUC board meeting’s public comments, Sword, who was accompanied by his wife, former chief prosecutor Rosemond Santos, said that his wife’s family has been pumping water into a tank at the bottom of the hill in Papago—a family compound with eight houses—because of lack of water pressure and re-pumping it to the top of the hill.

Sword said they pay a flat monthly rate.

In 2012, a meter was installed to supply water to the eight houses. Sword said they applied for seven water meters for each house, but there has been no result. CUC would just tell them “they are still waiting for engineering.”

In June 2012, Sword said, they applied for meter relocation when their bill went to $800 a month.

He said they were given the same answer by CUC that “they are still waiting for engineering.”

After Super Typhoon Yutu, their water bill went up to $5,000 due to ruptured pipes.

“If CUC had done their job in the first place you won’t hear from us,” Sword told the board. “You have a social obligation.”

Sword said he used to work for 14 years at a utilities agency in American Samoa.

“I know what I’m talking about,” he said.

He recommended that policy and standard operating procedures need to be developed to help customers with their water issues and assure that people conserve water.

He said CUC’s Customer Service representative should be given more authority to elevate the customer issues to upper management to assure that problems are resolved.

CUC board chair Miranda V. Manglona assured Sword that they will look into the problem and “avoid this unnecessary issue.”

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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