(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration has adopted the recommendation to revoke the memorandum of agreement that extended the water concession period “prematurely” up to 2037.
This was according to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who gave an interview over radio dzmm on Thursday, Dec. 5.
According to Guevarra, the recommendation was adopted during a Cabinet meeting on Nov. 6.
Guevarra had said the extension of the concession period in the case of Manila Water in 2009, and Maynilad in 2010, was “irregular” as this took place even before they were set to lapse in 2022.
He said the concession agreement had a clause that said the pact could be renewed at the time of expiration, but not before.
“Twelve or 13 years prior to expiration date ay nag-extend na ng period of concession without changing any grounds or conditions of the original contract,” he said.
President Duterte vowed to take to court the people behind what he said were the onerous contracts that were disadvantageous to the government.
This was after a Permanent Court of Arbitration in Singapore ordered the Philippine government to pay P7.39 billion to Manila Water for the concessionaire’s losses from June 1, 205 to November 22 because of the government’s refusal to raise tariffs.
In a statement on Wednesday, Manila Water said the arbitral award stems from breaches made by previous administrations, not Duterte’s.