Water Concessionaires To Drop Compensation Claims
Manila Water and Maynilad earlier this month was awarded by a Singapore-based court PHP10.8 billion in compensation, to be paid by the Philippine government. This was payment for the losses that they incurred due to the denial of their request to increase their water rates.
It received backlash from no other than the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte. Because of this, the heads of the two firms said during the congressional hearing earlier on Tuesday that they are willing to work with the government on revising the concession agreements.
Manila Water president Jose Almendras said that they are responding to the order of President Duterte to revisit and discuss some provisions in the concession agreement. In light of this, Almedras also confirmed that they will be dropping the PHP7.4 billion claim.
Meanwhile, Maynilad CEO and President Ramoncito Fernandez also said that they would no longer pursue their PHP3.4 billion claims. He added that the arbitral award was granted in 2017, but they never bothered the government about it after they lightly followed up their claim.
Just like Maynila Water, Maynilad would also follow the directive of the President to drop the arbitral award. On top of that, they would no longer implement rate hikes scheduled in January 2020.
The Department of Justice said on Tuesday that the government would “renegotiate” with the distributors a provision in their concession that bars the government from interfering in water rates. DOJ spokesperson also announced that the government will not pay the PHP10.8 billion compensation.