Public Utilities Minister implores: Pay bills to get better service

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales – File photo/ Sureash Cholai

Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales is urging the public to pay its utility bills on time to get better quality service.

He was speaking at the La Veronica RC Church, Lopinot, on Tuesday at the launch of the Water and Sewerage Authority’s (WASA) Community Water Improvement Programme and the commissioning of 100 new LED streetlights.

Gonzales said as his ministry continues to grapple with tough financial times, customers must do their part to help utility companies continue their work.

In the 2022 budget the Ministry of Public Utilities received $2.671 billion.

Gonzales admitted interruptions in service and connectivity were among the most common complaints of the public, but encouraged them to pay their bills to provide better service.

“As your MP and a minister it is my responsibility to speak to you as constituents and let you know our financial circumstances and things we have to do to give and make ourselves financially self-sustainable so that we can take care of our water, our postal services, our lights and electricity and sanitation services.

“These things cost money, and as we make strides to transform the economy and we are faced with this pandemic, we have to find ways to raise more funds to take care of ourselves.” On WASA in particular, he said: “WASA is in your area. They are moving towards improvind your water circumstances. Do one thing for WASA: if you’re not registered as a legitimate WASA customer, work with them after and become registered customers so you can pay your bills, and when you pay your bills, then WASA can improve their revenue situation so they can improve their service to you, the people.

“It’s as simple as that. It’s not a one-way street. We have our responsibilities as citizens and the utility companies in their various departments have their responsibilities, and when we both do our part we can truly move forward.”

Citing the passing of the Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Bill, 2021 in July, Gonzales said it was important for the government to find new ways of being financially self-sufficient.