After House OK, water franchise bills to face ‘fine-tooth comb’ in Senate

MANILA, Philippines — After the House of Representatives passed the franchise bills of Maynilad and Manila Water, Senator Grace Poe said these will face a “fine-tooth comb” scrutiny in the upper chamber.

“We assure that the bills will go through a fine-tooth comb at the Senate to guarantee that our people are not shortchanged and will get the quality service they deserve,” Poe, chairperson of the Senate public services committee which tackled franchise bills, said.

“We must put an end to the woes drowning many households for years due to lack of safe water to drink, high rates and constant supply interruption,” she added.

The senator issued the statement after the House approval of Maynilad and Manila Water’s franchise bills were questioned by some congressmen, who said the passage of the measures appeared to have been railroaded.

Poe, meanwhile, stressed that water franchise bills should “address the looming water scarcity exacerbated by the growing demand for the commodity and the lack of urgency in tapping new sustainable sources.”

“Businesses imbued with public interest must ensure that citizens’ welfare takes precedence over private profit,” she added.

Under the 1987 Constitution, franchise bills should first be approved in the House before it can be transmitted to the Senate for consideration.


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