Opposition bets hit MWSS for ‘clear failure of oversight’ amid water shortage
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition senatorial candidates on Wednesday slammed the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System’s (MWSS) for its “clear failure of oversight” amid the water shortage that is now affecting Metro Manila and parts of Rizal province.
Former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada also called for the resignation of MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Lester Ty for his failure to do his job.
“Maliwanag na hindi ginagampanan ni Mr. Ty ang kanyang mandato bilang pinuno ng MWSS. Para sa akin ay dapat na syang magresign,” Tañada said in a press conference at Balsa sa Niugan Restaurant here.
He pointed out it is the task of the MWSS to oversee and alert the public about low water level of dams, particularly the La Mesa Dam, which reached its lowest critical water level in 21 years.
“The fact na pinabayaang bumaba nang ganon kababa without even doing the appropriate measures beforehand to address the situation would show he is not fit for the job,” he added.
Manila Water, the concessionaire for the Metro Manila east zone, has been implementing water supply interruptions since March 8 citing the low water level at the La Mesa Dam.
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For his part, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said the MWSS had a clear “failure of oversight” in addressing the water shortage.
“The part of government, I think there is a clear failure of oversight,” Hilbay said in the press conference.
“‘Yung pagbaba ng tubig, hindi naman nangyayari yan overnight. Nangyayari yan paunti-unti,” he added.
He insisted that there should be a system that would hold those responsible for the water shortage accountable.
“Dapat magkaroon ng sistema ng accountability at responsibility para ‘yung mga may sala ay maging responsible at moving forward hindi na sya maulit,” the former solicitor general said.
Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, meanwhile, said consumer groups should be proactive in calling to action the government and the concessionaires in addressing the water shortage.
“We should be calling to task certain concessionaires and the government for action syempre dapat as consumer groups maging aktibo na rin tayo,” she said.
Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, meanwhile, questioned the construction of the Kaliwa Dam using funding from China, citing implications to the country’s national security should China be allowed to handle the project.
“Kapag nilagay natin sa kamay sa magiging kalaban natin o kalaban na natin ngayon, yung construction ng critical infrastructure, pag piniga tayo lahat. wala na tayong laban,” Alejano said.
“Yun lang naman ang concern ko, yung national security implication to the construction of Kaliwa Dam,” he added. /muf
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