CA upholds ruling in favor of Maynilad in arbitration case

HIGHER water rates may await customers of Maynilad Water Services, Inc.

This comes after the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed a lower court’s ruling upholding Maynilad’s entitlement to the inclusion of corporate income tax in its tariff and the rebasing adjustment that Maynilad had proposed for January 1, 2013 to 31 December, 2017.

Maynilad parent Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) told the stock exchange on Thursday that the CA’s Second Division, in a decision dated May 30, 2018, denied for lack of merit the petition for review that the Metropolitan Water Works and Sewerage System (MWSS) filed in the arbitration case.

Instead, MPIC said the Court of Appeals affirmed the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City’s 2017 decisions confirming the Final Award dated December 29, 2014 issued in the arbitration between Maynilad and the MWSS, and ordered its immediate implementation by MWSS.

“As previously disclosed, the Final Award upheld Maynilad’s entitlement to the inclusion of corporate income tax in its tariff, and the 13.41% Rebasing Adjustment that Maynilad proposed for the Fourth Rate Rebasing Period — 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2017,” it said.

MPIC said that while the MWSS may still appeal to the Supreme Court, “this appeal should not stay the immediate implementation of the Final Award.”

“[T]his decision reinvigorates investor confidence in the public-private partnership program of the Government, and strengthens confidence in the mechanisms for enforcement of arbitral awards. This also ensures the continued implementation of Maynilad’s capital expenditure projects that are intended to benefit further our customers,” Maynilad President Ramoncito Fernandez was quoted as saying in the statement. JORDEENE B. LAGARE

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