Manila Water won’t implement rate hikes in January
MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Water Company, Inc. will defer implementation while Maynilad Water Services, Inc. is open to delaying the enforcement of their respective water rate hikes set in January 2020.
Representatives of the two water concessionaires said this Tuesday as they attended the hearing of the House committees on good government and public accountability and public accounts.
“Hindi namin ipapatupad ang naaprubahang taas-singil ng tubig sa January 2020,” Manila Water President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Rene Almendras said.
(We would not implement the approved water rate hike set in January 2020.)
“Ipinarating po namin sa MWSS sa aming sulat noong ikatlo ng Disyembre ang aming hangarin na makipag-ugnayan para magkasundo kung paano maaayos, maipatutupad ang pagpapaliban sa nasabing naaprubahang taas singil ng tubig,” he added.
(We already sent a letter to MWSS dated December 3 where we expressed our willingness to coordinate with them on how we could defer the approved rate hike.)
Almendras also said it would cooperate with the government in reviewing the provisions of its contract with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).
“Tumutugon kami sa utos ng Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte na muling pag-aralan at pag-usapan ang ilang mga probisyon ng concession agreement,” Almendras said.
(We are responding to the order of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to study anew and discuss certain provisions of the concession agreement.)
Meanwhile, Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito Fernandez said they are open to delaying the implementation of their scheduled water rate hikes.
“Kami po ay bukas mag-delay. Pumapapayag po kami mag-delay, kailangan lang pag-usapan ang timing at ano ‘yung mga provisions,” Fernandez said.
(We are open to delaying. We are amenable to delay, there is just the need to talk about the timing and provisions.)
MWSS Vice-Chair Emmanuel Salamat said they created a panel that would review and renegotiate respective contracts with Manila Water and Maynilad.
The water concessionaires drew the ire of Duterte after Manila Water won its case against the government before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Singapore for blocking its water rate hikes. The President insisted the government would not honor the decisions of the arbitration court.
Duterte also threatened to sue the two concessionaires after Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the contracts awarded to Manila Water and Maynilad contained some “onerous provisions.”
Edited by KGA
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