MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte warned Monday he will use his "extraordinary" powers as president if concerned agencies would not be able to prevent the looming water crisis in the metro and nearby provinces.
Speaking to reporters, Duterte said he is studying all options in solving the water crisis including possible exercise of the "police power of the state."
"I have appointed enough men of equal talent to deal with the problem. I don't know kung saan sila kukuha, basta ang sa akin, you produce water," the President said.
"You have every right to protest if it really, would place your place in jeopardy, but if the safeguards are there, tapos between your concerns and the crisis that we are trying to avoid, I will use the extraordinary powers of the presidency," he added.
Should the situation worsen, Duterte said he may even go so far as a "takeover" to ensure that residents in affected areas have water.
"Confiscatory, talagang agawin mo... papabayaan mo walang mainom 'yung ano... tapos just because you're what, your environment will be spoiled," he said.
"I will go and operate it myself. I will take over and I will direct what to do. Ganoon lang 'yan. Hindi niyo kaya? O sige ako. Umalis kayo diyan," Duterte added.
"I could not just allow people to go about without water even for drinking. You just place the safeguards. It might create some danger or damage but that is not my concern. My concern is the welfare, the greatest good for the greatest number. That is democracy."
In March, over a million households in Metro Manila suffered from a water crisis brought about by the declining water level in Angat Dam, lack of rains due to El Niño, and high demand.
Metro Manila's water utility firms began rotational supply cuts last Thursday, Oct. 24 to avoid a bigger problem with the water supply next year, the companies said.