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Payag pakyawin! Duterte urges Villars to ‘develop businesses’ after lashing out at Maynilad, Manila Water

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President Rodrigo Duterte prefers the Villars to take control of water distribution instead of the Ayalas and Manuel V. Pangilinan, who own Metro Manila’s water concessionaires.

Duterte praised the Villars Tuesday (December 3) after lashing out at Maynilad and Manila Water over the supposedly “onerous” concession agreement they signed with the government in 1997.

“Kaya tayo hindi yumaman eh. Hawak talaga nila. Hindi ako sabihin na masisira daw tayo. We become a pariah in the international. So what? Wala akong pakialam diyan, pariah. ‘Di sirain ko sila dito lahat,” he said during the ceremonial signing of two new laws in Malacañang.

“We start from the beginning. Nandiyan naman si Villar, nandiyan naman si — – karaming mayayaman ninyo na… Go and start to develop businesses,” Duterte added.

The Villars own Prime Water Infrastructure Corporation. It has been aggressively taking over local water districts over the past months.

Prime Water’s expansion, however, has been marred by complaints of poor service. In July, the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) blamed the Villar-owned utility company for water shortage in the area, saying it has been unable to meet its commitment of supplying 50 million liters of water a day.

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