According to Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) Board of Directors chair, Atty. Lorendo Dilag, the proposed joint venture between the utility firm and the PrimeWater Infrastructure Corporation has a “private proponent” but it is not privatization.
During a press conference yesterday at the O Hotel in Bacolod City, he explained the joint venture aims to implement improvements in order to provide potable water 24/7, which include the replacement and rehabilitation of aging infrastructure and facilities, reducing “non-revenue water,” provide efficient and responsible customer service, install and construct additional transmission and distribution lines, among other enhancements.
Dilag affirmed, “[The] joint venture is not privatization.”
He said the utility firm will continue to operate under the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel.
The Baciwa official also noted, “The proposed joint venture agreement is not permanent.”
“It is only up to 25 years,” he added.
In addition, Dilag also maintained all Baciwa employees not included in the reorganization will be absorbed by the joint venture partner without “diminution of remuneration.” All absorbed employees will also enjoy the security of tenure and rights that will be protected under labor laws.
“Employees have the option to retire and avail of the retirement incentive and livelihood assistance offered by the joint venture partner,” he concluded./WDJ