Duterte to Manila Water, Maynilad: “Pray nobody will be interested” in new water contracts

(Eagle News) — “Pray nobody will be interested” in the new water contracts prepared by government.

This was the advice of President Rodrigo Duterte to Manila Water and Maynilad, which have yet to accept the contracts made by the Department of Justice after it found what it said were onerous provisions in the existing ones.

Among these provisions were a ban on the government from interfering in setting water rates and an indemnification clause should there be government “interference.”

The DOJ also said the extension of the contracts way before they were set to expire in 2037 was irregular.

“I gave them the choice, not an ultimatum. We do not do that because we do not own government,” the President said.

Earlier, Duterte urged Manila Water and Maynilad to accept the new contracts or government would nationalize water services.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has given the assurance the provisions of the new pacts would not “kill” the water concessionaires, and that the provisions disadvantageous to the government were merely replaced with “equitable” ones.