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Anakpawis solon urges government takeover of Manila Water, Maynilad

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“A government that could not even secure the basic water needs of its people is an epic failure.”

So said Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao as he slammed the lackluster services of private water concessionaires Manila Water and Maynilad, which supplies water to Metro Manila’s east and west sectors.

“The so-called public-private partnership is nothing but a blame game between them, back grounded by the interest for giant profits and subservience to neoliberalism, and ultimately putting millions of Filipino families into a regressed state of living standards,” the Makabayan lawmaker said.

He also slammed the excuse of blaming the critical level of the Angat Dam for the water shortage.

“As if we reverted back to the period era, when concepts and innovations on water utility systems are yet to exist, and sweepingly blame mother-nature on the shortage, absolving the failure of the privatized water structure,” Casilao added.

He urged the Duterte government to carry out a thorough evaluation of the private concessionaires’ infrastructure.

This should also serve as basis for a possible amendment on their respective concession agreements, Casilao said.

Casilao blamed Republic Act 8041 or the Water Crisis Act that facilitated private interests in the water utility system.

Due this, water rate hikes increased by 6 to 10 times, from 1997 to 2017, and from 2000 to 2015, concessionaires raked up an aggregate P95 Billion of profits. He urged the people to demand the repeal of the law, and for a nationalized and municipalized water service system.

“Based on the two-decade concrete experience, privatization of water utility is equivalent to concessionaires’ super profits plundered from the people, and the deteriorating quality of service,” he said.

“This is enough basis to totally re-nationalize and re-municipalize the privatized water services across the country. Failing to do so, puts the people into a regressed standard of living, due to water inaccessibility,” he said.

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