The Department of Justice on Sunday assured the people that there will no longer be onerous provisions in the new concession agreements with both Manila Water Company, Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra made the assurance as the government panel meets today, May 3, with representatives of the Maynilad to discuss its new water concession agreement.
The government and Manila Water have signed a revised CA last March 31 and the agreement will be effective six months after the signing.
Guevarra stressed that there will be no more grossly disadvantageous provisions in the new concession agreement that will be signed with Maynilad.
“There are certain provisions which, I believe, are non-negotiable,” Guevarra said.
“The removal of the non-interference clause, the non-chargeability of corporate income tax to consumers’ water bills, no government guarantees for future debts, COA (Commission on Audit) audit, and a more transparent governance mechanism are some of these,” he added.
Guevarra admitted that the government panel has already sent a copy of the revised concession agreement to Maynila Water.
“Until we hear the initial comments of Maynilad Water, we can’t say if we’ll have a CA that is not too different from the CA with Manila Water” (Manila Water Company, Inc.), he said.
Maynilad Water and Manila Water are the two water concessionaires in Metro Manila and some nearby provinces.
President Duterte himself pushed for the revision of the pre-existing water concession agreements with the two companies as early as December 2019 after a panel of reviewers from the Department of Justice found numerous onerous provisions.