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Aquino criticized for condoning MWSS officials’ ‘fat’ bonuses

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) chided Malacañang on Wednesday for allegedly condoning the excessive bonuses received by officials of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) last year.

The group also said the MWSS officials should be fired for allowing private water concessionaires Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co. to pass on their tax payables to the already burdened customers in Metro Manila.

According to Roger Soluta, secretary-general of KMU, defending MWSS’s “fat bonuses” only means that the Aquino administration is prioritizing private gain over public service by government officials and sends a wrong signal to officials of government-owned and -controlled corporations that they can get bigger salaries and bonuses if they are able to increase revenue.

He was referring to Palace Spokesman Edwin Lacierda’s defense on Monday of the P300,000-to-P500,000 bonus received by MWSS executives in 2012, citing the company’s P2-billion net profit for that year.

President Aquino himself scolded MWSS for the excessive bonuses received by its officials and employees under his predecessor’s administration in his first State of the Nation Address before “cracking the whip” and ordering its reorganization.

“It is disgusting to hear the Aquino administration justifying the fat bonuses of executives who should be removed from office and sent to jail. This defense is a thumbs-up to the water firms’ greed and the MWSS executives’ corruption,” Soluta said.

The bonuses received by MWSS officials come from the pockets of water consumers composed mostly of the poor, he added.

Soluta said MWSS should not be raking in profits because water distribution is a vital social service to the people.

“The Aquino [administration] is employing double standards on this issue. It condemned allies of the previous government for pocketing huge bonuses, but it defends its allies for doing the same,” he said.

 

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