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Biz group lauds ‘brave’ Manila Water

The largest business group in the country has backtracked on calls for accountability on the part of Ayala-led Manila Water Company Inc. as a scorched metro scrimped on its water supply for days.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has called the east zone concessionaire brave for admitting fault over the water crisis that hit parts of Metro Manila and Rizal.

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“It takes great courage to admit such grave responsibility.  The actions of Manila Water simply proved how much they value their stakeholders,” said PCCI president Alegria Sibal Limjoco on Wednesday.

The group sent two separate statements on Tuesday and Wednesday, both of which tackled the water crisis but with different tones.

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The latest statement deviated from the first one, which explicitly called for accountability on the part of Manila Water.

Limjoco told the Inquirer in a phone interview: “[Our position] changed because [Manila Water] is already implementing [its solutions]. There’s water already.”

On Tuesday, PCCI said there should be “penalties for those responsible,” noting that the deal with the water concessionaire did not include provisions on fines and penalties.

“We sincerely hope that there will be some form of reckoning for this issue. It’s too important and critical to our people’s well-being and our economy,” PCCI’s previous statement read.

In a congressional hearing this week, Manila Water chief executive Ferdinand de la Cruz said the crisis was caused by a slew of factors including supply problems and delays in infrastructure implementation.

For days, residents in the concession area were left with no water for drinking and bathing. Mandaluyong, the most affected, had planned to declare a state of calamity.

Manila Water claimed  over 93 percent of its jurisdiction now has regular supply.

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TAGS: business group, Manila Water Company Inc., Water Supply
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