Keep pressing for tax refunds from water concessionaires, public urged
MANILA, Philippines — Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares is urging the public to continue demanding for “a refund of the billions in corporate income tax that we have paid through many years” from private water concessionaires.
“Billions in refund could mean thousands of pesos for each household in water concession areas. Napakalaking tulong ang bilyon-bilyung refund na ito sa marami nating naghihirap ba mamamayan,” the former lawmaker said in a statement Saturday.
(Billions in refund could mean thousands of pesos for each household in water concession areas. These billions of refunds will be of great help to many of our poor citizens.)
Colmenares’ remark came after the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Manila Water Co., Inc. should not pass their corporate income taxes onto consumers as operating expenses.
Colmenares also reiterated that because these private concessionaires are treated as public utilities, they should not bill consumers rates exceeding their 12% rate of return base, a limit set by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.
Colmenares then called on the Marcos administration to fully implement the SC ruling, ensuring that private water concessionaires “follow the principle laid down by this momentous SC decision.”
“The SC decision is not just a victory of Bayan Muna, or consumers in Metro Manila but also a victory for consumers in the provinces of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.
“This could help stop the increasing water rates all over the country,” he added.