President Duterte previously said he would decide whether to terminate the MWSS officials and the contracts of the water utilities by April 15.
KJ Rosales/File
Fate of MWSS officials, water concessionaires hang
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - April 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte needs more time to decide on the fate of officials of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and water concessionaires whom he had scolded over the recent water service interruption in Metro Manila and nearby areas.

Duterte previously said he would decide whether to terminate the MWSS officials and the contracts of the water utilities by April 15. Malacañang did not release information on the President’s decision last Monday. 

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the President decided to give himself more time to study the matter by extending his self-imposed deadline to April 22. 

“He probably needs time to talk to some people or read some documents. You have to understand the President has several sources of information. All of that has to be validated, all of that to be vetted, all of that has to pass through some process of validation,” Nograles said during yesterday’s Kapihan Sa Manila Bay media forum.

Nograles said the extension would provide Duterte a chance to “study everything.” 

Last month, Duterte lambasted MWSS officials and water concessionaires Manila Water and Maynilad over the water shortage that caused long lines for water rations in Metro Manila and Rizal. 

He warned water regulators and concessionaires to “shape up or ship out” and demanded that they resolve the water supply lack. 

Earlier this month, Duterte criticized the MWSS for allegedly failing to prepare for El Niño and condemned what he described as “rich guys” who tried to profit from the water crisis. 

Duterte chided the MWSS and water concessionaires anew in a campaign rally speech delivered last Tuesday. 

“This week I will be firing... you know the MWSS... It comes with regularity, the El Niño. Son of a b****, you have been there for years and you do not prepare for it?” the President said. 

“There are millions of Filipinos waiting outside... brighter than you. But they are not known because they are not politicians. I will not hesitate to replace you all,” he added.

Nograles was mum when asked whether MWSS officials are in danger of being fired. 

“Let us wait for April 22. He (Duterte) himself will reveal (his decision),” the Cabinet official said. 

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