DOF chief backs review of water supply deals but ‘pleased’ by concessionaires’ voluntary efforts | Inquirer News

DOF chief backs review of water supply deals but ‘pleased’ by concessionaires’ voluntary efforts

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 03:36 PM December 11, 2019

The head of President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic team on Wednesday (Dec. 11) expressed support for Duterte’s order to review more than 20-year-old contracts with two Metro Manila water concessionaires over alleged onerous provisions disadvantageous to the government.

“The President pointed out very clearly that certain terms in the concession agreement—which was signed in 1998 and renewed, I think, in 2009—were disadvantageous to the taxpayers,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told reporters.

“The President believes that it is time to review those terms, and he sent a signal that these have to be revised,” Dominguez said.


He said, though, that he was “pleased’ that the two concessionaires—Maynilad and Manila Water—“have come forward to do two things”—waive P11 billion in payments awarded by an arbitration court in Singapore and review terms of their concession agreements.


Dominguez said Manila Water, of the Ayala group, and Maynilad, of tycoon Manny Pangilinan, volunteered suggestions “on how to correct the imbalances in those concession agreements.”

“We will wait for their formal proposals,” Dominguez added.

He said while the Department of Justice and Office of the Solicitor General look into the contracts, it should be remembered that “the whole point is to make it fair to the Filipino taxpayers and the users of water.”

Last Tuesday (Dec. 10), Manila Water and Maynilad officials said they will no longer collect from the government nearly P11 billion that an international arbitration court had awarded to them for foregone revenues from higher rates they were unable to implement.

The two concessionaires made the move amid rage from Duterte who threatened to charge the companies with economic sabotage, send their officials to jail and seize their facilities.

Edited by TSB
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TAGS: DoF, Dominguez, Manila Water, Maynilad, News, water

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