Bong Go to MWSS: See if ending deal with water firms doable
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Christopher “Bong” Go urged the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to look into the possibility of terminating the extension of the concession contracts of Maynilad and Manila Water, adding the President “might also ask that you do this eventually.”
In his privilege speech on Monday, Go said there is a need to “renegotiate and rework” the contracts that the MWSS signed with the two water firms in 1997.
He also called for the removal of provisions in the concession agreements that are “unduly disadvantageous” to the government.
“At the same time, I am also urging the MWSS to explore the possibility of terminating the extension of the concessionaire agreement. The President might also ask that you do this eventually,” he said.
He then urged other government officials “to look into our numerous existing contracts and make sure that they are fair to the Filipino people.”
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier threatened to sue Manila Water and Maynilad of economic sabotage after the Department of Justice (DOJ) reported that it had found that their contracts are disadvantageous to the government and the public.
The DOJ also questioned the early extension of the 25-year agreements up to 2037, way beyond their expiry in 2022.
The President had also ordered Solicitor General Jose Calida and Finance, Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to come up with a new water concession contract that is favorable to the public and the government.
Go further said that the two water firms should be held liable for their “failure to construct a sewerage and wastewater system.”
“They should also be charged not only for failing to deliver to the terms of their contract but also for the billions—if not trillions—worth of environmental damage caused by their failure to construct a sewerage and wastewater system,” the senator went on.
“This is aside from the almost P1 billion worth of fines that they were told to pay by the Supreme Court last August 2019 because of violations in relation to the Philippine Clean Water Act,” he said.
“So, I will not be surprised if, in the coming weeks, citizens will come together and file a Writ of Kalikasan class suit against these two water concessionaires,” he added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.