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THURSDAY / DEcEMBER 5,2o19

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Water concession rcvieut pushed both hands" in calling' out water rate hikes. dreds ofbillions of pesos at the
By Mbtlon Ramos contracts that deprived Fil-
and Melvin Gascon ipinos ... their dght to (clean) Ma1'nilad and Manila Water for The Singapore-based Per- expense of. the people? Any
{aT6ar* Inouirer water as well as (the govern- "shortchanging" consumers. manent Court ofArbitration re- business contract can: make
ment's right to) impose liabili "Again, [Mr. Dutertel has cently ordered MWSS to pay money for the principal or,you
Senators and congressmen .ties ... when (their) service and proven that he has the political Manila Water P7.4 billion for can lose money at the same
voiced bicameral support for supply fail," she said. will to stand up to these oli- uDrealized "Euaranteed profi t" time," Atienza said.
President Duterte's plan to go Senate President Pro Tem- garchs and free the Filipino peo- since 2015. He expressed disgust that
after the country's two maior pore Ralph Recto said senators ple from their clutches," he saiq: "According to [PSE] records, under its agreement, Maynilad
water firms for taking advan- tike him had nothing to do with Atienza challenged Speak€r lwater concessionaires] have and Manila Water can raise wa-
tage of "onerous" provisions in crafting concessionaire agree-, Alan Peter Cayetano and thF been declaring billions of prof- ter rates even without the goY-
their concessions from the gov- ments with private firms. members of Congress to follow its and giving out dividends to ernment's permission.
ernment- the President's lead in callirg their sharehdlders," Atienza "Isn't that onerous?" Atien-
'?fter frearing his explana- Senatorial assistance? for a review of the concession said, flailing printed sheets of za asked, adding that the Presi-
tion (on Tuesday) night on how Recto issued the r€marks agreements. paper.\ dent's complaints against the
we are being taken for a ride by after Mr. Duterte claimed Sen- "It is only now that we have two water firms higblights that
these.(water) concessionaires, I ate Minority Leader Franklin a President who is not afraid to Review and revoke privatization can be a bane for
told him I'm supporting him Drilon might have been in- speak out against these corpo- He said it was time for Filipinos.
1oo percent on the issue," Sen- volved in crafting the alleged rate giants in behatf of the Fil- Congress to review the conces- In a statement, ACT Teach-
ate President Vicente Sotto III onerous contracts awarded to ipino people," Atienza added. sion agreements, and, if neces- ers Rep. France Castro backed
said in aViber message. Malnilad Water Services Inc, sary, revoke this in light of the the call of the President to in-
and Manila water co' Inc. by Questioned premises Depart{nent of Justice findings vestigatethe water supply
Human right to water the Ramos administration in Citing the firms' disclosures that several provisions in the agreements, which, she said,
Sen. Imee Marcos also 1997. at the Philippine Stock agreements were found to be has caused misery of millions
agreed with the President's po- In the House ofRepresenta- Exchange (PSE), the Buhay onerous and disadvantageous oftheir consumers.
sition, arguing that access to tives, even opposition lawmak- lawmaker disputed conces- to the government and to the "Ifthe President is really.se-
potable water was "universally ers expressed rare praise of the sionaires' claims that they public. rious about his statements, [the
recognized as a humzn right, President. have been losing money due to "Where have you seen a review of the agreementsl
not merely a commodity." Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza, in the refusal of Metropolitan business contract where the should start now, and should
"I support (the President's) a privilege speech, said he Waterworks and Sewerage concessionaires cannot lose not end with some heads
desire to assail these onerous salutes the President "with System (MWSS) to -approve and always end up making hun- rolling," she said. tNQ
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