Duterte grants 25-year franchises for Maynilad, Manila Water

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved into law measures granting 25-year franchises to water concessionaires Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Manila Water Company, Inc.

Republic Act No. 11600 grants Maynilad a franchise to establish, operate, and maintain a waterworks system and sewerage and sanitation services in the west zone service area of Metro Manila, and Province of Cavite.

RA 11601, on one hand, grants Manila Water a franchise to establish, operate, and maintain the same in the east zone service area of Metro Manila and Rizal province.

The new franchise laws will ensure an uninterrupted and adequate supply, and distribution of potable water for domestic, commercial, and other purposes.

Maynilad and Manila Water shall have the following rights and privileges:

-develop, finance, construct, install, maintain, and operate, as its operations may require, water sources, including new raw water sources, including deep wells, dams, aqueducts, tunnels, treatment plants, reservoirs, pump stations, and facilities for the transmission, conveyance and distribution of water, including pipelines, machinery, and other waterworks to supply water in the franchise area, for domestic, commercial, industrial, and other purposes

-recover, supply, distribute, and reuse treated and grey water, whether in bulk or retail, within the Franchise Area for domestic, commercial or industrial and other purposes

-finance, construct, install, maintain, and operate sewerage systems, whether separate or combined, as may be necessary for the proper sanitation and other uses within the Franchise Area.

-purify water from deep well, reservoir, dams and other water sources subject to the approval of the Department of Health or any other government agency concerned; and

-construct works across, over, through or alongside, any stream, watercourse, canal, ditch, public places, bridge, street, avenue, highway, or railway, as the location of said works may require.

When public interest for affordable water security so requires and upon the application of the grantee, RA Nos. 11600 and 11601 authorize the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System to approve the amendment of the Concession Agreement to extend its term up to the term of the franchise after the appropriate notice and hearing.