Residents of Bago City have come up with solutions to stop the joint venture agreement between the Bago City Water District (BACIWAD) and PrimeWater Infrastructure Inc., which is owned by the Villar family.
In a position paper issued Tuesday, April 6, by the Alliance of Concerned Christians (ACC) of Bago City, an ecumenical and multi-sectoral alliance, that was signed by its chairman, Carlo Guevarra, the group laid down their recommendations to address the locality’s water problems, as they strongly oppose the privatization of the local utility firm.
The group said that the Local Water Utilities of Bago must have its up-to-date short-term and long-term plan for the improvement of its facilities and improvement of its services.
They also said that BACIWAD must step up its efficiency in the collection of accounts receivable and disallowances. “The financial inefficiency has greatly affected and impacted the overall negative performance and service of our local water utility,” they added.
They also suggested the need for the additional establishment of wells to address the water shortage.
“These can be realized and financed by utilizing BACIWAD’s financial resources, demand to its members and personnel all the accounts receivables, improve its collection, take legal action if necessary to demand payments, and lastly, resolve to other means that would not surely compromise the total future and interests of our people and our local utilities to the hands of a private institution,” they stressed.
The group also said that the BACIWAD board and management must strictly adhere and must be committed to observe and implement the independent audit report.
They said they are in favor of a “justified, reasonable, and fair” water rate increase but it should be done through a proper procedure, consultation, and approval by the majority of the consumer-members.
They reiterated that the proposed agreement is designed to the complete advantage of PrimeWater and is disadvantageous to the Bago residents.
They also claimed that the negotiation for the joint venture agreement between the two parties was “done in absence of public knowledge and consultation, making it more suspicious and distrustful in the minds of consumer-members.”*