THE Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System’s (MWSS) regulatory office (RO) has tapped an audit firm to look into the financial performance of Metro Manila’s two water concessionaires, the state agency said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the MWSS-RO said it engaged the services of Constantino and Partners to conduct the regulatory financial audit (RFA) of Manila Water Co., Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc.

Chief Regulator Patrick Lester N. Ty said the move is in line with his office’s efforts to more efficiently monitor the water concessionaires’ compliance with the concession agreement and delivery of their service obligations.

“The RFA was previously performed every five years, and this will be the first time since the agency’s inception in 1997 that the audit will be done every year,” he said.

He said the audit firm will look into the books and records of the water concessionaires for the period July 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2018.

“CP [Constantino and Partners] is an auditing firm accredited by the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission, Philippine Board of Accountancy, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Insurance Commission of the Philippines, and the Bureau of Internal Revenue,” Mr. Ty said.

He said the regulatory financial audit will started yesterday, Nov. 6. A detailed audit report is expected to be delivered by the first quarter of next year, he added.

Mr. Ty first announced the audit in March this year, although the schedule he gave was that the audit would start in June. He said the purpose of the financial audit is to protect the interest of the public by checking whether the concessionaires were “prudent and efficient.”

He had said that the concessionaires would have no choice but to comply since their separate concession agreements allow their books and records to be audited by the MWSS regulatory office or parties acceptable to it. — Victor V. Saulon