MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte berated officials of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and water concessionaires Manila Water and Maynilad over the water shortage problem in some parts of Metro Manila and Rizal province.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President directed the officials to submit a report on the water crisis before April 7. Duterte will then decide whether he will fire some officials or whether the contracts of the concessionaires will be terminated.
“The President reiterated that he is constitutionally tasked to serve and protect the citizenry, and he will not equivocate to take swift and drastic actions to secure the people from discomfort and shield them from suffering,” Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo added that Duterte took the MWSS, Manila Water and Maynilad to task for not doing their job in ensuring that the people be provided with ample water supply even if they know such problem is bound to happen.
“The Chief Executive told them he was not going to listen to their explanation as to why there was a water shortage,” Panelo said. “They simply did not do their job. ‘All they care about is get profit from the water of the people’ and to their sufferance as well.”
The Palace official added: “[Duterte] told them that they could have simply anticipated such shortage and could have done something about it yet they had to wait for him to threaten them with personally rushing to Manila from Davao to grapple with the crisis before they moved to end it.”
The President earlier ordered the MWSS to demand from the water concessionaires the release of 150 days’ worth of water from Angat Dam in Bulacan to ensure supply water to those affected by service interruptions.
Manila Water, the east zone concessionaire, has been implementing water interruptions in several areas in Metro Manila and Rizal to ensure that water supply can last until June or the onset of the rainy season./PN