President Rodrigo Roa Duterte announced that he would be reviewing the recommendations on the water concession agreements with Manila Water Co. and Maynilad Water Services saying he would be okay with the agreements long as the concessionaires “pay back” the consumers.
“I will review the contracts that are proposed by the government panel to the Ayala and the Pangilinan consortium na… Ako, okay na ako basta mabawi lang ng pera ang tao even in installment sa ano ninyo but you have to make some amends,” the President said during his televised address aired Friday morning.
The President said his outburst was triggered by unjust collection of money from the Filipino people adding, however, that he is willing to forget it. He already apologized to the Ayalas and Pangilinan for his hurtful words.
“Nagkalma ako kasi whether I like it or not, water is very important in our lives. So okay na lang ako but iyong nawala sa tao, kung ano ang nawala sa kanila, that has to be paid back, whether in installments over a period of years, but you have to return the money to the people,” he said. “Just give us a contract that is fair and also a fair of the return of the money of the people.”
The concessionaires may have their contracts in their liking, President Duterte said, but if not, then the government will proceed with the filing of cases.
But to achieve “equity and fairness”, the money should be returned to the people, he noted.
The Chief Executive branded the agreements with the water concessionaires as “onerous” and has ordered to craft new concession agreements with the two water companies.
The President warned that he would nationalize water distribution services should the water firms reject the new contracts without the onerous provisions. PND