Water discrimination-A A +A
Monday, August 19, 2013
BACIWA Employees Union president Claudio Salmo bragged that an in-house deal is the most affordable and the most reliable way for addressing non-revenue water. In fact, he said that its engineers, especially those who have been with the water district for 20 years, already know the system.
Oh yeah? If Baciwa knows the ropes of providing its consumers with water, how come Alijisnons experienced no water most of the time these past days?
It can’t be for lack of water. The country is well into the monsoon season. If anything, we have excess -- not lack -- of water.
In fact, Baciwa assured its consumers two years ago that the utility has enough water supply with four reservoirs and eight elevated tanks with a capacity of 23, 600 cubic meters and that the water firm’s production capacity has increased in 2010.
I called Baciwa’s complaint desk with the telephone number 433-4602 over the weekend. I received a reply from a security guard who said: blame Ceneco. Because of its daylong-power outage, Baciwa experienced low water pressure, and cannot provide water for us.
That shouldn’t be a problem. Use a power generator, I suggested. The guard’s answer was that the generator set was meant for other lines but not for us.
In other words, Baciwa practices triage in reverse. Generators are reserved for those who have had no problem with their water supply. While those in our line who have no water has just to learn how to bear and grin it.
This is plain discrimination. Why would Baciwa ensure that other consumers have access to tap water, come rain or shine while other consumers are denied their rights to potable water? We pay as much as the others.
Then there’s the problem of safe and clean Baciwa water. Two years ago, Baciwa spent about P26 million for the modernization of its laboratory to ensure that its water supply is clean, potable and meets Philippine health standards, according to its Engineering Department manager, Jenelyn Jamora.
The Department of Health requires water districts to test at least 41 water samples monthly but Jamora claimed that Baciwa tests over 500 water samples per month.
Clean and potable water? Most likely not. Colored water comes out of the faucet after we get back the water. Local columnists including this corner have been decrying the “dyed” or polluted water.
Or is this Baciwa’s way to compel consumers to cough up P1,665.00 for a package price for 9-Parameter Test to check for pH test, color, turbidity, odor, alkalinity, total dissolved solids, iron, manganese, or total hardness for its lab tests?
With Baciwa’s dismal performance, I see no reason why consumers should bear and grin it. The better option it seems is to kick the bums and incompetents out of Baciwa.
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Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 19, 2013.