By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte is expected to decide on the fate of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) executives for their lack of preparation for the El Niño phenomenon.
The President had given a self-imposed deadline that ends Monday, April 15, for him to decide whether or not to fire MWSS officials for the water crisis in several parts of Metro Manila and whether to renew or not the contracts of water concessionaires.
In a speech during the PDP-Laban proclamation rally in Malaybalay, Bukidnon Saturday evening, Duterte called out the MWSS for being ill-prepared for the seasonal dry spell.
“Kanang MWSS, anak ka ng p***. Kada seasonal, naa gyud nang El Niño, nganong wa man na ninyo preparahe (MWSS, son of a bitch. El Niño is seasonal but why didn’t you prepare for it)?” he said.
Duterte also said that the agency would not have scurried to restore the water supply if he did not threaten them that he would visit the agency.
“Og wa nako ingna nga muanha ko ugma, pagkabuntag, agas na (If didn’t say that I will go there… see, the following morning there’s water flowing out already),” he said.
The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) recently advised the public that the water in Angat Dam was approaching critical level and urged residents in Metro Manila to conserve water.
Last month, President Duterte said he would wait for the report of the MWSS on April 10 before he announces his decision five days later.
“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 there negligence or was there really something which was beyond the competence of the MWSS,” he said.
Duterte earlier threatened to axe 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.