ELCThe Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) today assured water consumers that it continues to serve the public in faithful observance of its mandate while arbitration cases filed by private water concessionaires against MWSS are in progress.

MWSS acting chief regulator, lawyer Emmanuel Caparas, said “There is a process provided under the Concession Agreement. This process not only covers the rate rebasing exercise conducted last year, but includes the ongoing arbitration proceedings. We want to respect that process.”

Caparas added “Good faith compliance is mandatory for us. We fully intend to observe the rules, protocols and requirements of arbitration.”

The two water concessionaires, Manila Water Company, Inc., and Maynilad Water Services, Inc., filed their respective dispute notices with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), where both challenged the rates determined by the MWSS.

MWSS-RO determined a reduction in water rates last September 2013. The water concessionaires challenged this rebuff of their water hike petitions by filling dispute notices before the ICC. Manila Water filed its dispute notice on 24 September 2013, while Maynilad filed on 4 October 2014, officially commencing the arbitration process for both. Water rates remain on status quo implementation until this process is completed.