‘DECEITFUL’ | Duterte: Rich people ‘manipulated’ water crisis
1 week ago
(APRIL 15, 2019) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday lashed out at “rich people” for failing to anticipate El Niño and allegedly manipulating the water crisis in Metro Manila.
“Son of a b****. Every season there is always the El Niño. So why didn’t you prepare for that? And now you ran out of water even before the El Niño… Where has all the water in this universe gone to then?,” he said in Visayan during a campaign rally in Bukidnon.
Lambasting the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) anew, Duterte said he had to issue threats to prompt the regulatory body to address the crisis that lasted for weeks.
“If I didn’t tell them that I’ll go there personally… The next morning there was water. You see how deceitful these rich guys are?,” he said, although he did not mention names.
The water concessionaires, Duterte claimed, deferred to address the service interruptions because they were “waiting for an increase.”
“They didn’t plan on opening it because they were waiting for an increase. Only then will they release the water. That’s true. These rich people…are milking us dry,” he added.
As Manila Water customers grappled with limited to no water supply in March, a fuming Duterte ordered the MWSS to release water that would last for 150 days from the Angat Dam.
But the president may have been misinformed as the current infrastructure was already releasing the maximum volume of water possible, according to MWSS.
The Ayala-led Manila Water has cited delays in some infrastructure projects as well as the onslaught of El Niño as among factors that leveled down water in Angat Dam.
Last week, Duterte approved “in principle” a master plan that will provide an integrated approach to the water crisis. Enclosed in an executive order, it will seek a review of concession agreements while addressing various issues on water supply and management nationwide.