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Consumers oppose DCWD privatization

DUMAGUETE CITY – Despite the insistence of the Dumaguete City Water District Management that it is only entering into a Joint Venture Partnership, but the ordinary people and grassroots leaders are convinced that the plan will result to the DCWD privatization of the sole water utility in the city.

DCWD is poised to relinquish 80% control to a Joint Venture Company (funded by the Metro Pacific Water Investments Corporation) and DCWD 20% share will earn for itself, 2 seats in the soon to be instituted 7-seat Board of Directors, a clear minority.

Lately, members of the Liga ng mga Barangay of the city also manifested their opposition to the joint venture between DCWD and to any private company that will only result to higher water bills and the termination of regular, casual and Job Order workers of DCWD.

Punong Barangays Vincent Andrew A. Perigua and Isagani Bana of Bagacay and Junob, respectively, prodded the City Government to do all it can to stop the privatization of the water district.

Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo said that there legal means to stop the planned DCWD privatization but he also urged the Punong Barangays to to help explain issue to their constituents and try to convince the members of the Board of Directors to abort the plan.

Meanwhile, the City Council will continue to invite the DCWD management and stakeholders to a conference to thresh out the disagreements and find a solution that will really address the alleged lack of supply and the need to upgrade the facilities without unnecessarily putting additional burden to the consumers.

The latest financial profile of DCWD shows that it has an annual income of P 211 million; assets worth P 284 million and a net income of P 21.4 million. However, DCWD asserts that it can no longer keep up with the demand for water of growing city and is incapable of upgrading its facilities without inviting a private investor.