THE Bacolod City Water District Employees Union (BEU-NAFLU) is gathering around 56,000 signatures to stop the joint venture between Baciwa and Prime Water Infrastructure Corp.
Leny Espina, President of BEU said that the joint venture is privatization and that Prime Water will definitely take over Baciwa.
As of now, Espina said that they have already gathered 3,000 signatures against the joint venture after they launched it last week and that they will circulate the position paper for signatures in the barangays. Their time table for the signature campaign is until the month of July this year.
The union stated that water as a natural resource, should belong to the people through the government, and not controlled and profited from vested interest that's why they oppose the joint venture.
"The joint venture will be grossly disadvantageous to Baciwa, to its employees and most importantly, to us residents of Bacolod City," the union further stated.
Espina also revealed that once the joint venture is approved, a 12 percent VAT will be applied to the water delivered to the consumers and that projections show that over proposed 25- year lifetime of the joint venture, water rates are likely to increase by as much as 75 percent.
"It is not true that the joint venture is the only way to ensure the adequate supply of safe and potable water to Bacolod City. Prime Water will be exploiting the same water sources that Baciwa is using," Espina further revealed.
She further exposed that Baciwa officials insist that the joint venture is not privatization.
"The truth is it is a form of privatization as it will effectively surrender the operation and management of Baciwa to a private entity, leaving the water district with what, to all intents, is a skeleton force relegated to mere monitoring. If Baciwa has failed to fulfil its mission of supplying adequate water to Bacolod City, it's is because those tasked with laying down policies and programs of the district have failed to fulfil their tasks," the union added.