Maynilad 'open to discussing' concession with Duterte government

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 05 2019 12:59 PM

Youth activists protest alleged inefficiencies in water distribution in Metro Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA -- Maynilad Water Services Inc said Thursday it was "open to discussing" its concession agreement with government after President Rodrigo Duterte said an international ruling that favored distribution utilities resulted in the public being "milked by billions."

Maynilad "will listen" and review the agreement once a formal notice is served, COO Randy Estrellado told ANC's Headstart. Rival Manila Water said Wednesday it would seek a "workable solution" with the Duterte government.

"We're open to discussing the contract. We haven't seen anything formally yet. We understand where they're coming from and we are willing to sit down and look at the concession," Estrellado said.

"We are fairly confident that we did nothing wrong," he said.

A Singapore-based arbitration court had ordered compensation for the two distribution utilities, P7.4 billion for Manila Water and P3.4 billion for Maynilad due to damages from denied petitions for rate increases.

The Ramos government privatized water distribution in 1997, with the capital split into two concession areas, Ayala-led Manila Water to the east and Pangilinan-led Maynilad to the west.