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In January 1977 the Government of the Philippines awarded two long-term concession contracts, handing over to private consortia the responsibility to operate and expand water and wastewater services in Greater Manila. The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) privatization was the largest of its kind in the world. The author tells the story of how the idea of a concession emerged and gained support; how the preparation effort was designed and launched; the main hurdles met and how they were surmounted; and the thinking behind some of the key contract features. The objective of this book is to help fellow government officials facing similar challenges in other countries to be better prepared for some of the issues they will have to address, and to move faster on their own learning curve. Each case of utility reform is specific, but some principles are valid across countries: the importance of sustained high-level political commitment; the need for a strong and dedicated government team supported by experienced advisors; the value of a transparent bidding process; and the need to communicate and consult broadly. This book is unique in bring them to life in a step-by-step, first-person account of such transaction.

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