Home National News DOJ lauds concessionaires' decision not to collect gov't payment

DOJ lauds concessionaires’ decision not to collect gov’t payment

By Benjamin Pulta


MANILA — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday welcomed Maynilad and Manila Water’s decision not to pursue the more than PHP10-billion compensation they were seeking from the government, which the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Singapore has rewarded them.

“I also received these feelers from Maynilad and Manila Water. This is a very positive development,” Guevarra told reporters when sought for comment.

“Although the President has said that the government will not pay these arbitral awards, at least during his term anyway, this gracious manifestation on the part of the water concessionaires nonetheless removes a potential liability from the books of account of the government,” Guevarra said.

Guevarra said the government is now pursuing efforts to rework the terms of the 1997 concession agreements to remove onerous provisions.

“But as I said before, the issue of paying the arbitral award is not as important as ensuring that disputes arising from burdensome provisions of the water concession agreements will never happen again in the future,” Guevarra said.

He said the contracts are not iron-clad and “there is a contractual provision on amendments to the concession agreement”.

Manila Water is a subsidiary of Ayala Corporation, while businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Investments Corporation owns a controlling stake in Maynilad.

The two private concessionaires supply water in Metro Manila and nearby areas under agreements signed with state regulator Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) in 1997.

President Duterte lashed out at the water concessionaires after a review conducted by the DOJ showed the water contracts were “onerous and disadvantageous to the people, relative the terms or periods, government non-interference, as well as concessionaire indemnification for losses”.

Due to the two provisions, the government was ordered by the Singapore arbitration court to pay Maynilad about PHP3.6 billion and, recently, PHP7.4 billion to Manila Water as compensation for losses and damages.

The DOJ chief said another onerous provision is the extension of these contracts to 2037 considering that the extension was granted 12 to 13 years before the original expiration of the 25-year concession agreements in 2022. (PNA)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -


Agusan solon to teachers: Protect youth from NPA recruitment

By Alexander Lopez BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte -- Concerned over reports that influence of the New People’s Army (NPA) has already reached school campuses, Agusan...

BARMM distributes medical equipment in Maguindanao

By Edwin Fernandez COTABATO CITY – Health care providers in Maguindanao are now equipped with modern facilities to respond to the health needs of their...

‘Wall of Peace’ highlights NPA atrocities in Davao

By Che Palicte DAVAO CITY -- Twelve concrete walls surrounding the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) headquarters became the canvass for murals depicting the atrocities...

Concert to open Cagsawa Fest postponed due to COVID-19

By Mar Serrano DARAGA, Albay -- Organizers of the Cagsawa Festival in Daraga, Albay on Saturday decided to postpone a concert supposed to serve as...

Paris-inspired ‘Lock Bridge’ opens in Palo town of Leyte

By Gerico Sabalza TACLOBAN CITY -- The opening of the Paris-inspired “Lock Bridge” in Guindapunan village in Palo, Leyte on Friday night highlighted the town’s...