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Politics, nepo spirits possess Water District

NEWS NOTES

DUMAGUETE CITY – Two notoriously good and bad spirits are possessing some top people the Dumaguete City Water District namely: the spirits of politics and nepotism.

Most of all the DCWD is hounded with good futuristic anticipation that if the DCWD does not expand now, in 8 to 10 years the most there will be water rationing in Dumaguete whose population and business districts shall have soared to unimaginable heights.

We agree that a joint venture with the big players will save the water district from extinction in the future. With only P228Million in assets and needing P1Billion for expansion, the only way out is a joint venture.

Borrowing with neck-high interests is not a good option. Donations is out. Joint Venture is the best way.

We talked with some city councilors asking why the DCWD always snubs their invitation. Here’s why: politics. It started two elections ago when some legislators floated an ordinance (that did not pass anyway) taxing every water extraction from the soil by all users with the intent of forcing users to economize in the use of water.

Here’s the clincher: DCWD opposed this taxraising failed ordinance of the city and instead urged voters not to vote for the proponents. But most of the Proponents won, and DCWD now boycotts their invitations. The game was long over, yet the political wounds remain. Immature. Yes. But that seems to be the inside story. That’s how childish some old people can be.

Even Mayor Remollo’s very qualified recommendees for the DCWD board were rejected by the DCWD for technical reasons. We didn’t like that either. But let them fight it out if they like.

But we thank the GM water district chief Sprite Dicen in believing in the local PRESS whom he preferred to talk directly and openly (instead of the City Council) with no holds barred during Wednesday’s press conference at water district penthouse.

So the City Council instead invited Metro Pacific Water Investments Corp to the session and they came all the way from Manila, and Cagayan de Oro, just to enlighten the city boys. Quite embarrassing for some.

Anyway, the CHRONICLE was given by Metro Pac a copy of their 30-page proposal to the water district . In short they want to invest here at DCWD their expertise to run the expanded water district nfor 25 years/ renewable getting 80% share of the profit and loss while the DCWD retaining its personality and board composition gets 20%. Nothing is final. The DCWD are still consulting the water consumers, except the City leaders, he he. How inappropriate.

But any way, let them play their kids game. We don’t mind.

Metro Pac has similar MOAs in the Manila water district ; Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, and Laguna. We have to ask their experience with Metro Pac yet. /We will interview them shortly.

NEPOTISM

This is an old story. So many employees there are close blood kins and relatives of DCWD top brass. Our fingers are not enough to count them. Of course their employment are justified, just as the newly rejected proposed board members are also said to be justifiably blocked.

We what are they in power for?

EMPLOYEES THEN?

AS to the oft asked questions: what happens to DCWD employees when 5Metro Pac board and 3DCWD board will sit a s a new corporation under the JVC or Joint Venture Corporation?

ANSWER Page 18 in their proposal (in Metro Pac’s proposal) quote:

“JVCo will hire qualified employees from DCWD. Upon resignation , regular employees will be given an Economic Assistance Incentive equivalent to twice their current salary , multiplied by the number of yeasrs in service. Similarly casual employees will also be given an incentive equivalent to 1.5x of their current salary , multiplied by their years in the service. JVCo will review existing salary structure of ‘DCWD employees and will adapt it to existing industry standards.”

No comment.

Were the DCWD workers made to know and understand this?

DCWD emphasizes nothing is final yet. No MOA signing so far. Are they allowed to unionize? People still have a lot of questions. Attt Miles Bejar, of Silliman law office was hired to speak in behalf of DCWD on legal matters. Looks like the City Council might invite Mile Bejar who this time is not expected to snub his friends at the SP.