DUMAGUETE CITY – Convinced that the Dumaguete City Water District, will eventually defy the popular demand of the people for it to remain a Government Owned and Controlled Corporation, Councilor Alan Cordova will lead in passing a resolution authorizing the City Mayor to sue the DCWD water utility on behalf of the city government. – Dumaguete City to sue DCWD
Cordova noted that DCWD has already posted an invitation to bid in a national daily March of the current year, which according to him sets in motion the intention of the management to privatize the water services in the city.
Cordova pledged that when the proper time comes, he would raise a motion to grant the City Mayor the authority to file and/or initiate and answer cases including but not limited to administrative, civil and even criminal cases against the people involved in the said activity, which, the Water District failed to clarify and inform the public, despite of the City Council’s repeated invitations.
Apparently, DCWD despite the loud objections from the public and the local government is determined to enter into a joint venture agreement with Metro Pacific Water Investment Corporation (MWIC) that will ultimately give the private entity 80% control of the new Joint Venture Company including majority if the seats in the Board of Directors. This will leave DCWD with only 20% controlling share of the new company.
Two other companies offered other terms that will address the main problem that DCWD profess as its motivation in entertaining the MetroPac offer, which is the dwindling supply of water amid the growing population and demand.
Both companies Manila Water Philippine Ventures Inc. of Ayala Group with its partner Tubig Pilipinas Group Inc. and BP Waterworks, Inc. With its partner Pilipinas Water Resources, Inc. will utilize surface water (not ground water as is the current mode) to meet the rising demand but for a lower cost or tariff.
The DCWD management headed by Esperato Dicen has maintained that the proposed deal with MetroPac including the manner by which it was presented and approved by the BOD was above board and maybe the best deal so far considering that the private company will invest up to P 1 billion for the rehabilitation and upgrade of the aging facilities of DCWD.
However, there is a strong belief that the government and water consumers will be at a disadvantage once the Joint Venture Company, which is 80% controlled by MetroPac, takes over the operations of DCWD and that subsequent water bills will increase similar to the Cagayan De Oro experience, when MetroPac also took over several years ago.
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