MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System should immediately reject the application of Maynilad Water Services, Inc. for a 15-year extension of its concession contract as a way to mitigate projected water rate increases in Metro Manila West Zone, according to the Freedom from Debt Coalition.

“It doesn't make any sense at all why the MWSS is even entertaining the proposal. It’s a nonsensical solution,” said FDC vice president Edwin Chavez.

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MANILA, Philippines – The United Nations, not the corporate-sponsored water forum, should take the lead in hosting a legitimate and truly democratic global water forum founded on the people’s right to water as enunciated in General Comment no. 15 of the UN Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Freedom from Debt Coalition said Friday.

In a protest action commemorating the March 22 World Water Day here, FDC urged the United Nations to withdraw its support for the “corporate jamboree known as the World Water Forum,” an event controlled by the World Water Council which is a private think-tank that has ties with transnational water corporations such as Suez and Veolia.

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In commemoration of World Water Day (March 22), the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) and the Progresibong Alyansa ng mga Tagapagtangkilik ng Tubig sa Kamanynilaan (PATTAK), urge the United Nations to withdraw its support for the corporate jamboree known as the World Water Forum. The World Water Forum is controlled by the World Water Council, a private think tank that has ties with the transnational water corporations such as Suez and Veolia. They have a track record of pushing for their self-interests and have no right to guide the world’s water policies.

The UN must rise to the challenge of convening a truly democratic global forum on water, one that upholds the right to water, is linked to state obligations, and is accountable to the global community.

RECOGNIZING THAT:

Our right to water continues to be undermined by the dominance of a profit-driven framework and the state’s abject refusal to fulfill its role and duty in providing for and protecting this right;

The same policies and framework that brought on excessive water rate increases in Metro Manila are still being pushed on by the global water corporations to governments and policy-makers attending the World Water Forum;

The continued promotion of such policies threatens the right to water of people in Metro Manila and other localities in the Philippines;

The violent dispersals and deportations conducted earlier this week against our fellow water advocates in Turkey are testament to the undemocratic means by which vested corporate interests are unduly shielded from peaceful protest.

WE REFUSE to be silent while decisions and policies regarding OUR WATER and OUR RIGHTS are crafted without us.

WE DENOUNCE the corporate-dominated World Water Forum as an illegitimate and undemocratic forum that serves only to promote the interests of the global corporations dominating it.

WE STAND in solidarity with water justice activists all over the globe who are at this very moment mobilizing and protesting against the illegitimate World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey.

WE CONDEMN the inhumane dispersals and deportations being conducted against our fellow water activists in Istanbul, Turkey. There is no reason for any government to use force against the people’s exercise of freedom of speech and assembly.

WE URGE THE UN to stand by the people and withdraw all support for an illegitimate water forum that continues to refuse and distort the people’s right to water.

WE CHALLENGE THE UN to take the lead in hosting a legitimate and truly democratic global water forum founded on the people’s right to water as enunciated in General Comment no. 15 of the UN Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Let this 5th jamboree of global water corporations be the last.
FDC Statement on the proposed extension of MWSS’ concession contracts

As efforts are heightened towards brokering a ten-year extension of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System’s concession agreements with Maynilad and Manila Water, the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) hereby expresses its vehement opposition to such proposals. Although neatly and deceivingly packaged as a compromise deal to temper projected water rate increases for the following years, an extension of the concession contracts fails to address the inherent flaws of the privatization deal between MWSS and its two concessionaires.

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MANILA, Philippines—The decision of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System allowing its two concessionaires to increase water rates, in defiance of the direct order from Malacañang, proves that its Concession Agreement with Manila Water Company Inc. (MWCI) and Maynilad Water Services Inc (MWSI) is a “betrayal of public trust,” according to an advocacy group.

The Freedom from Debt Coalition said that the rate increase clearly showed the partiality of the MWSS in ensuring profits for the two water concessionaires over and against the interests of public consumers.

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