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Water firms to appeal MWSS rate cut order

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The two Metro Manila water service concessionaires will dispute the order of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System’s (MWSS) for a rate reduction by filing an appeal before an arbitration panel.

Following the announcement last Thursday of regulators’ decision to deny their proposed rate hikes for the next five years, both Manila Water Company Inc. and Maynilad Water Service Inc. have until Oct. 13 to lodge the appeal.

In a statement published Monday, Maynilad cited Section 7.1 of the concession agreement, where the rate determined by MWSS may be brought before arbitration.

As such, Maynilad said that present water rates would remain in effect, pending the resolution of the appeal.

Cherubim Ocampo-Mojica, head of corporate communications at Maynilad, explained that under the agreement, a concessionaire has a month to do so before an internationally constituted appeals panel.

This was echoed by Manila Water spokesperson Jeric Sevilla who said the agreement gives the concessionaire 31 days from receipt of a disputed regulatory decision to file for arbitration.

The panel would consist of three members—one of which is appointed by the MWSS Regulatory Office (RO), another by the concessionaire and a third by the International Chamber of Commerce who shall serve as chair.

Mojica said that the concession agreement gives this appeals panel 60 days from receipt of the notice of dispute and statement of claim to come up with a final determination, which is either the rate set by the MWSS RO or the one claimed by the concessionaire.

This 60-day period may be extended if both parties agree, she added.

“In the meantime, the currently implemented rates will be applied until the panel makes a final determination,” she said.

Manila Water said in a separate statement that it is going for arbitration to assure its customers a sustainable and secure water supply, as well as to address “the need for government to preserve the momentum and gains achieved by the most successful public-private partnership for the last 16 years,” referring to its concession.


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  • Ramon Guerrero

    A paper done by the Deutsche Bank Markets Research observed that ‘many aspects will likely be contestable under an impartial, well-informed panel.’ They believe then that ‘the concessionaires could manage to overturn some of the key provisions upon appeal.’ It reminds us that the main bone of contention of income taxes “under the terms of the concession agreement …are an allowable recoverable expense.”

    This study was directed at potential investors who will undoubtedly be soured by the idea that if even ironclad contracts can be contested when enough noise is made by leftist NGOs playing on people’s fears, what would guarantee the security of any agreement they would enter with us?

    In the end, when all the dust clears (goodness knows how long this will take), what will we have gained in the end? Cheaper water perhaps, but at the cost of impaired service and investor flight.

    It’s so easy to blithely dismiss the big picture as ‘filthy capitalists’ that we don’t need while life is still good, but once the faucets (and jobs, etc.) dry up, we start whining, conveniently forgetting the reason for it in the first place.

  • disqus_ZrxaGjUzMQ

    MANILA WATER GREEDINESS CANNOT BE FORGIVEN – NO TO APPEAL — MWSS U BETTER NOT GIVE IN TO MANILA WATER RATE INCREASE

  • aldren85

    COA should undertake a special audit of the rebasing plans made in 2002 and 2008, to find out if there are anomalies or overpricing of projects or inclusion of projects that have not been done to DETERMINE IF THE FORMER MWSS BOARD AND THE CONCESSIONAIRES HAVE OVERCHARGED THE PUBLIC AND THEREFORE LIABLE FOR REFUNDS OR CRIMINAL CASES.

  • aldren85

    Please spare us the rhetoric, Manila Water, in saying that the company is resorting to arbitration “to assure its customers a sustainable and secure water supply”. Do not make us consumers your reason for going for arbitration. It is your greed for business profits. Why don’t you two concessionaires show in a paid ad the specific reasons that you are disputing on the MWSS decisions. The impression you concessionaires give is that 1) you are delaying the implementation of the MWSS decision; 2) you are using the Arbitration clause just because it is available; 3) under the Aquino administration, you concessionaires have lost your $clout$ with the MWSS, unlike before during the days of GMA when you could get away with what you wanted AT THE EXPENSE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS.

    • disqus_ZrxaGjUzMQ

      manila water U R GREEDY BA S T A R DS — NO TO YOUR S T U P I D APPEAL — MWSS MORE REDUCTION OF WATER RATE———– EVERYTIME MANILA WATER ASK FOR INCREASE – DROP THE RATE LETS SEE HOW MANY TIMES THE MANILA WATER WILL ASK FOR RATE INCREASE

  • Don Dee

    Moderate your greed, Maynilad and Manila Water. Kayo rin, pag sumabit kayo at umabot sa plunder, derecho kulungan kayo.

  • disqus_EWrSdjV1nv

    sa daming kick backers sa mwsi at mwci. pwede pamurahin ang presyo ng construction by as much as 30%.
    parang congress din sa loob nyan. daming kawatan. pati director.
    ika nga. “pera pera lang yan.”
    kung matino lahat ang nasa loob ng dalawang yan, malaki ang imumura ng tubig!

    • Ambot

      di napapansin gaano ang private sector. In reality, matindi ang corruption na nagaganap dito.



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