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Manila Water to cut rate by P1.66 per cubic meter in 2015

To be followed by rate cuts of 55 centavos per cubic meter in 2016, 2017
/ 04:47 PM April 21, 2015

The Manila Water Co. Inc. officially disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday that it lost its arbitration case with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on its proposed water rates.

As a result, the water services provider will have to implement reductions in its basic water charge. There will be a decrease of P1.66 per cubic meter in 2015, a decrease of P0.55 per cubic meter in 2016 and a decrease of the same amount per cubic meter in 2017.

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Manila Water has a mixed reaction to the ruling, saying that, while it resolved issues raised by the Ayala-led company, the finding that it is a public utility is a source of concern.

“This, in our view, fundamentally changes the concession agreement which characterizes the company as an agent and contractor of MWSS. This was government’s representation during the 1997 bidding for private sector participation in the operation of MWSS,” Manila Water president and CEO Gerardo C. Ablaza Jr. said.

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Manila Water would study the full implications of the ruling, Ablaza said.

It may be recalled that in September 2013, MWSS rejected Manila Water’s request for an increase of P3.60 per cubic meter and ordered it to lower its rates by P7.24 per cubic meter for the 2013-2017 rate rebasing period.

The water services provider contested the rate-reduction order and filed a dispute notice before the International Chamber of Commerce. SM/RC

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TAGS: Arbitration, Business, Manila Water Co., Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, MWSS, Philippine Stock Exchange, water production and distribution, water rate reduction
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