Manila Water, Maynilad barred from passing on penalties to consumers: regulator

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2019 02:14 PM | Updated as of Oct 11 2019 03:32 PM

MANILA - Manila Water and Maynilad are prohibited from passing on to consumers any financial penalties imposed by courts as stipulated in their concession agreements, a regulator said Friday.

The Supreme Court earlier imposed a P921.5 million fine for each distributor for violation of the Clean Water Act over their alleged failure to put up sewage lines and treatment facilities.

"The agency reassures the public that financial penalties imposed by the SC may not be passed on to consumers. It is clearly provided for in the concession agreement," Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) chief regulator Patrick Ty told reporters. 

The SC's decision last August also held the MWSS "jointly and severely liable" for the violation.

Pangilinan-led Maynilad, on Friday denied reports the it would raise water rates by 780-percent following the penalty. 

Ayala-led Manila Water and Maynilad separately questioning the fines in court.

Some “prudent and efficient expenses” incurred to complete water sewerage projects, however, may be passed to consumers but only after the rate rebasing in 2022. This means tariff adjustments, if any, will happen as early as January 2023, Ty said.