BACOLOD

Sanchez: Baciwa watch

Nature speaks

FINALLY, Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. is starting to act like a true-blue watchdog.

It used to be that the chair of the Bacolod Water Consumers Watch, Inc., or Bacolod Water Watch, a consumer watchdog group seeking to ensure water sufficiency and security for the city.

From 2008 to first half of 2019, watchdog seems to be sleeping on the job. The watch has literally translated to let sleeping dogs lie.

I complained, called by phone, and visited to the who’s who about the water shortage. I felt like the city has left Alijisnons to our miserable devices.

Let sleeping dogs lie and not discuss the matter any further.

Now Gamboa is on a roll. Councilor Gamboa recently authored a resolution asking Congress to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation why the water utility failed to provide clean and potable water in the city.

The resolution emphasizes the importance of water in the lives and survival of humans. “However that until now, despite said loan, Baciwa’s water coverage in its franchise area remains to be below 60 percent, of which, some water supply areas with facilities of Baciwa have minimal water supply at limited time, thick turbid water flow or no water at all.”

Who, the kitty has turned into a lion! That’s a welcome development.

Gamboa noted that in previous months, the City Council has already passed several resolutions requesting Baciwa to submit its financial statements; audits by the Commission on Audit, comparative studies, history and track records of its private partners.

Gamboa noted Baciwa’s responses were all excuses. Baciwa’s inability to divulge information as requested by the City Council is a violation of the latter’s right to information enshrined in the 1987 Constitution stipulating among others the imperative for Baciwa to be more transparent, accountable, recognized the power of information and that the valued participation of the citizens in public affairs are Constitutionally justified.

Well, maybe not totally. All of a sudden, we have tap water 23/7 last week. I don’t want to celebrate victory day yet. Baciwa has promised its consumers for several days only to lose it. The water utility has a long history of broken promises.

Consumers have to maintain a steady watch. Eternal vigilance is the price of steady water supplies. Last Saturday, the faucets went dry.

Let’s keep our eyes open, shall we? (bqsanc@yahoomail.com)


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