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Court To Hear Petition Versus Baciwa Joint Venture Today

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The Regional Trial Court Branch 45 here is set to hear today, Oct. 27, 2020, the petition for injunction with prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order filed against the joint venture between Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) and Prime Water.

Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. said that Amlig-Tubig, an alliance of concerned water consumers where he is one of the conveners, filed the petition in a bid to nullify the joint venture.

Gamboa said the group is also eyeing to file administrative charges against Baciwa directors before the Ombudsman.

The councilor said the “joint venture” is onerous and highly disadvantageous to consumers.

He also said that the Baciwa board failed to conduct consultation with the sectors they represent which is mandated by the joint venture.

“The way I understand it is that these board of directors are there representing a particular sector, there was no consultation conducted by the BOD. Never did any of these directors called their sector for any consultation,” he added.

Gamboa described the joint venture as a concession and privatization of Baciwa “which is highly disadvantageous to the consumers.”

He added that the Baciwa board seems to have handed over the utility firm to Prime Water by devaluing its worth which is tantamount to falsification.

“Baciwa’s income last year was ₱ 90 million but based on the contract, we will stand to receive only ₱ 35 million. Based on the feasibility study, the capital requirement of Baciwa is ₱ 2 billion but they (Prime Water) are asking us to get into a ₱ 6-billion contract.”

Earlier, BACIWA chairman of the Board Atty. Lorendo Dilag announced that Baciwa and Prime Water signed on July 17, 2020 the Joint Venture Contract here.

Dilag said that by Nov 1, or after the 3-month transition period, Prime Water will commence implementing its ₱ 1.6 billion pipe-laying project.
(Dolly Yasa via The Daily Guardian (TDG), photo courtesy by TDG)

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