Palace asks water firms: What do you need loans for?
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday questioned why water concessionaires would need loans when they “raked billions of profits” as water service distributors through the years.
“Some of these concessionaires stated that it may affect the service because no banks, loans are forthcoming,” Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing, referring to the still ongoing crafting of new contracts.
“My reaction is, excuse me, you have raked billions of profits during years from 1997 up to the present. What do you need loans for? You have the money in your pocket,” Panelo added.
Maynilad earlier said banks have stopped lending money for its projects after Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) canceled the extension of Maynilad and Manila Water’s concession deals to 2037.
President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier slammed Maynilad and Manila Water for supposedly milking billions from the people and the government over the 1997 water contract.
Meanwhile, the government is offering the two water concessionaires a new contract without the “onerous” provisions.
Duterte warned Maynilad and Manila Water their contracts would be canceled and water distribution service would be nationalized should they reject the new deals.
There is no guarantee, however, that the water concessionaires will not be prosecuted for the original contracts, Duterte said.
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