'Everything is possible' as Manila Water, Maynilad renegotiate contracts: regulator

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 17 2019 10:13 AM | Updated as of Dec 17 2019 12:55 PM

A woman and her 8-month-old daughter wait for workers to finish installing rows of water meters in Barangay Cembo, Makati City, Sept. 25, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — "Everything is possible" as Manila Water Co and Maynilad Water Services Inc renegotiate their concession agreements with government, the chief water regulator said Tuesday.

The two companies' concession deals remain in place as the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System revoked only the board resolution that extended them beyond 2022, not the agreements themselves, Chief Regulator Patrick Ty said.

"Ibig sabihin po nun, tuloy-tuloy pa rin po, hindi pa po canceled ang extension, hindi pa po kanselado ang kontrata," he told radio DZMM.

(This means that it's still continuous, the extension is not yet canceled, the contract is not yet canceled.)

"Everything is possible, depende po iyan sa negotiation... Pinag-aaralan pa po at ongoing negotiations pa po," he added.

(Everything is possible, depending on the negotiation. It is still being studied and negotiations are ongoing.)

President Rodrigo Duterte wants to "renegotiate" some parts of the concession agreement, including a provision that bars the government from interfering in water rates, the Department of Justice earlier said.
 
A new concession deal will be offered to Maynilad and Manila Water first, and to other consortia if both reject it, MWSS Administrator Emmanuel Salamat earlier said.

"Magsimula tayo sa bagong kontrata na magbe-benefit ang greater majority. Kung hindi, we will go through the other process which is re-bidding," he told ABS-CBN News.

(We will start with a new contract that will benefit the greater majority. If they reject it, we will go through the other process which is re-bidding.)

Both Maynilad and Manila Water earlier said they would no longer collect P10.8 billion in compensation for denied rate increases, and vowed to work with government on possible revisions to their concession agreements.