Duterte paving the way for allies into the water industry? Nonsense! – Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   December 12, 2019   •   537

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang vehemently denied alleged reason behind President Rodrigo Duterte’s rants against water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water.

Reports alleged that the Chief Executive is making a move to place his allies into the water industry.

“That’s nonsense. Si Presidente pa, walang ally-ally kay Presidente (That’s nonsense. Knowing the President, he doesn’t care for allies),” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

The President earlier warned to file charges of economic sabotage against the two firms and their cohorts who were behind what he calls as onerous water concession agreements.

Such was his reaction after the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Singapore favored the water concessionaires against the government, ordering it to pay billions for not approving water rate increase under the previous administration.

The Palace scrutinized what seemed to be ‘unfair’ provisions of the water concession agreement including allegations that the government was giving the water concessionaires a cold shoulder and the intent to extend the agreement up to 2037 even prior to the contract’s expiration.

Malacañang opened the idea of a possible government take over only to ensure that water distribution service would not be cut in case none in the private sector intends to handle it.

“Initially government muna then most likely after that there will be biddings for a private company to take over,” Panelo said.

It was in 1997 when the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) signed water concession contracts with Manila Water Services Inc. and Maynilad.

It was a decision made after the government-owned facility delivered poor services and only a few investors were willing to invest their billions in improving the facility’s services which, Manila Water and Maynilad accepted through a bidding. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Palace contradicts DOH; clarifies PH still in first wave

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 21, 2020

Malacañang on Thursday (May 21) clarified that the Philippines is still experiencing the first wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), contrary to the statement of Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The Palace apologized for the confusion and worry brought by Duque’s statement and said there were varying interpretations of the data.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque insisted that the country is still in the first wave of the COVID-19 infection.

“Nagpapatuloy po ang first wave. Katunayan, nagpatuloy ito sa buwan ng Pebrero na may kaunti kasi na na-report at lumobo sa buwan ng March. Patuloy pong lumobo iyan hanggang sa buwan ng Mayo, kung saan nakikita natin ngayon na bumababa na (The first wave continues. In fact, it continued from February, with few reports, and ballooned in March. It continues to increase until May, where we can see there is a decline),” he said.

Roque also said Duque did not go through the protocol to inform President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the interpretation of the second wave.

READ: Duque: Philippines now on second wave of COVID-19 cases

However, the Palace official said the varying of opinions is not of importance and the government, including the public, should focus on how to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

“Ang importante maiwasan po ang pagbalik ng malawakang numero ng magkakasakit sa COVID-19. Nagkakaisa po ang gobyerno na gagawin ang lahat ng hakbang upang maiwasan ang second wave (What’s important is, we prevent another increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. The government is united in doing everything to prevent a second wave),” Roque said. –AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

MWSS, nagtakda na ng deadline sa pagbabayad ng water bill

Robie de Guzman   •   May 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Nagtakda na ng deadline ang Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) para sa pagbabayad ng water bills na halos tatlong buwang naipon dahil sa ipinatutupad na community quarantine.

Sa panayam ng UNTV program na Serbisyong Bayanihan ngayong Miyerkules, sinabi ni MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty na mayroong hanggang Hulyo 31 para magbayad ng bill ang mga kumukonsumo ng 10 cubic meters pababa kada buwan.

Ang mga gumagamit naman ng tubig na mahigit sa 10 cubic meters kada buwan ay may palugit hanggang Agosto 31.

Pagpapauna ni Ty, asahan na ng mga consumer ang bahagyang pagtaas ng bill lalo’t panahon ngayon ng tag-init at marami ang nasa loob ng kani-kanilang mga tahanan kaya mataas ang konsumo sa tubig.

“Sana maintindihan natin, itong water bill na ito halos lahat sa mga consumer ay ito po yung water bill nila for March, April and May. During summer season din po ito, so mas mainit, mas madami ang consumption ng mga tao at alam natin since work from home halos lahat consumer,” aniya.

Nilinaw naman  ng opisyal na puwede namang utay-utayin ng mga consumer ang pagbabayad sa bill nila sa Manila Water at Maynilad.

Sinabi rin ni Ty na sa Hunyo 1 pa magsisimulang magbasa ng metro at maglalabas ng bill ang Maynilad at Manila Water.

Sa Agosto 1 naman sisimulan ng dalawang water concessionaires ang pamumutol sa serbisyo ng mga hindi makapagbabayad ng kanilang bill para sa mga kumu-konsumo ng 10 cubic meters pababa.

Setyembre 1 naman ang schedule ng service disconnection para sa mahigit 10 cubic meters ang konsumo bawat buwan.

Tiniyak naman ng MWSS na wala pa silang ipinatutupad na anumang adjustment sa singil ng tubig sa gitna ng umiiral na community quarantine.

“Importante sa atin na wala pong bills shock ayaw po natin na magulat ang ating mga consumers na bigla nalang lalaki ang kanilang water bill,” ani Ty. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

DBM, pinahahanap ng dagdag na pondo para sa ikalawang bugso ng cash aid – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   May 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Inatasan na ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang Department of Budget and Management (DB M) na humanap ng dagdag na pondo para sa pamamahagi ng ikalawang bugso ng government cash aid sa ilalim ng Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, inutusan na ng pangulo si DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado na gumawa ng listahan ng mga ahensiyang maaaring pagkunan ng kinakailangang pondo para sa second tranche ng SAP.

Nasa 18 milyong mahihirap na pamilya sa bansa ang unang target na mabigyan ng ayuda sa ilalim ng government emergency subsidy program.

Aabot sa P205 milyon ang inilaang pondo para sa programa, batay sa nakasaad sa Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

Ngunit matapos ang pamamahagi ng unang batch ng pinansiyal na ayuda, nadagdagan pa ng limang milyon ang bilang ng pamilya na humihingi ng tulong mula sa pamahalaan dahil sa matinding hirap na dinaranas sa gitna ng COVID-19 crisis.

Inaprubahan na ng pangulo ang dagdag na benepisyaryo ng programa kaya’t kailangan ngayon ng pamahalaan ng dagdag na pondo para tustusan ito.

“Inaatasan niya si DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado, suriin niya ang mga budgetary allocations ng line agencies. Tingnan kung magkano ang pwedeng ma-realign dahil nais niya sana kung pwedeng bigyan lahat ng 23 million families ng ayuda ng 2nd tranche din,” ani Roque.

Una nang inamin ng administrasyong Duterte na paubos na ang pondo ng pamahalaan para sa COVID-19 response at hindi pa tiyak kung saan kukunin ang perang ipang-aayuda sa mga labis na naapektuhan ng krisis.

Nanawagan na rin ang pangulo sa liderato ng Kongreso na tumulong sa paghahanap ng pondo para sa mga programa ng gobyerno. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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