DECEMBER 11, 2019 — The Metropolitan Waterways and Sewerage System (MWSS) has decided to revoke deals to the extend the water concession with distributors Manila Water and Maynilad, the regulatory agency said on Wednesday, shortening the agreements by 15 years.
At a congressional inquiry, MWSS deputy administrator Leonor Cleofas said the agency has approved a board resolution to end the water concession deals in 2022, reversing an earlier decision which gave both water distributors contracts beyond 2030.
The decision, she said, would mean the government’s deals agreed with the two distributors in 2009 will not last until 2037.
However, both Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito Fernandez and Tony Aquino of Manila Water said they only received a copy of the resolution on Wednesday morning.
While both distributors were given three days to air their concerns, Fernandez said they are viewing the action with “grave concern.”
“Ngayong umaga lang po namin tinanggap ung board resolution na ‘yun. [W]e believe also that it is not proper to unilaterally revoke an agreement,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Manila Water and Maynilad gave up
the compensation claims it won amounting to 10.8 billion pesos.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in Singapore awarded them the claima after disputing a decision by government to reverse water rate increases.
The change of heart came after President Rodrigo Duterte’s scathing remarks against the distributors for onerous provisions in contracts. The president had even threatened to sue them for economic sabotage.
Maynilad and Manila Water have been distributing water supply in Metro Manila and to its neighboring provinces since 1997. (Christian Deiparine/MM)