Bacolod mayor told Baciwa to penalize PrimeWater

Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez
Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez

Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez has asked the Board of Directors of Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) to impose the penalties against the PrimeWater Infrastructure Inc. for allegedly violating the provision of their contract.

Benitez said Monday, April 15, that based on Section 5.1.2 of the contract, it stated that within five years, from November 30, 2020, PrimeWater shall ensure that all consumers enjoy uninterrupted 24 hours water supply by the end of the second year.

“So obviously, this provision by 2022, all consumers of PrimeWater should have been experiencing 24 hours uninterrupted water supply, so basically this provision has not been complied,” he said.

He said that he will take this up with the Baciwa on what they’ve done since 2022, adding that penalties should have been imposed on PrimeWater.

In 2020, Baciwa signed a 25-year joint venture agreement (JVA) with PrimeWater for the management and development of the water district. PrimeWater also promised to utilize a total of P6.8 billion in terms of projects.

“But obviously, after four years signing the agreement, there’s no concrete investment and they have no effort to deliver efficient supply or uninterrupted water supply to the consumers,” Benitez said.

He said that this is one thing that he would like Baciwa to answer.

The mayor stressed that he already communicated with the Baciwa board of directors and he also asked to submit a water security plan.

Bentiez said that PrimeWater should have an overall planning perspective when it comes to water supply. They claimed that they need 90 million liters of water per day (MLD), but they only have 70 MLD. Based on other reviews and analysis, Bacolod City needs 125 MLD.

“We would like to ensure that we have a buffer, especially during the El Nino phenomenon where all the water sources dried up and we’ve nowhere to go, so there should be a buffer and it’s part of the water security plan,” he said.

He said he will ask Baciwa that all their deep well sources of PrimeWater should be reserved for emergencies.

He added that PrimeWater should also address the water discoloration and if they need to replace the pipes, they need to invest to improve their service.

Benitez noted that since PrimeWater took over the operation and management of Baciwa, they failed to deliver a good service to the consumers.

Aside from PrimeWater violations, Benitez said Baciwa was also tasked to furnish other violations committed by PrimeWater for possible termination of their contract.

“They are now preparing the documents and they are assured to submit it this week. I will take a look and review and to determine what are the next best steps to undertake,” he said.

The mayor also lambasted PrimeWater for their failure to provide water to the barangays with lack of water supply.

“In the past few weeks, we have been providing water to the barangays together with the Amity and Chamber, but PrimeWater has made no effort to help us,” Benitez said.

He said that PrimeWater is still in zero compliance.

Baciwa-PrimeWater earlier vowed to increase the water supply by seven MLD to a maximum volume 17 MLD to the residents of Bacolod.*


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