MWSS optimistic on new concession deal with Maynilad

MANILA – Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) chairman Reynaldo V. Velasco has expressed optimism that a new concession agreement between the government and Maynilad Water Services, will be reached soon.

“The signing of a new concession agreement with Maynilad is critical to the water security projects. Maynilad’s capital expenditure projects will rehabilitate and replace old pipelines, install new pipes in unserved areas, construct new pumping stations, reservoirs and treatment facilities, among others,” Velasco said in a statement on Tuesday.

Velasco said Maynilad is the largest private water concessionaire in the Philippines serving over 1.4 million customers.

He said the concession agreement with Maynilad is undergoing review by a government panel.

“A new concession agreement will boost investors’ confidence as many of the investors have adopted a wait-and-see attitude pending the signing of a new concession agreement,” he said.

Velasco said the new concession agreement will be similar to the deal the government signed with Manila Water.

The present agreement signed in 1997 during the term of President Fidel V. Ramos between the government and the partnership of Benpres and Lyonnaise des Eaux of France covers the west zone of the concession area, he said.

Velasco also said that in 2007 during the Arroyo administration, it was re-privatized and the west zone was placed under the consortium of Metro Pacific Investments (MPIC) and DMCI Holdings Inc. (DMCI).

The west zone concession area under Maynilad is composed of the cities of Manila (certain areas), Quezon City (certain areas), Makati (certain areas), Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas and Malabon—all in Metro Manila; the cities of Cavite, Bacoor and Imus, and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario—all in Cavite province.

Velasco also said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevara, in previous reports, the government panel “will be proposing essentially the same terms and conditions as those that were contained in the revised agreement with Manila Water.”The Manila Water new concession agreement is patterned after the New Clark City Water and Wastewater JVA of the Bases Conversion Development Authority that was developed with the advice of the Asian Development Bank. The agreement protects the interest of government and retains the economic viability of the concession. (PNA)

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