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Tulog sa pansitan simula 2016? Robredo questions timing of Maynilad, Manila water deal review

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Vice President Leni Robredo is curious why the government is only pursuing the renegotiation of the concession agreement with Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Corporation three years into President Rodrigo Duterte’s term.

Robredo said Sunday (December 15) that the government should’ve made the renegotiation of the contract a priority as soon as Duterte assumed office.

“Sigurado naman ako na noong pumasok sila noong middle of 2016, alam na nila na mayroong arbitration case. So iyong isang tanong lang: Bakit hinintay pa na lumabas iyong desisyon, lumabas iyong desisyon na ito? Bakit hindi gumawa ng mga hakbang noon pang 2016?” she said on her weekly radio show, “Biserbisyong Leni.”

Maynilad sued the Philippine government before a Singapore-based arbitration court in 2015 after the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System rejected its rate hike petition that year.

The arbitral court ruled in favor of Maynilad and Manila Water in a separate case, with the Philippine government being ordered to pay nearly P11 billion to them.

Both companies, however, have said they will no longer collect the award after Duterte lashed out at them.

Robredo said the Department of Justice should’ve reviewed the concession agreement much earlier.

“Bakit hindi ginawa nang mas maaga iyong renegotiation, na nakita na nila na may mga provisions dito na hindi makakabuti para sa atin?” she said.

DOJ officials had said that the review of the concession agreement began after the water crisis which affected Manila in March. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said they found at least a dozen provisions in the contract that were disadvantageous to both the government and the public.

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