EDITORIAL - Letâs hope he was kidding

EDITORIAL - Let’s hope he was kidding

(The Freeman) - December 15, 2019 - 12:00am

During the birthday celebration of former Senate president Manny Villar the other day, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to let the military take over water firms in Metro Manila if they “fail to shape up.”

This threat comes in the light of recent developments where water firms Manila Water and Maynilad decided to back off from collecting money deemed owed to them by the government after Duterte threatened to suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus and have certain people arrested for economic sabotage.

We should hope he is kidding about letting the military run the water firms. When you think about it, this will not be the first time he says one thing one day, only to take it back or say he was joking the following day.

Yes, it is in within his power to do certain things as president of the republic, and letting some groups take over certain functions is well within his power. It has even been done at certain times during certain crises in our history.

However, military men running the water companies? And in this time when the water problem is now being felt more than ever? No offense to our men and women in uniform. They are doing a good job securing our borders from national and foreign threats, but running a company that supplies a vital utility to our people is a totally different matter, and a far cry what they have been trained to do.

You also cannot expect them to be able to grasp the intricacies and details of such a complex system in so short a time.

Duterte should also realize that threats and intimidation can only take him so far to get what he wants. It might have worked in the past with different groups like airlines, government agencies, and even ordinary people like drug pushers and users. However, he cannot expect it to work all the time.

This is because eventually the problem of lack of water in Manila will boil down to how much water is being made available by nature. This is not an issue that can be solved by threats and intimidation, or by the country’s best and bravest military men. Threaten Mother Nature all you want, she will be deaf to you.

Companies that don’t have the technology of developed nations can only wring so much water out of dry ground, and not even all the threats and intimidation in the world can make dry faucets any wetter.

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