Re Maynilad, Manila Water: I will insist on collecting billions and billions from them - Duterte

Re Maynilad, Manila Water: I will insist on collecting billions and billions from them - Duterte

The talks between Malacanang and the two giant water concessionaires Maynilad Water Services and Manila Water Co. is far from being finished as President Rodrigo Roa Duterte himself admits that they are having a hard time making a new contract.
“How can you now craft a new contract? Because I would insist that you pay the billions and billions that you collected,” said Duterte in his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“For example, water treatment. O nandiyan sa kontrata. It’s in the billing, they are being collected since 1997. Ilang bilyon na nga wala ni isa, not even a faucet was built for a water treatment facility,” he added.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(photo credit to owner)

Duterte was talking about the 10 percent environment fee charged by Maynilad and Manila Water in their monthly bills since they won the 25-year contract in 1997. The fees were supposed to be used to build sewerage treatment and sanitation facilities. But up to now, their consumers in Metro Manila and adjoining provinces of Rizal and Cavite still use septic tanks connected to their toilets to dispose of their water wastes.
The Supreme Court in 2018 fined Maynilad  and Manila Water P921 million each for violating the Philippine Clean Water Act after failing to connect all existing sewage lines in establishments and households to an available sewerage system within the five-year period set by law.
 Both firms have appealed the decision of the Supreme Court.

Last year in December, the President ordered a review of the contracts of the two giant water concessionaires after the two demended the payment of P11 billion as against the Philippine government this is in connection to the latter’s denying their water hikes.
It was this instance that President Duterte threatened the with military takeover of their respective facilities, review of their contracts, and to be charged with plunder for their billions of worth of environment fee collections.
The MVP and Ayala companies then both agrees to waive the compensation and review their contracts to amend the 1997 contracts, including a liability clause which bars the government from blocking water rate adjustments and forcing it to pay for losses incurred.
Since then the Chief executive has received the proposed revisions made by a committee led by the Department of Justice last June.

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