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KMU asks gov’t to address water shortage in MM, Rizal

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By Analou De Vera

A labor group urged the national government to immediately address the shortage of water supply in Metro Manila and Rizal province.

Affected residents line-up their buckets and water containers as they wait for the  volunteer firefighter to give them water at Brgy Oranbo, Pasig City, March 12 2019,  as NGO firefighters and tankers provide water rationing to help minimize the adverse effect of low water supply. (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)

Affected residents line-up their buckets and water containers as they wait for the volunteer firefighter to give them water at Brgy Oranbo, Pasig City, March 12, 2019, as NGO firefighters and tankers provide water rationing to help minimize the adverse effect of low water supply. (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)

The ongoing water service interruptions was already affecting the business operations in the affected areas, said  Lito Ustarez, executive vice chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in a statement.

“The water shortage in Metro Manila is more than just inconvenience to the lives of worker and people. There have already been reports of closure of businesses and even interruption in the operations of vital facilities such as hospitals and schools. The government should quickly act to restore the water supply,” said Ustarez.

The KMU said that “profit-driven and corporate character of service provision in the country” was the root cause of the water shortage.

“The promise of privatizing water utilities in 1990s was that private enterprises would be providing better service such that water shortage would be a thing of the past. But here we are still suffering the same fate we had two decades ago but paying more than double,” Ustarez said.

“We fear that this kind of water shortage will be a perennial and recurring problem because of corporate greed which also exacerbates climate change. We also fear that this problem will be used to justify the adoption of unsustainable and ecologically unsound measures such as construction of more corporate-controlled dams which are included in the Build, Build, Build program,” he furthered.

Manila Water, which provides water to the east zone of Metro Manila, is implementing water service interruptions as the water level in La Mesa Dam continues to drop.

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