by Nestor Corrales, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar 20, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — An “outraged” President Rodrigo Duterte berated officials of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Maynilad and Manila Water as he warned to fire officials over recent water interruptions in parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Duterte told the officials to “shape up or ship out” during a forty-minute meeting in Malacañang on Tuesday night.
“All they care about is get profit from the water of the people,” Panelo said, quoting Duterte.
He said the meeting was more of a “presidential monologue” as the President “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.
He said Duterte ordered the officials to submit a report before April 7 then he would “decide whether heads will roll or whether the contracts of the concessionaires will be terminated.”
“In a stern message delivered without even once looking at the officials, the obviously outraged President threatened to fire the MWSS officials and terminate the concessionaires’ contracts,” he said.
“The President,” Panelo said, told the officials “they could have simply anticipated such shortage and could have done something about it.”
“They had to wait for him to threaten them with personally rushing to Manila from Davao to grapple with the crisis before they moved to end it. The Chief Executive bluntly told them to “shape up or ship out!,” he said.
The Palace official added that “the President expressed his evident displeasure by saying that he hoped that at the end of the day the water crisis was not just a matter of common sense.”
Panelo said Duterte mentioned that the “officials knew of the problem leading to the stoppage of the flow of water but they did not resolve to prevent it from happening.”
The President, he added, “reiterated that he is constitutionally tasked to serve and protect the citizenry, and he will not equivocate to take swift and drastic actions to secure the people from discomfort and shield them from suffering, regardless of the dire consequences to the players of the water industry.” /cbb