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Gov’t, Manila Water sign revised water contract

AYALA-CONTROLLED Manila Water Co., Inc. signed a revised water concession contract with the government on Wednesday, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said.

 “The Board Chairman/Acting Administrator Reynaldo Velasco signed for MWSS (Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System),” he said in a mobile message.

 The President’s spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. “will make the official announcement, then I can disclose the salient features,” Mr. Guevarra said.

He said the new contract will provide “better overall service and more reasonable charges to consumers.”

 Mr. Guevarra said there are certain “technical” that need to be resolved before the new concession agreement takes effect, but added that the effectivity date will not go beyond six months from signing.

 President Rodrigo R. Duterte tasked the Department of Justice to head the contract negotiations with Metro Manila’s two water providers, Manila Water Co., Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. 

Mr. Duterte claimed the old contracts were “one-sided” as most of their provisions prevent the government from intervening in the setting of water rates.

Mr. Guevarra also said negotiations with Maynilad will start after Easter, on April 5.

Manila Water Spokesman Jeric T. Sevilla, Jr. confirmed the signing of the agreement but asked news organizations to “wait for our disclosure to PSE (Philippine Stock Exchange)” for details of the contract. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago

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