Singapore court upholds arbitral award to Maynilad

Maynilad Water Services Inc. said Wednesday the Singapore High Court upheld the arbitral award to the water utility firm over the tariff dispute with the Philippine government.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp., the parent company of Maynilad, said in a disclosure to the stock exchange it received word from Maynilad’s Singapore-based counsel about the court’s decision.

It said the Singapore High Court’s decision dismissing the Philippine government’s petition had become final as of Oct. 4, 2018.

Metro Pacific said the decision became final after the Philippine government decided that it would no longer appeal Singapore High Court’s first partial award dated July 24, 2017, which was issued by a unanimous tribunal in the arbitration between Maynilad and the Philippines.

Under the decision, the Philippine government, through the Department of Finance, would  reimburse Maynilad P3.42 billion for losses from March 11, 2015 to Aug. 31, 2016.

Aside from dismissing Philippine government’s appeal, the Singapore High Court also ordered it to pay Maynilad S$40,000 in legal costs.

Maynilad, the water concessionaire in the west zone of Metro Manila, filed the arbitration case against the government in 2013 after the state-run Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System rejected its petition for water rate adjustment.

The MWSS earlier denied Maynilad’s petition for an upward adjustment by 28.35 percent of its average basic charge or P8.58 per cubic meter, and instead ordered a rate reduction of 4.82 percent or P1.46 per cubic meter.

The three-member arbitral tribunal of the International Chamber of Commerce in July 2017 upheld the validity of Maynilad’s claim against the government and ordered the Republic to compensate Maynilad for its revenue losses.

The arbitral court also ruled that Maynilad was entitled to recover from the government its losses from Sept. 1, 2016 onwards

The Philippine government asked the High Court of Singapore in February to set aside the arbitral award to Maynilad, which the water utility firm described as last ditch effort to “frustrate and stonewall the enforcement of the arbitral award”.

Topics: Maynilad Water Services Inc. , Singapore High Court , arbitral award , Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
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