Baciwa workers hold prayer rites

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Saturday, August 2, 2014


EMPLOYEES of Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) held a prayer vigil Friday night as a show of support to embattled general manager Juliana Carbon who was placed under a 30-day preventive suspension by way of a Board resolution.

Carbon said she will continue to exercise her duty as general manager despite the suspension order issued by the Board of Baciwa as contained in a resolution approved by only three members, including chairman Lawrence Villanueva, and directors Lorendo Dilag and Marichi Ramos.

She added that the suspension order is unlawful because under Presidential Decree 198, four votes are needed to pass a resolution.

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They placed her under a month-long suspension when she has not even received a formal complaint, Carbon said.

Among the grounds for Carbon’s suspension as cited by the Board are her alleged willful misrepresentation of the Murcia Water District bulk water supply contract with Baciwa, the appointment of officers-in-charge, and giving of representation and transportation allowance (Rata) without the approval of the Board.

Also included are alleged fraudulent certificate of completion and final acceptance without board authority and without the project having been completed as part of the P537-million loan for Phase II; non-disclosure of the 7.5-kilometer pipeline from Granada to Burgos-Lopez Jaena which was not interconnected to the Baciwa system since 2008; non-disclosure of the P241-million retained earnings of Baciwa; non-reporting of the 750 KVA generator as part of the Baciwa assets; non-disclosure of the Mansilingan reservoir; and the six-booster pumps which allegedly have not been utilized as part of the P537-million loan; continuous disbursement of employees’ allowance which were previously disallowed by the Commission on Audit; abnormally high non-revenue water; and her consistent refusal to meet with the chairman in the board room for conferences relative to Baciwa matters, amounting to insubordination.

Carbon added that Ramos filed an administrative complaint against her but she has not seen, read or received such complaint.

There was no formal investigation as to the said complaint and there was no formal charge, she said, adding that they cannot suspend an official by a mere resolution.

"I have consulted lawyers, and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, and they all said that the order is not valid because it was done in a mere resolution," Carbon said.

She added that the suspension order is null and void since it is not carried by the majority of the members of the Board.

The Board appointed Engr. Samuel Penado as acting general manager, but he did not accept the task.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 02, 2014.

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