MAYNILAD OVERCHARGED BY P3.3-BILLION -- SOLONS

Quezon City, May 7, 2003 -- The Lopez-owned Maynilad Water Services Inc. 
(MWSI) has also overcharged its customers by as much as P3.3 billion from 
January to March this year, according to congressmen who wanted the utility 
firm to reimburse the amount to water consumers in the west zone.

Reps. Mario Aguja (Akbayan) and Joel Villanueva (CIBAC) yesterday said that 
Maynilad overcharged its consumers through the accelerated extraordinary 
price adjustment (AEPA) and the foreign currency differential adjustment 
(FCDA).

Aguja said the water concessionaire continued to charge consumers P4.21 per 
cubic meter of AEPA despite the provision in the contract allowing it to 
impose the charge only up to December 2002.

He said the water firm also collected P4.07 per cubic meter of FCDA even if 
it has failed to remit to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System 
(MWSS) its concession fees amounting to P5 billion.

Aguja said Maynilad should have stopped charging the AEPA and FCDA in its 
monthly billings for lack of justification.

The AEPA was supposed to cover concession fees while the FCDA was meant to 
recover foreign exchange losses. These were all designed to help Maynilad 
fulfill its obligations when it took over the operation from MWSS.

Maynilad covers the west zone of the water concession which included parts 
of Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Makati, Manila, Parañaque and its surrounding 
environs.

Villanueva said the total amount collected by Maynilad from its customers 
could reach a staggering P4 billion if the April billings would be included.

He said the water utility firm should be ordered by the MWSS to immediately 
return the overcharged amount.

Maynilad President Rafael Alunan called the charges as "false and inaccurate."

"Maglabasan na lang po tayo ng datos sa public hearing nang mapatunayan 
natin kung sino ba ang nagsisinungaling at nagsasabi ng totoo," Villanueva 
said.

Villanueva urged the House committees on economic affairs and on government 
enterprises and privatization to look into the matter and recommend 
appropriate measures.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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