By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Bacolod City Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr., who chairs Bacolod Water Consumers Watch, Inc., or Bacolod Water Watch, confirmed the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or Controlled Corporation (GCG), which is under the Office of the President, received a letter the organization sent regarding the Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) and its proposed joint venture with PrimeWater Infrastructure Corporation.
The city councilor said the letter made mention of three resolutions he authored, which questioned Baciwa’s process in determining a joint venture partner, called for an inquiry into the utility firm’s inability to provide sufficient potable water, and sought a review of joint venture contracts by the Office of the Solicitor General and the Department of Justice.
The GDG serves as a policy-making and regulatory body mandated to safeguard state ownership rights and ensure operations of government-owned or controlled corporations are transparent and responsive to the public’s needs.
Meanwhile, the Diocese of Bacolod Social Action Center will hold a forum on Monday, July 15, on the privatization of Baciwa, beginning at 2:00 p.m. at the Saint John Marie Vianney Hall, located within the San Sebastian Cathedral complex.
Earlier this week, Baciwa revealed the proposed joint venture has reportedly advanced past the negotiation stage with Baciwa 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 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./DGB, WDJ