Press Release
August 6, 2013

Trillanes slams water concessionaires, seeks Senate investigation

Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes files resolution, seeking investigation into the alleged act of water concessionaires of passing on their corporate income taxes and other expenses to consumers.

In a privilege speech delivered by Trillanes on Tuesday, he said that: "There is an urgent and imperative need to conduct an investigation into this very important matter, affecting as it does millions of Filipino consumers, not only in order to enact remedial legislation but also to once and for all clarify whether or not the two (2) water concessionaires are acting within the bounds of the law and their respective concession agreements with the MWSS."

According to consumer advocacy groups, MWSS issued in 2004, Resolution No. 04-006-CA which permitted the concessionaires to transfer the burden of paying their corporate income taxes to their customers. It was also revealed that from 2008 to 2012, consumers have been shouldering about P 1.5 Billion and P1.6 Billion annually in taxes for Manila Water Company, Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, respectively, over the past five (5) years or some 15.3 Billion Pesos in total. Apart from their corporate income taxes, the water concessionaires have also allegedly passed on other charges to consumers, including their travel and entertainment expenses, advertisements, donations, training expenses and even expenses for flowers.

"It appears that the previous action of the MWSS Regulatory Office of issuing Resolution No. 04-006-CA in 2004 effectively runs in direct contravention of, and diametrically opposed to, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that the burden of paying corporate income taxes should not be unjustly borne by consumers but by the party maintaining the facility," Trillanes added.

Trillanes further explained that the investigation is made more imperative because of the fact that the MWSS has reportedly rescinded the resolution allowing these water utilities to pass on their corporate income taxes to consumers and has issued a new resolution superseding the former, which is currently pending approval and confirmation of the MWSS Board of Trustees.

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