Duterte okays draft water concession deals

Published November 11, 2020, 2:08 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

President Duterte has approved on Tuesday night (Nov. 11) the proposed new water concession agreements with Maynilad and Manila Water, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Wednesday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

“The President has approved our recommendation so the next step will be to sit down with the two water concessionaires in Metro Manila to discuss the specific terms and conditions of a proposed new water concession agreement with each of them,” said Guevarra at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay with Marichu Villanueva.

The secretary said the proposed new water concession agreements were presented to Duterte in Malacanang Tuesday night

“We were called to a meeting in Malacanang by the President precisely to present to him itong (this) proposed new water concession agreements which would eliminate itong mga (these) onerous provisions in the previous contracts,” he disclosed.

During the meeting with Duterte Tuesday night, the secretary told the President “provisions that will have to go and new provisions that will be incorporated that will make the water concession agreements more equitable, more transparent and will lessen contingent liabilities on the part of the government.”

“It took several months for us to come up with a new proposal,” Guevarra admitted.

Back in December last year, Duterte sought the drafting of new water concession agreements.

A team was formed to draft the new water concession agreements and is composed of lawyers from the DOJ, Department of Finance (DOF), Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), and Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC).

New deals were pushed by the President after he ordered last year the review of the government’s existing deals and a DOJ panel of reviewers found numerous onerous provisions in the water concession agreements with the two water concessionaires.