By Madelaine B. Miraflor
In the anticipated Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) management shake-up that came a few weeks after a water crisis plagued the east zone concession, MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco is set to take over the agency’s chairmanship in more than two weeks.
This, as he turns over his current position to retired Army Brig. Gen. Ricardo Morales.
MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco said his agency is now just waiting for the signed papers from Malacañang that will formally appoint him as MWSS Chair and Morales as the MWSS administrator.
“We should receive it maybe by the end of the month. There will be a turnover ceremony,” Velasco said in a phone interview on Thursday.
Velasco’s term is really set to expire on June 30. He being replaced by Morales simply meant President Rodrigo Duterte didn’t reappoint him and instead recommended him to preside the MWSS Board of Directors.
“As a chairman, I will preside all the MWSS board meetings. But the agency’s day to day operations will now be handled by Morales,” Velasco said.
The current MWSS Board of Directors will still have to approve Velasco’s chairmanship, but with Duterte’s recommendation, he will likely get their green light.
Velasco is replacing MWSS Chair Franklin Demonteverde, who would be transferred to the Judicial and Bar Council.
The changes in the MWSS management is just one of the things that happened after the Ayala-led Manila Water Company, Inc. caught itself in a supply mess that affected millions of its customers, which experienced low to no water supply for weeks.
At some point, Duterte even asked MWSS to release water for Angat Dam that is good for 150 days to address the issue.
But, Velasco said the President may just have been misinformed about the situation, especially since the existing infrastructure won’t allow what the latter would have wanted to do with Angat Dam, which supplies bulk of Metro Manila’s water needs.
Manila Water ended up being penalized with billions worth of fines and investment obligations, while the government is also now running after Maynilad Water Services Inc. for its alleged recent failure to provide some of its customers with 24/7 uninterrupted supply.