outbrain
Close  

Probe water concession deals, Congress urged

By: - Correspondent / @melvingasconINQ
/ 04:50 AM December 01, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Congress should investigate the water supply agreements entered into by the government with two water concessionaires in light of a foreign arbitration tribunal’s order for the Philippine government to pay a concessionaire P7.4 billion as ”guaranteed profit,” party list group Bayan Muna said on Saturday.

House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate blamed the “onerous provisions” of the concession agreement, in which the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) assumed the duty to pay the water firms their “guaranteed profit.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“The Singapore Arbitration Panel recently ordered MWSS to pay Manila Water P7.4 billion because MWSS refused Manila Water’s demand to increase water rates in 2015.  This is actually penalizing consumers who will ultimately pay for this, ” he said.

In a disclosure on Friday, Manila Water Co. said the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Singapore ruled that the Philippine government must indemnify the company P7.39 billion for losses incurred due to the nonimplementation of rate hikes.

FEATURED STORIES

Breach

“The tribunal ruled that Manila Water has a right to indemnification for actual losses suffered by it on account of the (government’s) breach of its obligation,” it said.

Manila Water said the indemnity covers losses incurred from June 1, 2015, to Nov. 22, 2019, which corresponds to the period that MWSS supposedly did not implement the water rate hikes.

Zarate branded the tribunal’s decision as “a mockery and an insult to Filipino consumers.”

“This decision came about because of the onerous concession agreement signed by government with the two water concessionaires and this should be investigated,” the Bayan Muna lawmaker said.

The arbitration ruling, Zarate said, exposes the “tragedy and lunacy of privatization.”

Lawyer Neri Colmenares, Bayan Muna chair, also backed the proposed inquiry and eventual scrapping of the concession agreements.

ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: 18th Congress, Bayan Muna, Carlos Isagani Zarate, Manila Water Co., MWSS, water concession deals
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.