MAYNILAD Water Services, Inc. customers in selected areas of Metro Manila will receive minor corrections in their water bills in the form of rebates, after Maynilad implemented tax rates that diverged from the approved rates.
These include customers in the Business Areas of Muntinlupa-Las Piñas, Malabon-Valenzuela, and Quezon City, according to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Regulatory Office (MWSS RO).
In March, the MWSS RO recommended the approval of a petition of Maynilad to collect taxes from customers after the grant of a legislative franchise to Maynilad.
The tax collections include a 2% national franchise tax and local franchise taxes (LFT) charged by local government units, which are reflected in the statements of account of Maynilad customers.
“Upon monitoring and evaluation of the rates being implemented by Maynilad in its Service Areas, it has come to the attention of the MWSS RO that Maynilad has been charging customers in the aforementioned Business Areas the actual LFT rates of the relevant local government units instead of the rates approved,” the regulatory office said.
The MWSS RO said that it recognizes that Maynilad implemented these rates in “good faith” as the rates that it previously used were outdated.
“Nevertheless, the concessionaire implemented such rates without prior recommendation by the MWSS RO and subsequent approval of the MWSS Board of Trustees, which are part of the procedural requirements as provided under relevant laws,” the MWSS said.
The regulator said it directed Maynilad to return the collections to bring all charges in line with approved levels. The rebates will be reflected in billing for March to June. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson