Baciwa joint venture disadvantageous, says union leader
“THE privatization of Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) is really disadvantage to the consumers as well as to the water district employees.”
This was stressed by Leny Espina, President of Baciwa Employee’s Union, yesterday after the Baciwa management is now finalizing the proposed joint venture or public-private partnership between the Prime Water.
Espina said they are thankful to Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. for joining them to fight against the privatization of Baciwa.
“We are opposing the proposed joint venture or privatization because this is not good for the people of Bacolod that the private company will handle the water district. This will affect the water rate so it should be managed by the government,” she said.
She added that privatization will also affect the 510 employees including the job order casuals because they do not have an assurance if they will be absorbed by the new management.
Espina noted that their security of tenure will be put at stake.
“Privatization is not the answer to address the water supply problem in Bacolod because Baciwa has an existing contract with the Bacolod Bulk Water to improve its services to our consumers,” Espina said.
However, she said the Bacolod Bulk Water Injection Point No.2 in Murcia is still unoperational due to some unresolved issues.
On Thursday, Gamboa delivered his privileged speech during the regular session at the City Council urging the local government of Bacolod to review and scrutinize the management of Baciwa.
Gamboa said it is imperative to the city government to review and scrutinize the management of Baciwa in terms of revenue operation, personnel management and the most important one is on how the funds of Baciwa is being handled and managed.
He said reports have it that Baciwa board is set to finalize the terms of reference to contract with Prime Water by the end of the month of June this year.
He added that this is an urgent task which must be carried out with decisiveness, resoluteness and collaborative power of Baciwa employees union, consumers-stakeholders, cause-oriented groups, concerned organizations, institutions, advocate LGU’S and individuals.
“To the employee’s union of Bacolod, hold your ground for the best interest of the City of Bacolod. Don’t be swayed by the excessive, big and scandalous offer of separation pay and early retirement package reaching to as high as 450 percent. It is the time for the employees of Baciwa to transcend its personal interest and embrace and highlight public interest for cheaper, safer and efficient water service,” Gamboa disclosed./map