Gov’t set to discard ‘onerous’ water concession deals

Gov’t set to discard ‘onerous’ water concession deals

MANILA – All onerous provisions of concession agreements with the Metropolitan Waterworks Sewerage System (MWSS) will go to the garbage bin.

This was assured by Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday after the government panel reviewing the deals wound up their discussions on a new agreement with Manila Water Company Inc. (MWCI), Guevarra told newsmen on Thursday.

Aside from the DOJ, the review panel included representatives from the Office of the President, Department of Finance, Office of the Solicitor General, Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, and Vince Dizon of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

The panel will present the final draft to MWCI in a few days, Guevarra said, adding that preliminary meetings last month resulted in key agreements on important financial and commercial terms.

“We hope to conclude a new and better agreement with MWCI before the end of the month. Negotiations with Maynilad will follow thereafter,” Guevarra said.

In March 2019 when water service interruptions hit Metro Manila and nearby areas, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to fire MWSS officials and revoke the contracts with MWCI and Maynilad.

Last November, Duterte directed the DOJ to discuss with the two water concessionaires the proposed revisions of their existing contracts.

MWCI and Maynilad Water Services Inc. get water supply from Angat Dam for delivery customers in their service areas that include Metro Manila and parts of Cavite and Rizal provinces.

MWCI is a joint venture led by the Ayala Corporation. Its franchise area includes Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan, Taguig, Makati, and parts of Quezon City and Manila.

It also services Antipolo City and the Rizal towns of Angono, Baras, Binagonan, Cainta, Cardona, Jala-Jala, Morong, Pililla, Rodriquez, Tanay, Taytay, and San Mateo.

Maynilad on the other hand was originally a partnership between Benpres and Lyonnaise des Eaux of France. In 2006, they pre-terminated their contract.

D.M. Consunji Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation then won the bid for 84 percent of Maynilad shares and the unexpired term of the Lopez group.

Maynilad manages and operates water and waste-water services in the cities of Manila, Pasay, Parañaque, Caloocan, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Valenzuela, and parts of Makati and Quezon City, as well as Navotas and Malabon. Its franchise area also covers Cavite City, and its municipalities of Bacoor, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario. (PNA)

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