Iloilo City council wants review of water distribution franchises

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The Iloilo City Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) passed a resolution calling for a review of the legality, validity or impropriety of the franchises granted to three water distributors.

The review should guide the new SP when dealing with water distribution franchise applications in the future, said Councilor Jay Treñas.

“We just want to be clarified. If the City Legal Office finds no problem, well and good. If there are irregularities, the City Legal Office can guide us how we can move forward. The review is not an attack on anyone,” Treñas clarified.

The previous SP approved last March the water distribution franchise application jointly submitted by Manila Water Philippines Ventures, Inc. and Tubig Pilipinas Group, Inc. (

It also granted a water distribution franchise to Lucio Tan’s New Earth Water System, Inc. last May.

Former councilor Plaridel Nava, whose committee on public utilities recommended the granting of these franchises, said the franchise review would send a wrong signal to investors.

“It gives the impression that in Iloilo City, doing business is fraught with uncertainty,” said Nava.