MANILA — In the middle of a continuing rate dispute between two of its private concessionaires, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Regulatory Office Head is resigning from his post by the end of this month.
“It was a personal decision, as well as a board recognition that it was time to put everything in order,” MWSS-RO acting chief Emmanuel Caparas said in a report published by InterAksyon.
The resignation was made after the regulator was haled to an arbitration following his rejection of the two concessionaire’s application for increase in the base rates.
The two concessionaires include Maynilad Water Services which sought an increase of P8.58 per cubic meter, and Ayala-led Manila Water Co Inc asking for P5.83.
The arbitration followed after MWSS ordered both companies to reduce the base rates instead of granting the increase.
The Commission on Audit, also has sent a reminder to Caparas of the restrictions of the concession agreement.
Caparas however promised that the arbitration proceedings, which has already stayed more than the 90 days stipulated in the concession agreements, will not be affected by his resignation.
“I will be continuing with the board. Whatever battles still need to be fought, whatever processes to be fixed, I am still in the board,” he said.
“I don’t think maapektuhan yun. (I don’t think it will affected)The arbitration proceedings for both Manila Water and Maynilad are ongoing. We have had hearings in both. Lahat ng lumabas under study, under dispute. I’d like to assure the public we are undergoing the process very faithfully,” he added.
Meanwhile, a non-government organization expressed their concerns about the timing of Caparas’ resignation.
“Ito ay kaduda-duda. (This is doubtful.) Tingin namin may kaugnayan na yan sa international arbitration proceedings at umiiwas na si Caparas sa prosesong nagaganap. (We believe that this has something to do with the international arbitration proceedings and Caparas is avoiding the proceedings.)” said RJ Javellana, president of Water for All Reform Movement (WARM).
WARM is among the non-government organization that had lobbied for turning down the two concessionaires’ rate petitions.
With reports from Interaksyon News