Manila Water seeks 'workable solution' with Duterte gov't on compensation

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 04 2019 09:51 AM

Protesters hold a rally in front of a Manila Water Co office in the capital at the height of a supply crisis in early 2019. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA -- Ayala-led Manila Water Co said Wednesday it was "more than willing" to strike a "workable solution" with the Duterte government over a 7.4-billion compensation from the state.

Manila Water said the compensation, which was ordered by a Singapore-based arbitration court, was for "breach of the procedure" by the previous administration.

President Rodrigo Duterte said late Tuesday that the government was being "milked by billions" due to the compensation that was due to Manila Water and another P3.4 billion to Maynilad Water Services. The compensation was for losses due to denied petitions for rate increase.

"We wish to reiterate that Manila Water is more than willing and have started to work with the incumbent administration to come up with a workable solution to the arbitration decision," Manila Water said.

Before the arbitration ruling was made public, Manila Water said its chairman, Fernando Zobel de Ayala met with Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez where he said that the company was "willing to come up with a mutually acceptable manner of implementation."

"Secretary Dominguez acknowledged our proposal to work very closely with his office to find a mutually acceptable scheme to address the award," Manila Water said.

When the Ramos government offered the Metro Manila water concession to the private sector in 1997, Manila water said the state "unilaterally determined the terms of the agreements" which were on a "take it or leave it basis."