Ba­colod Coun­cil asks Congress to probe on Baciwa’s wa­ter de­liv­ery

Sun Star Bacolod - - Topstories - BY MERLINDA A. PEDROSA

THE Ba­colod City Coun­cil ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion ask­ing the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to con­duct an in­quiry in aid of leg­is­la­tion on why the Ba­colod City Wa­ter Dis­trict (Baciwa) failed to pro­vide clean and potable wa­ter in the city.

The res­o­lu­tion, au­thored by Coun­cilor Wil­son Gam­boa Jr., was ap­proved dur­ing the reg­u­lar ses­sion on Wed­nes­day.

Gam­boa said that con­sid­er­ing the im­por­tance of wa­ter in the lives and sur­vival of hu­mans, it is of pri­mor­dial im­por­tance that Congress should look into why Baciwa failed to pro­vide ad­e­quate clean and potable wa­ter which cracked Baciwa to the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of a takeover by pri­vate eco­nomic preda­tors like the Prime Wa­ter.

He said that a P537,614,000 loan was then fa­cil­i­tated in the year 2007 through the Lo­cal Wa­ter Utilities Ad­min­is­tra­tion (LWUA) to achieve its es­ti­mated pro­jec­tions of more than 80 per­cent wa­ter supply cov­er­age in a pe­riod of 10 years and that the pay­ment of the loan shall ex­tend up to 2033.

“How­ever that un­til now, de­spite said loan, Baciwa’s wa­ter cov­er­age in its fran­chise area

re­mains to be below 60 per­cent, of which, some wa­ter supply ar­eas with fa­cil­i­ties of Baciwa have min­i­mal wa­ter supply at lim­ited time, thick tur­bid wa­ter flow or no wa­ter at all,” he added.

Gam­boa noted that in pre­vi­ous months, they also passed sev­eral res­o­lu­tions re­quest­ing Baciwa to sub­mit its fi­nan­cial state­ments, au­dits by the Com­mis­sion on Au­dit (COA), com­par­a­tive stud­ies, his­tory and track records of its pri­vate partners but the re­sponses of Baciwa were all ex­cuses.

Gam­boa dis­closed that Baciwa’s in­abil­ity to di­vulge in­for­ma­tion as re­quested by the City Coun­cil is a vi­o­la­tion of the lat­ter’s right to in­for­ma­tion en­shrined in the 1987 Con­sti­tu­tion stip­u­lat­ing among oth­ers the imperative for Baciwa to be more transparen­t, ac­count­able, recognized the power of in­for­ma­tion and that the val­ued par­tic­i­pa­tion of the cit­i­zens in pub­lic af­fairs are Con­sti­tu­tion­ally jus­ti­fied.*


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