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Court confirms arbitration panel’s ruling on Maynilad

/ 05:20 AM September 15, 2017

The Regional Trial Court in Quezon City has confirmed a decision of an international arbitration panel that awarded Maynilad Water Services Inc. about P3.4 billion in indemnity from the government for the non-implementation of rate hikes.

In a regulatory filing, DMIC Holdings Inc.—one of the joint venture partners in Maynilad—said QC RTC Branch No. 93 issued a decision dated Aug. 30, which granted Maynilad’s petition for confirmation and enforcement of the arbitral award.

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According to Maynilad, once the RTC decision becomes final and executory, its 2017 average basic charge would increase by about 10 percent—representing the balance of the 13.4-percent rebasing adjustment that has yet to be implemented.

The MWSS concessionaire said this would translate to an average increase of P3.41 per cubic meter, to be added to the 2017 average basic charge of P34.51 per cu.m.

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In terms of household consumers’ monthly bills, those using up 10 cu.m. or less of water each month would see an increase of P11.56 in their monthly bill.

For those consuming 20 cu.m. a month, their monthly bill will increase by P43.76.

Maynilad said that, “if and when implemented, the tariff increase would also ameliorate the company’s claim against the government.”

A three-member arbitral tribunal of the International Chamber of Commerce issued a decision dated July 24, unanimously upholding the validity of Maynilad’s claim for compensation for the delayed implementation of its relevant tariffs for the rebasing period 2013 to 2017.

The water service provider said the tribunal ordered the government through the Department of Finance to reimburse Maynilad the amount of P3.42 million for losses from March 11, 2015 to August 31, 2016.

The concessionaires of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System go through five-year rate rebasing periods through their 25-year contracts.

In early 2013, Maynilad submitted to the MWSS Regulatory Office a five-year business plan— covering the 2013 to 2017 period— that required an increase in the company’s basic charges by P8.58 per cubic meter.

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TAGS: international arbitration panel, Maynilad Water Services Inc., rate hikes, Regional Trial Court
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