Maynilad hopeful of new concession deal with govenment

Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - April 23, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — West zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. hopes to finish negotiations on a new concession agreement as soon as possible to provide better service to its customers.

In a virtual press briefing yesterday, Maynilad chief executive officer Ramoncito Fernandez said the company had already started formal communications with the government regarding a new concession agreement.

“And our expectation is that there will be a fair and reasonable result of the review,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez said there is no target date as to when the negotiations will be completed.

“We hope it will be finished as soon as possible so that we can implement the plans we have laid out in our concession,” he said.

The new concession agreement that Manila Water signed with the government allows the company to operate in its service area until 2037.

Among the provisions included in Manila Water’s new concession agreement are the removal of the non-interference clause, which will allow the government to interfere in the rates agreed upon by the regulatory office and the water concessionaire.

The recovery of the corporate income taxes and adjustment for foreign currency differential (FCDA) was also removed while a tariff freeze until December 31, 2022 is implemented, in line with the government’s program to assist the disadvantaged sector and to contribute to the recovery of the economy post-COVID 19.

Manila Water serves the east zone, which encompasses parts of Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan, Taguig, Marikina, most parts of Quezon City, portions of Manila as well as several towns in Rizal.

In contrast, Maynilad serves the west zone or the areas of Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas, Malabon, and certain portions of Manila, Quezon City, Makati and Cavite.

Maynilad is ramping up its initiatives to protect vital watersheds in the country, which replenish the dams that serve the water needs of about 15 million people in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Fernadez emphasized the need to update watershed preservation programs given the effects of climate change as well as increased urbanization.

“Significant among the enhanced programs is the development of the Ipo Watershed Plan – a comprehensive program that the MWSS and the water concessionaires will undertake over the next 25 years for the use, protection, and management of the Ipo Watershed,”Maynilad said.

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