Poe says former MWSS execs responsible for water shortage
MANILA, Philippines — Water shortage occurred because former Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) executives allegedly ignored warnings of looming water shortage, Senator Grace Poe said Wednesday.
Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, said MWSS had long been informed of the possible lack of water supply yet they refused to take action on the matter.
“Alam mo kaya tayo nagkakaroon ng kakulangan sa tubig ngayon dahil sa mga nakaraang board ng MWSS. Matagal nang sinasabi sa kanila na magkakaroon ng kakulangan ng tubig. Mga ilang administrasyon na ang nakalipas, hindi sila umaksyon. Hindi sila pumayag magbigay ng permit kaya ngayon kinukulang tayo,” Poe said in an interview.
(Water shortage happened because of former MWSS board. They had long been informed of the lack of water supply but numerous administrations had passed and they still did not take action. They did not allow to give permit that’s why we are now experiencing a shortage.)
During the Senate hearing on the creation of a water agency, Manila Water’s chief Jose Rene Almendras said they and Maynilad asked MWSS for a new water source in 2003.
“With your permission, I will submit to you to the committee a narrative of all the correspondences and minutes of meetings since 2003 where we and the other concessionaire were begging for a new water source. Kasi nakikita na po namin na magkukulang rin kami kahit nasolusyonan na po namin yung tubig na natatagas e (We already saw that we will eventually be facing lack supply though we already solved the leaking water),” Almendras told the Senate committee.
Poe added the problem arose after the concession agreement was previously extended for 15 more years making pegging the contract’s expiration in 2037.
“Ang naging problema, pagdating nung extension nung 2022. Inextend yung concession agreement, kung hindi ako nagkakamali, inextend nila ngayon. Imbis na mageexpire ng 2022 ay madadagdagan pa ng 15 years. 2022 to 2037,” Poe said.
(The problem was the extension of the contract to 2022. The concession agreement was extended. Instead of an expiration date of 2022, the agreement will be extended with 15 years more. 2022 to 2037.)
“At ang naging dahilan nila kaya daw kailangan iextend kahit hindi pa nageexpire kasi marami pang mga kapital ang idadagdag. Edi nandon na tayo, siguro gusto natin ng continuation pero bakit nagbigay parin sila ng ganung klaseng mga insentibo?” she added.
(And the reason behind the extension even though it has not expired is because of the capital still needed to be added. We’re there already when it comes to the continuation but why did they still give that kind of incentive?)
The MWSS earlier revoked the extension of concession agreements of Maynilad and Manila Water resulting to the water firms’ concession ending in 2022.
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