09 April 2003
We, from the Freedom from Debt Coalition, strongly urge the MWSS Board of Trustees to stand firm in honoring its commitment to protect the interest of the Filipino people in the operations and management of the West Zone concession area.
Today, as Maynilad presents its new business plan, let us clearly remember that the concessionaire's six-year presence in the water sector has only shamed the government and its water privatization policy.
Maynilad has not delivered on its promises. Water rates are unjustifiably high. Non-revenue water exceeds that of the former publicly owned MWSS. Maynilad refuses to pay the government P5 billion in concession fees but still charges consumers the amounts that are supposed to cover the concession fees. It blames the government for the termination of its concession contract. Now it negotiates for another chance at running the West Zone?
Despite all the comfort that government accorded to the concessionaire, Maynilad only succeeded in doing what it does best: sacrificing the public's interest in the name of profit.
Not even Maynilad can deny its poor performance. In fact, the company has already admitted its shortcomings but it chooses to blame government, our justice system, local government units, water thieves, everybody except themselves, for its fiasco.
Maynilad is rotting from the inside. It has failed the government and has only proven itself unworthy of the trust of the Filipino people. Maynilad's violations of its concession contract and unjustifiable increases in water rates have crudely disregarded the people's right to adequate water supply and sanitation services.
With Maynilad's renewed vigor to negotiate with the government, the Freedom from Debt Coalition challenges the new leadership of the MWSS Board of Trustees to remain true to their roles as servants of the people. Maynilad's record in managing the West Zone speaks so loudly that the public need not hear its new set of promises.
As the keeper of the public's trust, government must pursue the case to terminate Maynilad's contract and let the arbitration process take its course. There will be no more bailouts for violators of the people's right to water. Not in our watch.Water is a human right. Public service, not private profit!
Oppose the privatization of water!