No early judgment on water crisis, says Duterte

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, March 21, refused to render early judgment on the water scarcity in Metro Manila.

In a chance interview in Taguig City, Duterte said he would give the government's water regulator and two private water concessionaires until April 15 to look for ways to provide sufficient water supply to consumers in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

He made the remark after threatening to fire officials of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and terminate the contracts of Manila Water and Maynilad Water Service, if they fail to address the low supply of water.

The President said he wants to know who must be held accountable for the water crisis.

"I will not make a prejudgment. I asked them -- everybody concerned -- to submit a report by April 10 and I will decide before April 15," he said.

"Anong nangyari (What happened)? Who was responsible for it? Was there negligence or was there really something which is beyond the competence of the MWSS to control," he added.

Duterte on Thursday, March 21, met with the officials of the MWSS, Manila Water, and Maynilad amid the water shortage.

During the meeting, Duterte engaged in a "presidential monologue," telling them to "shape up or ship out" for failure to address the lack of water supply in the past weeks.

The President also directed them to submit a report on April 10 so he can decide on their fate.

On Wednesday, March 20, the MWSS vowed to take "immediate" action to end the water crisis. (SunStar Philippines)


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