Duterte to decide on MWSS officials’ fate before April 15

Published March 21, 2019, 9:47 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Argyll Geducos

President Duterte is not preempting his decision on whether or not to fire officials of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Chairman (MWSS) over the recent water interruptions which affected several parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

In an interview with reporters in Taguig City, Duterte said that he will wait for the report of the MWSS on April 10 before he announces his decision five days later.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the 122nd Founding Anniversary of the Philippine Army at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City on March 21, 2019. (VALERIE ESCALERA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“I will not make a prejudgment. I asked them–everybody concerned–to submit a report by April 10 and I will decide before April 15,” he said Thursday evening.

According to Duterte, he wants to find out if the water crisis is a product of negligence or something that is really out of the MWSS’ hands.

“Ano’ng nangyari (What happened), who was responsible for it? Was their negligence or was there really something which is beyond the competence of the MWSS could control,” he said.

This week, President Duterte threatened to ax MWSS officials and scrap the contract of water concessionaires over the water crisis.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, a visibly outraged Duterte did not even bother to listen to the explanation of the water officials as they could have implemented measures to address such crisis.

“The Chief Executive told them he was not going to listen to their explanation as to why there was a water shortage as such would be just plain excuses. They simply did not do their job,” Panelo said in a statement.

“‘All they care about is get profit from the water of the people’ and to their sufferance as well. The President told them they could have simply anticipated such shortage and could have done something about it,” he added.

Panelo said that Duterte told officials of MWSS that they had to wait for them to be threatened to meet with them personally before they do something about the water crisis.

“The Chief Executive bluntly told them to “shape up or ship out!” he said.