FVR's caution to Duterte : "Our(govt's) word must be our bond

FVR's caution to Duterte : "Our(govt's) word must be our bond

Former Fidel V. Ramos came out of his retirement to make it known to the public as well as to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte that water concession agreements done under his administration was not done haphazardly resulting to the government being at the disadvantage.
In his December 4 letter to president Duterte, Ramos recalled the need to privatize the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) in 1997 and the concession agreements were designed to provide water and sanitation to the sprawling Philippine capital, “which at that time was facing a water crisis.”

 “The success of this agreement has brought about an infusion of capital to upgrade the infrastructure necessary to improve the efficiency and service coverage to the end users. In Metro Manila alone, more than 18 million Filipinos (from only 10 million in 1997) now have access to sustainable water supply,” Ramos said.
Former President Fidel V. Ramos and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(photo credit to owner)

The former President took note at such time the act of privatization of MWSS was a first in Asia and has been hailed and made an example for other countries to emulate.
“To achieve all this, the private sector mobilized funding from both foreign and local sources depending on the word of the Philippine government that the essential conditions of adherence to the sanctity of contracts and rule of law must be observed,” Ramos said.

Ramos also reminded President Duterte by saying : “These are the pillars that hold together any agreement, be it between governments and/or the government and the private sector. Our word must be our bond.”

Republic Act No. 8041, also known as the National Water Crisis Act of 1995 paved the way for the privatization of MWSS.

The RA 8041, effectively transferred the operational responsibilities of MWSS to Manila Water Co. Inc. (for the east zone) operated by the Ayala group, and Maynilad Water Services Inc. (for the west zone) of the Lopez group. In 2008, the Pangilinan group’s Metro Pacific took over Maynilad.

“Before 1997, the MWSS was unable to fulfill its mandate, which resulted in poor service to the public, water loss of around 65 percent not to mention decades of underinvestment and mounting government debt in excess of $1 billion,” the former President said.

“The MWSS concession agreement, as with all projects and agreements entered into by government during my administration, was anchored on complete staff work, review and consultation with various government agencies, organizations and the concerned public, which resulted in complete transparency all the while negotiating terms most favorable to government.”

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Report from PDI

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