Group calls for overhaul of Baciwa board

(From left) Amlig Tubig convenors Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. Social Action Director Fr. Chris Gonzalez and Christian Weber call for the overhaul of the Bacolod City Water District’s board of directors. (Dolly Yasa)

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Convenors of Amlig Tubig, an alliance of concerned water consumers led by Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr., Fr. Chris Gonzales of the Social Action Center (SAC), and Christian Weber of a consumers group, called for the overhaul of the Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) Board of Directors (BOD).

In a press conference before the holidays, the convenors said the BOD is the policy-making body of the water utility firm while the management is the implementer.

The call is an offshoot of the present controversy hounding Baciwa triggered by the proposed joint venture with a private water firm.

Gamboa, Gonzales and Weber said they still believe in the management running the water utility.

The trio also called on the Baciwa board to observe transparency and consultation on the joint venture is concern.

Gamboa said that he is sure that not one of the directors consulted the sectors they represent in the Baciwa board.

Gamboa also confirmed that they also received the terms of reference (TOR) and they witnessed the opening of bid documents of Manila Water.

“We are only asking for transparency, public consultation, and transparency of the track records of these bidders,” Gamboa said.

Gamboa also said that Amlig Tubig is not against the intervention of any private company or joint venture agreement.

“We want transparency in all negotiations and processing inside Baciwa,” he added.

Gonzales said that the basic services should be controlled or managed by the government.

Amlig Tubig is also privatization, he said.

Weber echoed Gamboa’s stand on transparency adding that whatever happens to Baciwa or any form of privatization is very disadvantageous to the consumers.

Earlier, Baciwa chair Lorendo Dilag assured concessionaries that both the management and the board are against privatization and that partnership with private companies is an alternative to achieve their vision to give full consumers satisfaction.