Review of water concession accords urged

AMID schedules of water supply interruption a militant solon is proposing anew a critical review of the concession agreements with Maynilad and Manila Water.

Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas expressed concern on the announcement of the two private firms of water rationing stretching through the holiday season up to next year.

Brosas said Maynilad and Manila Water “are forcing an early dry season over the holidays with their planned massive water supply interruption affecting around 14 million households.”

“Bakit laging sinasangkalan ang kapakanan ng mga konsyumer sa kapalpakan nitong mga pribadong kumpanya na tiyakin ang sapat na suplay ng tubig? These recurring water woes should put the spotlight on the concession deal, which promised improved water service under privatization but which actually delivers poor and pricey service to millions of consumers,” Brosas said.

Just recently, the Makabayan bloc partylists filed House Resolution No. 19 as one of its first ten measures pushing for a congressional review of the 1997 MWSS concession agreement.

“It is high time that we considered reversing water privatization in Metro Manila and instituted more stringent public control over the water supply service amid the massive inefficiencies and failures of private concessionaires. To simply push for new water sources is not the solution,” Brosas said.

Citing the study of the Water for the People Network (WPN), the Gabriela lawmaker said the combined non-revenue water (or wasted water from leakages) of the two concessionaires amounted to 888 MLD in 2018 -- which is way above the projected capacity of the Kaliwa Dam at 600 MLD.

“Ibig sabihin, higit sa sapat ang suplay ng tubig sa Metro Manila at karatig syudad kung aayusin ng Maynilad at Manila Water ang distribusyon. Pilit ginagamit ang forced water crisis para paburan ang mga negosyanteng Instsik na nasa likod ng Kaliwa Dam,” Brosas added.

The lawmaker emphasized that the much hyped construction of Kaliwa Dam will only lead to higher water rates to be collected by Maynilad and Manila Water from their consumers to finance the multi-billion peso Chinese loan, and will lead to mass dislocation of indigenous communities in Quezon province.