By Raymund Antonio
Vice President and opposition leader Leni Robredo on Sunday urged the government to get its act together to address the water shortage in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal.
Robredo said the administration should explain to the public why the supply interruption happened, especially because this had brought much inconvenience to them.
“Iyong tanong nga, ano ba talaga? Ano ba talaga ‘yung kwento? Gusto sana nating marining sa pamahalaan bakit ba tayo umabot sa ganito,” she said.
(The question is, what really happened? What is the true story? We want to hear from the government why we had come to this.)
The Vice President made the call during her Sunday radio program, “BISErbisyong Leni” aired live on RMN-dzXL 558.
Robredo, who shared that she and her family were also affected by water shortage, said an official explanation would shed light on the issue given the conflicting statements from concerned government officials.
She was referring to Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo’s statement the water shortage may be “artificial” and that of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, which said high demand was the main reason for the supply shortage.
Robredo also cited claims that the water crisis could have been resolved if only the bypass leading to La Mesa Dam and valve on West Avenue in Quezon City were opened.
The government is currently pushing for the construction of P12.2-billion Kaliwa Dam, in which 85 percent will be funded by China through official development assistance, while the government will cover the remaining 15 percent.
The Vice President, however, expressed her misgivings about the project.
Robredo said her concern was that Philippines will borrow money from China for the dam construction. This will burden the people in paying up this debt.
“Kapag inutang natin ‘to, tayo din iyong ibabayad, eh. Iyong taumbayan iyong ibabayad. So kung mayroon lang naman option na PPP (public-private partnership), bakit hindi na lng iyon?” she asked.
(Once we get a loan for it, we will also pay for it. The people will pay for it. So if we have an option for PPP, why don’t we choose that.)
“Bakit uutang tayo na puwede naman na hindi tayo gagastos (Why would we avail a loan if it’s possible not to spend),” she added.
The Vice President welcomed the legislative inquiry into the water shortage in the hopes that it would lead to taking appropriate actions against those liable and addressing the supply interruption.
“Sana bukas maging transparent lahat. Sana ‘yung dapat maging accountable, maging accountable, sana solusyon ang hanap,” she said.
(I hope tomorrow everyone will be transparent. I hope those accountable will be held accountable and they will look for solutions.)