Utility firm assures employee protections
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) proposed joint venture with PrimeWater Infrastructure Corporation has reportedly advanced past the negotiation stage with Baciwa Board of Directors chair, Atty. Lorendo Dilag, yesterday 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 the board is against a move towards privatization and affirmed 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.
Dilag also discussed the issue of rate increases, reiterating a statement he made back in May, stating, increases will still be subject for approval by the Local Water Utilities Administration.
Meanwhile, amid the developments with PrimeWater, Baciwa assured protections for their current employees.
The statement comes in response to an earlier demonstration where Jenelyn Gemora, Baciwa’s assistant general manager for operations, claimed “Baciwa employees not included in the reorganization of Baciwa shall be absorbed by the joint venture partner.”
“Employees have the option to retire and avail of the retirement incentive and livelihood assistance offered by the joint venture partner,” she added.
Baciwa currently employs 510 workers, including job order casuals./DGB, WDJ