Quezon City: Water Privatisation

Stealing the Commons - the commodification of water


Water Not Profit
Water Not Profit

Consumer activists and organizations in the Philippines have condemned the bailout agreement between the wealthy Lopez clan and the government. Together with the French water giant Suez, Lopez-owned Benpres is controlling Maynilad, one of the two private concessionaires that are distributing water in Metro Manila since the privatization of the service in 1997. While the company has raised water rates by 226 percent and both Benpres and Suez have milked the company dry, Maynilad accumulated a debt of P8 billion to the government. Under the current bailout agreement, the government will not collect these unpaid concession fees and assume almost P11 billion in outstanding obligations of the near-bankrupt company in exchange for shares. While this deal obviously favors Benpres and Suez instead of the consumers, the latter will have to bear a new rate increase of 32 percent.

Around the world there are struggles against Corporate control of local water services and control of water resources: Argentina; Cochabamba, Bolivia; Grenoble, France; New Delhi, India; Jakarta, Indonesia; Papakura, New Zealand; South Africa; Michigan and Stockton, in the USA; to name but a few.

[ Operation Water Rights (including Corporate Profiles) | Water Justice |

Philippine Water Vigilance Network | Public Citizen |Reclaim the Commons ]

In January 2004 NGOs launched a campaign against privatisation of water at the peoples World Water Forum in India to counter the privatisation agenda of the World Water Council.

Major Corporations involved in water supply include: Suez (United Water), Vivendi, RWE/Thames Water, and Bechtel.

Coca-Cola have just been banned for over-exploiting ground-water resources in India.

In Berlin, Germany, a Forum on Global Development Policy on Water - Human Right or Commodity was held 26-27 March.


thumbs up!

ric urrutia 06.Apr.2004 19:04

very cool article. this is an incredibly important issue we on the left have been slow to pick up on. nevermind the control of information, if corporations control water, they essentially dictate who lives and who dies.

thanks for the useful links!