SAC, Baciwa employees’ union launch coalition

(Photo Courtesy of Louie Chito Mabaquiao Berjit Jr.)

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The Diocese of Bacolod’s Social Action Center (SAC) and the employees’ union of the Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) officially launched “Amlig Tubig Coalition” over the weekend.

SAC head Reverend Father Chris Gonzales said the aim of the coalition is to watch the movements of the Baciwa board over plans to privatize the water utilities provider.

Gonzales said the coalition will also engage in educating consumers over the effects of privatization.

Even though the board of directors are ignoring their calls, he said they will continue to oppose any plans to privatize Baciwa.

Bacolod City Councilor Wilson Gamboa, who was also in the press conference, said they have already informed the Office of the President of the issues in Baciwa.

Gamboa confirmed they have already received replies from the Department of Justice and the solicitor general who will review all contracts of private water concessionaires.

The city councilor added that some congressmen have already expressed their willingness to hear the issues within Baciwa through an inquiry.

Last week, Baciwa revealed that the proposed joint venture with a private company has reportedly advanced past the negotiation stage with the water district’s Board of Directors chair, Atty. Lorendo Dilag, confirming they are currently preparing their terms of reference and competitive bidding is scheduled to begin in a month.

In response to earlier criticism, the Baciwa official insisted that the board is against a move towards privatization and affirmed that the joint venture with PrimeWater is not privatization.

In operation for over 30 years, PrimeWater provides services including water system development, bulk water supply, water supply improvement and rehabilitation, along with a sewage waste management program.