Duterte approves franchises for Maynilad, Manila Water

The two water companies serving Metro Manila get 25-year franchises more than two years after President Duterte threatened to bankrupt them

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has signed 25-year franchise agreements for Maynilad and Manila Water, two water companies that have long supplied water to Metro Manila.

Republic Law 11160 again grants Maynilad Water Services Inc. a franchise to serve the western area of ​​Metro Manila and Cavite. It was signed by Duterte on December 10, 2021. Republic Law No. 11601, signed by Duterte on the same day, does the same for the Manila Water Company run by Razon, but for the eastern area of ​​Metro Manila and Rizal.

The new concessions come months after the two water concessionaires signed revised concession agreements with the government to appease Duterte, who was outraged by the “unfair” provisions of the previous agreement.

The president lashed out at the two companies and the influential tycoons behind them after Manila Water won a 2019 legal victory against the government in a Singapore court, which forced the government to pay the company more. of 7 billion pesos for the losses of the company, among others.

After Duterte threatened to confront family members Ayala and Manny V. Pangilinan (who owns a majority stake in Maynilad) and promised to expropriate the two water companies, the two companies said they would give up the rights. billion that the government owes them in arbitration cases.

In January 2020, the president put even more pressure on the two firms, telling them to accept the new concession agreements drafted by the Ministry of Justice or he would send their executives to jail.

The new agreements removed provisions that had outraged Duterte, such as the guarantee of investment income and the non-interference clause.

The non-interference clause had prohibited the government from interfering in the mechanism for setting tariffs or determining water tariffs and had most angered the president. – Rappler.com

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