Come next year, Phnom Penh residents will no longer have waste collection fees included in their electricity bill, thanks to an online payment system.
A directive on changes to the payment system was signed by Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng on Monday.
It said that to modernise public services and ensure everyone paid, waste collection fees could be settled online, at Acleda Bank Plc or through e-payment service providers.
Phnom Penh Municipal Hall also announced that the current waste collection rates would be retained as the basis of fee payments for rubbish and solid waste collection services.
It said waste collection company Cintri would be temporarily allowed to deal with the capital’s rubbish but would no longer be able to collect fees.
“As of January 1, until new rubbish management and solid waste systems are established and put into operation completely, Cintri (Cambodia) Ltd is temporarily allowed to collect and transport rubbish and solid waste. But the company is no longer entitled to collect service fees,” the directive said.
Sreng said while the move would take effect on January 1, customers would see the changes in the first 15 days of February. They will then have to pay their fees online, at Acleda Bank or through e-payment service providers such as e-Money, Ly Hour, Weiluy, Pi Pay, True Money and Dara Pay.
“Customers can also choose to pay their service fees in advance through the payment and deduction system, which will automatically show the outstanding balance every month.
“In the case of failure to pay the fees after 15 days from the end of each month, it will be regarded as debt and be the subject of fines according to the law, as well as other measures when necessary,” Sreng stressed.
The Phnom Penh municipal administration instructed customers who had paid for rubbish collection as part of their electricity bill to pay them based on the service fees levied in October. They would then just have to type in their ID code from the electricity bill.
For those who paid Cintri directly, they must no longer do so. Instead they must make payments to the Phnom Penh Waste Management Authority (PPWMA).
People who had never paid for waste collection would have to use the ID in their electricity bill to pay online or at the bank before January 1. They would have to base their payment on the last bill.
Prime Minister Hun Sen ended Cintri’s waste collection contract in October. The company had been the sole rubbish collector in the capital. Having ended the contract, the prime minister announced the removal of rubbish collection fees from the electricity bill.
He said doing so had caused difficulties for Phnom Penh residents.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said the changes to the system would be a positive move if they made rubbish collection more efficient and easier.
However, he raised concerns that the Phnom Penh municipal administration would announce changes without tackling the problems in the capital’s waste collection system.
“The management of Phnom Penh will grow and progress if the municipal hall can make rubbish collection in the capital more efficient and easier.
“But if changes are made to the system without improving the attitude to waste collection or the managing and transporting of rubbish, no progress will be made,” Chey said.
He also urged the government to pay greater attention to providing waste collection services according to the needs of each household, with some producing more rubbish than others.
He said rubbish collection should be carried out at specific times and be done hygienically.