Duterte OK with water contracts as long as Ayala Corp., MVP ‘pay back’ money lost
MANILA, Philippines — As long as they “pay back” the money, President Rodrigo Duterte said he is “okay” with giving water concession agreements to the Manila Water Co. and Maynilad Water Services.
The President said this as he announced that he will be reviewing the recommendations on the water concession agreements of both groups.
“I will review the contracts that are proposed by the government panel to the Ayala and Pangilinan consortium,” Duterte said in a televised address.
“Okay na ako basta mabawi lang yung pera ng tao. Even in installments, but you have to make some amends. Nagkalma ako kasi whether I like it or not, water is important in our lives. Okay na lang ako, but yung nawala sa tao, kung ano ang nawala sa kanila, that has to be paid back,” he added.
(I’m okay with it as long as the money the people lost will be returned. Even in installments, but you have to make some amends. I calmed myself because whether I like it or not, water is important in our lives. I’m okay with it but what the people lost, that has to be paid back.)
“Just give us a contract that is fair and also to return the money of the people,” Duterte further said.
Manila Water Co. is a subsidiary of the Ayala family’s Ayala Corp., while the Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan owns a controlling stake in Maynilad Water Services.
Duterte has ordered to craft new concession deals with the two water companies after labeling the current agreements as “disadvantageous” to the Filipinos.
Should the water firms reject the new contracts without the “onerous” provisions, the President said he would nationalize the distribution of water services.
But last month, Duterte apologized to the Ayalas and Pangilinan for his previous “hurting words.”
“Ako naman, in the process I was very, of course adamant and said a few cuss words, for which I apologize. Sa galit ko yun. Naloko ang tao ng ilang taon. At parang, I’m willing to forget it,” Duterte said.
(As for me, in the process, I was very adamant and said a few cuss words for which I apologize. I was mad. The people were fooled for how many years. And I feel like I’m willing to forget it.)
Duterte has repeatedly railed against Pangilinan and the Ayala family for their water concessionaires’ “onerous” contracts with the government, tagging the businessmen as the “big fish” in corruption.
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.