President can take over water utilities amid looming crisis - Lacson | Inquirer News
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President can take over water utilities amid looming crisis – Lacson

/ 01:00 PM October 29, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Congress may delegate the power of the state to the President to take over operations of water and other public utilities amid a looming water supply crisis,  Senator Panfilo Lacson said Tuesday.

But the President has to declare a state of emergency first, the senator said.
Lacson issued the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte said he would use “extraordinary powers” to address the impending water crisis in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Citing Section 17, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution and existing jurisprudence, Lacson said “Congress may delegate to the President the power of the state to take over the operation of public utilities.”

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“However, the President has to declare an emergency, and if Congress delegates that power to him, the government must be ready to compensate whatever losses the private concessionaire(s) would incur during the period of the government takeover,” Lacson added.

In an interview with reports Monday night, Duterte said he would exercise “extraordinary powers” for the construction of the P18.7 billion China-funded Kaliwa Dam project in Quezon and Rizal provinces.

READ: Duterte to use ‘extraordinary powers’ for start of Kaliwa Dam 

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Kaliwa Dam is seen to be the solution to the water shortage in Metro Manila and nearby areas.

But environmentalists, indigenous groups and some local governments have opposed its construction.

Malacañang, meanwhile, said that the President could also take “drastic actions” against water concessionaires over the imminent water crisis in Metro Manila and nearby provinces as the water level in Angat Dam continues to drop./gsg

READ: Palace: Duterte may take ‘drastic action’ amid looming water crisis 

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TAGS: Congress, Kaliwa dam, naton, Panfilo Lacson, Philippine news update, Rodrigo Duterte, water crisis
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