Maynilad, Manila Water agree to renegotiate ‘onerous’ water deals
MANILA, Philippines — Water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila water agreed to renegotiate the “onerous” 1997 water agreement with the government.
In separate letters to the President Rodrigo Duterte on December 10, Maynilad Chair Manny Pangilinan and Manila Water Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala, the two water concessionaires agreed for a renegotiation of their water deals with the government.
Pangilinan assured Duterte of “its willingness” to cooperate with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) ‘to have certain provisions of the Concession Agreement reviewed and amended.”
He reaffirmed Maynilad’s “unwavering commitment” in nation-building, economic growth and stability of service to the people.
Ayala, meanwhile, said that “we have agreed to and started discussions on the provisions that will be re-negotiated.”
Ayala said Manila Water has already responded to the letter from MWSS, “proposing to immediately start with the discussions and expedite the negotiations.”
He said Manila Water would “defer the implementation of the approved water charge increase.”
“We will not collect the P7.39 billion arbitral award,” he added.
he further said: “Mr. President, we heed your call to revisit and re-negotiate certain provisions of the concession agreement. We fully share your mandate to put the interest of the people as the primary objective.”
In separate decisions, the Singapore-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ordered the Philippine government in 2017 to pay P3.6 billion to Maynilad and in November to compensate P7 billion to Manila Water for losses suffered by the water firms due to disallowed water rate increases from 2013 to 2017.
The 25-year water concession agreements were signed in 1997 during the term of former president Fidel Ramos administration and extended in 2009 through the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration until 2037.
Duterte has earlier ordered the filing of economic sabotage charges against those involved in the government’s water concession agreements with Maynilad and Manila Water.
He has slammed the “onerous” water concession agreements and said that the government won’t compensate the two water companies despite the order of an arbitration court based in Singapore.
Edited by MUF
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.