PAMPANGA

Pangan: Sanctity of contracts

At Close Range



CONTRACTS, freely entered into by parties not otherwise prohibited to do so, must be respected and the provisions, terms and conditions thereof observed.

Unless these are void ab initio or voided afterwards, they remain in full force and effect.

This subject comes to mind as I read an item on irregular contracts by two large water companies-Ayala-owned Manila Water and MVP-led Maynilad.

It was found out by the government after an arbitral court based in Singapore ordered the government to pay huge amounts to the two water firms for their supposed losses and damages.

President Duterte, of course, balked at the prospect of his government paying large amounts for supposed losses of the two water firms and ordered a focused review of the contracts which, according to the President, contained onerous provisions and therefore are null and void and grossly disadvantageous to the government.

On record, the 25-year concession agreement was signed in 1987 under former president Fidel Ramos and later extended in 2009 by former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In the meanwhile, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, which exercises supervision over the two firms, had revoked the extension of the water companies' concession deals after the President threatened to file economic sabotage and economic plunder against them.

Additionally, the President even considered the option of taking over the two firms' operations should matters become worse. He was confident that with the nationalization of the water firms, better water service can be given to consumers.

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Legally-forged contracts shall be enforced and respected, as provided for in the Civil Code of the Philippines. This way, people will be encouraged to enter one in

their various business dealings.

* * *

Angeles City Councilor Joseph 'PG' Ponce lives up to his election pledges constantly as his evidenced by his regular service to the disadvantaged residents of this progressive city. He can be seen handing out wheelchairs to the physically-challenged and gives assistance to patients needing dialysis treatments.

In the same vein, City Vice Mayor Vicky Vega Cabigting also does the city good public service by coming up with beneficial resolutions for the city's residents. She is also visible in fora regarding public health and nutrition.


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