MANILA – State regulator Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System believes it can solve the water crisis that has affected more than a million households in Metro Manila.
MWSS administrator Reynaldo Velasco said they stand to lose their jobs if they fail to address the problem.
"We can deliver as far as I know. But kung short pa rin 'yan, who are we? That is the call of the President," he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in a closed-door meeting Tuesday night, threatened to fire MWSS officials and terminate the concessionaires’ contracts if they fail to solve the water crisis.
"Anong nangyari? Who was responsible for it? Was there negligence or was there really something, which is beyond the competence of the MWSS could control?” Duterte said Thursday.
MWSS chief regulator Patrick Ty said the concessionaires’ contract will end in 2037, but the President may order them to terminate it based on Article 10 of the concession agreement.
Failure to perform an obligation, such as jeopardizing the provision of essential water and sewerage supply services, shall constitute "concessionaire event of termination."
"Ang service obligation ng Manila Water ay mag-provide dapat sila sa publiko ng 24/7 na water supply. Ngunit alam po natin hindi po nila nade-deliver po ito. Posible po na ipa-terminate ang concession based on that violation," Ty said.
Manila Water, for its part, is focused on restoring 99 percent of water availability in their concession area by end of March.
"Sa aming banda, we take the instructions of the President very seriously that’s why kami po ay 24/7 na hindi natutulog," Manila Water president Ferdinand dela Cruz said.
Maynilad, on the other hand, said it "has always held on to the sanctity of the concession agreement and the commitments it has undertaken under it." – Report from April Rafales, ABS-CBN News