Nanakot pa! Maynilad, Manila Water warn of rate hike after Duterte cancels contract extension
Water rates could double after the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) cancelled the extension of the concession agreement with Manila Water Company, Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. until 2037, their officials warned Wednesday (December 11).
Maynilad president and Chief Executive Officer Ramoncito Fernandez told lawmakers at a joint House committee hearing that there will be a “very high” increase in water rates since the company needs to recover its investments in a shorter period of time.
Fernandez noted that Maynilad already invested in a number of projects to improve water distribution, such as a new plant in Potatan and another reservoir.
Asked by how much water rates will increase, Fernandez said at the hearing of the House committees on public accounts and good governance and public accountability: “Definitely more than 100 percent.”
Manila Water board member Tony Aquino seconded Fernandez’s statement.
“We don’t have the final calculation yet because it’s quite complicated pero mga ganoon na rin siguro ang mangyayari dito,” he said.
MWSS Deputy Administrator for Engineering Leonor Cleofas confirmed that the government regulator’s board of directors cancelled last week the board resolution extending the concession agreement with Maynilad and Manila Water until 2037. The contract is originally set to expire in 2022.
Cleofas said the revocation of the extension was done in accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s orders.
Duterte has repeatedly slammed Maynilad and Manila Water this month over the supposed onerous provisions in the concession agreement, which he said allowed the water concessionaires to profit immensely at consumers’ expense.