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Friday, July 19, 2019
BACOLOD

Official: Resolutions on Baciwa woes now at GCG

THE Governance Commission for Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GCG) under the Office of the President has already received the letter of the Bacolod Water Watch relative to the predicament of the Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) and “its accountability to the people.”

This was according to Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr., chairman of Bacolod Water Watch Inc., in a press statement Thursday, July 11, adding that the GCG received his letter on July 4 this year.

Gamboa said GCG is the appropriate national government agency under to receive his three resolutions which were earlier approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) or city council.

The resolutions included requesting Baciwa Board Chairman Lawyer Lorendo Dilag to explain their approved unsolicited proposal of Prime Water for a 25-year joint venture contract, or the SP Resolution no. 87, Series of 2019.

Gamboa said aside from the in-house proposal, Baciwa rejected the unsolicited proposal of water utility companies namely Metropac, Prime Water and Manila Water.

“Eventually, for some unknown reasons to this date, Baciwa re-evaluated the Prime Water unsolicited proposal and is already in the formulation stage for the terms of reference,” he added.

Gamboa said the re-evaluation is not consistent with the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Joint Venture Guideline which could have exposed the water district to violations of the law thus, there is a need for its chairman to explain.

One of the two other resolutions of the councilor addressed to the Congress is the conduct of inquiry as to why Baciwa cannot provide clean and potable water to 80 percent of its franchise area.

The other one, addressed to the Office of the Solicitor General and Department of Justice through President Rodrigo Duterte, is to check and review the joint venture contracts entered into (or will be entered into) by Baciwa with private water concessionaires.

The GCG was created under Republic Act No. 10149 otherwise known as the “GOCC Governance Act of 2011”, as the central policy-making and regulatory body.

It is mandated to safeguard the State’s ownership rights and ensure that the operations of GOCCs are transparent and responsive to the needs of the public, the statement said.

The GCG also assured the councilor that his letter has been forwarded to “responsible” GCG officer for appropriate action.

On July 15, meanwhile, the Social Action Center (SAC) will hold a forum on the privatization of Baciwa at the St. John Marie Vianney Hall, San Sebastian Cathedral Complex in Bacolod City.

On July 29, SAC will also commemorate the United Nations Declaration to Human Right to Water Sanitation at the water district grounds. (MAP)


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