Duterte to get update from MWSS officials

Published March 19, 2019, 7:24 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is expected to get an update from the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on efforts to improve water supply in Metro Manila, a Palace official said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President is scheduled to meet with MWSS officials in Malacañang Tuesday night about the water situation following the recent supply interruptions in Metro Manila.

“Siguro mage-explain yung MWSS [The MWSS will probably explain],” Panelo said in an interview with reporters about the President’s private meeting.

“Siguro magre-report sila kung ano na nangyari, di ba may directive siya. Baka magre-report kung ano na nangyari sa directive [They may report on what happened. He has issued a directive, right? They may report on what happened to his directive],” he added.

In the wake of the supply interruptions in some Metro Manila areas last week, the President has directed the MWSS to demand from the Manila Water Company, Inc., Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and other responsible offices to release 150 days worth of water from Angat Dam. The water release aims to supply the affected areas in Metro Manila and deliver, as well as distribute sufficient water to the residents, according to Panelo.

Panelo said the President would personally go to the concerned officers and make them account if they fail to act or comply with his directive.

MWSS initially claimed the President’s order was not possible but later issued another statement promising to comply with his directive to address the water shortage in 150 days.

The Palace earlier said there was no water crisis in Metro Manila following reports Manila Water has restored supply in majority of its concessionaire areas. It blamed instead ofe mismanagement and inefficiency of the concerned water officials for the supply interruptions last week.

An executive order seeking to improve the country’s water resource management is currently being finalized.

The proposed EO includes a possible transfer of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to the supervision of the Office of the President from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

The board may also be directed to craft “a national water management master plan that will integrate all relevant and existing plans and roadmaps of the different agencies that play a role in integrated water resource management.”