Gov't contests arbitral ruling favoring Maynilad in P3.4-billion dispute

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 14 2018 09:14 PM | Updated as of Feb 14 2018 09:35 PM

MANILA - The Philippine government has asked Singapore's High Court to set aside an arbitration panel's ruling awarding Maynilad P3.4 billion as payment over alleged losses due to a rate dispute, the water concessionaire's parent company said Wednesday. 

In July last year, an arbitration panel in Singapore ruled that the government should pay Maynilad over losses incurred by the company due to the refusal of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to implement rate adjustments.

However, Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC), which owns Maynilad, disclosed to the stock market that the Philippine government's counsel was asking Singapore's High Court to set aside the ruling. 

"While it has yet to be served copies of the summons and the Setting Aside Application, Maynilad is confident that there are no valid and meritorious grounds to challenge or set aside the Arbitral Award, and that the Republic’s [Philippine government's] latest efforts to frustrate and stonewall the enforcement of the Arbitral Award will fail," MPIC said. 

MPIC shares fell 8.65 percent following the disclosure.

Maynilad has already engaged a counsel in Singapore to throw out the Philippine government's case, MPIC added. 

Despite the continuing dispute over the P3.4 billion payment, Maynilad said it will continue to investment in its concession area. 

"We have not yet intentionally reduced capex because we still believe in the concession agreement and in the long run we believe the government will honor its commitments," said Maynilad chief operating officer Randy Estrellado.