Judge dismisses petition to nullify Baciwa, PrimeWater joint venture

A Bacolod Regional Trial Court judge dismissed Wednesday, November 11, a petition filed by a city councilor to nullify a joint venture agreement (JVA) between the Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) and PrimeWater Infrastructure Corp. (PrimeWater).

RTC Branch 45 Judge Phoebe Gargantiel Balbin dismissed the petition filed by Bacolod Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. and Pepito Pico for declaratory relief and declaration of the nullity of the JVA for failure to state the cause of action.

The judge also denied their petition for a preliminary injunction and lifted the temporary restraining order she issued on October 27 to stop BACIWA and Prime Water from carrying out the JVA.

Lorendo Dilag, Baciwa board chair, said they received the order dismissing the petition today, November 13.

Dilag said BACIWA entered into the JVA with PrimeWater because it is necessary, practical, and beneficial because the utility firm does not have the financial capacity on its own to fund an expansion project that will answer Bacolod’s need for more water amid the growing population.

PrimeWater will spend a total of P6 billion under the JVA, he said.

Gamboa earlier said that the people of Bacolod were angry and enraged at the “highly disadvantageous contract” between Baciwa and PrimeWater.*

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