NDF-EV: Privatization of Leyte water services reeks of Duterte-Villar cronyism

The slated privatization of the Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD) under the guise of a public-private partnership (PPP) with a Villar-owned corporation reeks of old school cronyism typical of the corrupt Duterte regime, the National Democratic Front said today in a statement.

“The Duterte regime’s favoring of former senator Manny Villar, its known crony and beneficiary of billions of pesos worth of the government’s infrastructure projects, is not missed by the 37,000 consumers who will shoulder the increased cost of water services. Aside from this, Villar also has other projects under the Build, Build, Build program for the benefit of his construction empire.”

NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas said that the clarification by LMWD that it will only undergo a joint agreement holds no water as in the same breath it relegates management over to Villar’s Prime Water Corporation. “Previous PPPs are proof that whenever management of a government-owned corporation is passed on to a private entity, the latter is given license to pass on increased costs to consumers whensoever it pleases; we expect to see this as current charges by LMWD are set to increase from the current rate P148 per cubic meter.”

He added, “PPPs are a method by bureaucrat capitalists to turn neglected public services into income-generating cash cows. They take advantage of the high demand for basic services and utilities like water, electricity, health and others. They offer to ‘rehabilitate’ the worn-down infrastructure and then make consumers shoulder the costs. In Tacloban, big foreign and local companies took advantage of the Yolanda rehabilitation, essentially a massive PPT enterprise, to set up their business interests in cahoots with the government.”

Salas asserted that quality public services for the people will thus be impossible under the swindler Duterte and his gang of cronies. “Safe, accessible and affordable water resources can only be guaranteed by putting forward the public interest over the interests of local and foreign big businesses. We urge the water consumers and the people to be critical and resist the privatization of LMWD. The rotten Villar-LMWD deal and the entire panoply of neoliberal, anti-people and corrupt policies of the Duterte regime further inflame the people to one day rise up and get rid of the obnoxious tyrant.”#

NDF-EV: Privatization of Leyte water services reeks of Duterte-Villar cronyism