By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The court has dismissed the Instant Petition for the Declaratory Relief and Declaration of the Nullity of the joint venture agreement (JVA) between the Bacolod City Water District and PrimeWater Infrastructure, Inc. for failure to state a cause of action.
The petition was filed by Bacolod City councilor Wilson “Jun” Gamboa.
In an order dated November 11, 2020 Regional Trial Court – Branch 45 Presiding Judge Phoebe Gargantiel-Balbin also denied the Ancillary Prayer for the Issuance of the Writ of Preliminary Injunction for lack of jurisdiction, and the temporary restraining order issued on October 27, 2020 is lifted.
The hearing on the application for preliminary injunction set on November 13 was also cancelled, the court further ordered.
Atty. Rodel Lumibao, Counsel for PrimeWater, also declared in a press conference yesterday that since there is no more legal impediment, the JVA has officially commenced yesterday and that Baciwa is now under the said agreement.
He revealed that the Baciwa Board held a special session on Thursday, Nov. 12, and formally turned over Baciwa to the new JVA management.
Atty. Val Sultan, also of PrimeWater legal team, assured that there will be no water rate increase for Baciwa consumers until November 12, 2021.
Meanwhile, Atty. Lorendo Dilag, Baciwa board chair, said that the reasons why Baciwa entered into a JVA with PrimeWater is because it is necessary, practical and beneficial to the consumers. He said that the court’s decision is not a victory of the Baciwa board or PrimeWater but of the consumers.
Dilag also revealed that PrimeWater will have a total investment of P6 billion for the entire duration of the 25-year agreement./DGB, WDJ