by: Mentong Laurel
ON September 15, 2013 newspapers front-paged the MWSS (Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System) order for water concessionaires In Metro-Manila to cut their water rates for the next five years. Manila Water for the east zone is to reduce its rate by P 7.24/cubic meter and Maynilad Water in the west zone by P 1.46/cubic meter. The two privatized and corporatized water service utilities said they will dispute the MWSS order and submit it to arbitration proceedings. Manila Water claimed the tariff reduction would compromise its ability to serve its customers fully while Maynilad said it was “unjustified”.
The two water companies applied for rate hikes. But various consumer activist groups, individual and media advocates questioned the propriety of the companies passing off its income taxes to consumers. The debate raged since June with the public weighing heavily against the water companies and its apologists on the fairness and legality of passing off income taxes to consumers. The MWSS and the advocates stood strongly on the ground provided by the Puno Supreme Court in a 2003 decision, supported by COA (Commission on Audit) findings that disallowed Meralco’s passing on income tax to consumers and granting a P 30-B refund to its five million customers. #OpinYon #opinion
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- Water firms ordered to lower rates (manilastandardtoday.com)
- MWSS denies hike plea, orders lower water rates for next 5 years (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Solons to probe ‘irregularities’ in setting water rates (bulatlat.com)
- Manila Water Plunges by Record on Rate-Cut Order: Manila Mover (bloomberg.com)
- Enrile, Trillanes face off over water deals (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Philippine Water Regulator Orders Companies to Cut Tariffs – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Water firms face P43-b refund bid (mst.ph)
- Consumer groups see arbitration between MWSS (business.inquirer.net)
- Trillanes, Enrile face-to-face again over water firms’ corporate income taxes (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Decision on water rate hike out soon (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
BY MIGUEL RAYMUNDO
PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III is surely feeling the heat with some of the country’s top technocrats forming an alliance to make him answerable for the billions of pesos in government funds under his control.
Former national treasurer Leonor Briones says the legislators’ pork barrel is just a “coin purse” while Malacañang, that is PNoy, holds the” power of the purse”.
According to the group of Briones, the President has control of over PhP1 trillion in government funds. The national wrath over the lost PhP10 billion in pork is a small percentage to what Malacañang could be liable of with those trillions.
The question is can we trust PNoy to use that money for the good of the country?
Many think PNoy cannot be trusted. Everyday more Filipinos are added to those who do not think PNoy can be trusted in his office. And there is a reason for the growing distrust.
Blasted in Social Media
In the social media, blogs and posts denounce PNoy’s inappropriate interest in protecting the country’s most hated “queen of the pork barrel” Janet Lim-Napoles.
His apparent coddling of Napoles sent signals to the public that something was cooking. This sparked suspicions that PNoy was “too frightened” of Napoles. This also generated some angry questions that got even angrier answers.
And the anger against the un-presidential caring of and protection given to Napoles, “queen” of ten-billion robbery of the countryside development funds entrusted to legislators and bureaucrats, grew louder as stories of the past are brought back to life.
The people are reminded of the sins of the mother of PNoy, the former President Cory Aquino, who has been sold to the Filipino people as saint and martyr.
OpinYon finds it fit to run some of these reminders to the Filipino people. In this issue we pick from the controversialfiles.net.
Scandals of the Cory Era
One of the biggest urban legends of recent times in the Philippines, is the story that the Cory Administration was supposedly the “cleanest” among the Administrations in the last three decades.
Thanks to Nostalgia, and the fact that her Administration was at the dawn of the internet age, much of the negativities of that Administration has been largely forgotten, and people tend to remember only the “good” things about that Administration.
Well, thanks to Noynoy Aquino’s “holier-than-thou” campaign strategy, much of the “unpleasantries” during Cory’s time are being brought back to the surface slowly, but surely. Here are some that we have managed to dig out:
- UNTOLD STORY: Scandals During The Corazon Aquino Administration (thecontroversialfiles.net)
- EDITORIAL: No Killing the Pork (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Aquino warned to heed call to scrap ‘pork’ or face ‘point of no return’ (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Photo of PNoy with Napoles’ daughter authentic – Palace (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Aquino photo with young Napoles means nothing – Palace (rappler.com)
- Demeaning the Presidency (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Malacañang released pictures of PNoy with Napoleses (rojan88.wordpress.com)
- Janet Lim Napoles’ brother relieved by sister’s surrender (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Aquino legacy in peril (rappler.com)
- Protest vs pork progresses from #MillionPeopleMarch to #ForwardMarch (bulatlat.com)