By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) Employees Union (BEU) recently expressed their opposition to any form of privatization.
In response to an unsolicited proposal by the MetroPac Water Investments Corporation, Prime Water Infrastructure Corporation, and the Manila Water Company Inc. to form a public private partnership, BEU President Claudio Salmo said, “We have already a position paper pending at the Board of Directors that we are opposed in any form of privatization.”
The union official earlier said a resolution was before the Board of Directors to possibly entertain the proposal.
He called the proposal the “beginning” of privatization and said, if the water utility were to be privatized, employees would be affected, there would be no security of tenure, and no assurances on water rates.
Meanwhile, Wennie Sancho of the Water Watch group called the proposed privatization of “grossly disadvantageous” to consumers.
“Increases in water rates could no longer be regulated,” he said.
Sancho added, the water utility, when privatized, would be operating for profit and not service.
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia earlier said privatization was “not bad.”
While not outrightly endorsing the proposal, he said there are many cases where privatization was successful./DGB, WDJ