AN OFFICIAL of the Mabalacat City Water District (MCWD) has clarified that they will not privatize the utility, but will enter into a joint venture to upgrade its facilities.
Diosdado “Deng” Pangilinan, chair of the MCWD committee on special projects, said a feasibility study would be conducted by PrimeWater, Manila Water and Pamana Holdings on the planned expansion, rehabilitation, improvement, bulk water supply and septage management.
"If the result is beneficial to our concessionaires, we will push through with the said venture. This will not affect the security of tenure of the existing employees of MCWD for they are protected by the regulations of the Civil Service Commission,” he said.
“Sinisuguro namin sa board na wala sa aming mga empleyado ang matatanggal sa trabaho kasama ng kanilang mga benepisyo na kasalukuyan nilang tinatanggap. Wala pong katotohanan na sila ay mawawalan ng trabaho," Pangilinan added.
(We assure our employees that they will not be laid off. There is no truth to speculations that they will lose their jobs.)
Pangilinan issued the clarification after MCWD general manager Francis Dimaliwat manifested his opposition to the proposal during the hearing at the Sangguniang Panlungsod on March 6.
"We respect his legal opinion but he has no legal basis. Joint venture is totally different from privatization as it means you are to dissolve the whole water district. That is illegal,” Pangilinan said.
“The role of the management is to check on the daily operations of MCWD, we as the (members of the) BOD (board of directors) are the ones looking after the welfare of our constituents five to 25 years from now," he added.
With the rapid development in Clark Freeport and Clark International Airport, Mabalacat City’s population and demand for water will double in a period of 10 years, according to Pangilinan.
Under Presidential Decree No. 198, water districts are autonomous agencies independent of the local government, the MCWD official said.