Razon investment in Manila Water has no effect on concession deal – Guevarra
MANILA, Philippines – The Razon group’s Prime Metroline Holdings Inc. acquisition of the 25-percent stake at the Ayala group’s Manila Water Co. Inc. will not have any effect on the revision of the government’s concession agreement with the water firms.
“The CA concession agreement will be revised for the benefit of the consuming public, regardless of the ownership of the water company,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.
The government is currently in the process of revising the concession agreement with Manila Water and Maynilad.
Manila Water is a subsidiary of the Ayala Corp., while businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Investments Corp. owns a controlling stake in Maynilad.
The two private companies distribute water to Metro Manila and other parts of the country under agreements signed with state regulator Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) in 1997.
Last year, supply interruptions started in various areas in Metro Manila due to increased demands and reduced water levels of dams. It drew the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte, especially after a Department of Justice (DOJ) review showed the water contracts were “onerous and disadvantageous to the people, relative the terms or periods, government non-interference, as well as concessionaire indemnification for losses.”
Currently, the government is drafting an agreement that Guevarra earlier described as one that “has no legally objectionable provisions, is fair and equitable, more transparent, and advantageous to the consuming public.
“Inputs on the financial and commercial provisions are now being incorporated in the draft, once consolidated, we may start discussions with the concessionaires in March,” Guevarra said.
BREAKING: Razon group acquires 25% of Manila Water
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