THE Bacolod City Council approved a resolution requesting President Rodrigo Duterte to look into the matter of the 60 terminated Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) employees due to redundancy.

The resolution, authored by Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr., was approved during the regular session of the City Council on Wednesday afternoon, January 20, 2021.

Gamboa, chairperson of the City Council committee on human rights, said Baciwa is a government-owned and controlled corporation imbued with public interest created by Presidential Decree 198.

He said Board Resolution 172 Series of 2020 declared the 60 employees to be redundant and were separated from service from the water district.

He added Section 18 of Presidential Decree 198 provides that the function of the board is to establish policy and the Board shall not engage in the management of the water district.

Gamboa noted Republic Act 6656 or An Act to Protect the Security of Tenure of Civil Service Officers and Employees in the Implementation of Government Reorganization and Section 2 of the later law, provides that no officer or employee in the career service will be removed except for a valid cause and after due notice and hearing.

The 60 Baciwa employees were earlier barred from entering the Baciwa office in Bacolod City.

The Baciwa Employee's Union, in a statement, earlier said that on December 29, 2020, Engineer Michael Soliva, acting general manager of Baciwa, issued Office Order 2020-081, informing 60 employees that they had been declared "redundant" by the board and were being terminated from their jobs effective last working hour of December 31, 2020.

Gamboa said as a public servant and the same as those 60 employees of Baciwa who were unjustly and illegally dismissed and terminated, their rights and tenure must be protected against an "unjust, inhuman, and illegal order" of the Board of Directors of Baciwa, who acted as the "corporate carpetbaggers and collaborators of PrimeWater, a known corporate raider who for just a song and a mere promise took over the realms and management of Baciwa."

“These members of the Baciwa Board of Directors believed that they are the 'absolute authority' by issuing arbitrary, capricious, and illegal resolutions and orders, which completely gave PrimeWater total supervision and control over its management, operations, collections, and the trampling of employees’ rights. Now, they have evolved as the henchmen of PrimeWater,” he said.

He added the termination of the 60 employees hammered the final nail of a total “takeover” of PrimeWater of Baciwa.