Council opposes privatization of water district PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 03 August 2012 14:10

The City Council has passeda resolution authored by Councilor Percival Ramos expressing strong opposition to the passage the proposed Water Sector Reform Act citing its negative implications not only on water district workers but on the general public itself.

Ramos of District II said House Bill 2997, now for Senate’s consideration on second reading, calls for the privatization of water districts in the country, and thus, yield more disadvantages than advantages.

“Once privatized, water district’s concentration of development of water projects will be purely the urban areas. What will happen to the far flung barangays?”, Ramos asked.

He said privately-run companies will also concentrate on the return of investment and not on service to the people.

Ramos bewailed that thousands of employees and workers of water districts from all over the country will be displaced, as the number of staff will be trimmed down and a new hiring system will be in place.

Councilor Nonong Guingona shared Ramos’ view citing the case of the Zamboanga City Water District which has recently presented to the City Government its multi-million peso water development plan that is expected to be implemented in the far flung areas in partnership with the administration of Mayor Celso Lobregat.

“The ZCWD management has showed us the plans and program, now once privatization takes place, these plans will not be implemented”, Guingona lamented.

Based on the ZCWD-LGU partnership, water services are being expanded to the far flung barangays with the ultimate goal of ensuring continuous and steady supply of potable water to all households.

Both Ramos and Guingona lamented the fact that the City’s Labor Group has expressed favour to the proposed bill authored by Senator Edgardo Angara without considering its possible implications on the people.

The resolution, unanimously approved by all members present during the Council session recently, is addressed to the Office of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives through Mayor Lobregat. Copies of the resolution will be furnished to the Office of Congresspersons Beng Climaco and Erbie Fabian and Sen. Angara for information.

Ramos encouraged all other water districts in the country to also formally voice out their strong objection to the proposed bill entitled “An Act Instituting Reforms in the Water Industry, Rationalization, Allocation and Distribution of Service areas, Provision of Incentives for Infrastructure Development or for New, Clean, Efficient and Ecological Technologies, Reorganizing the National Water Resources Board, Creating Local Water Supply and Sanitation Companies, amending for the purpose Certain Laws and for other related purposes”.

ZCWD workers have staged protest rallies, as the ZCWD management has submitted its position paper containing its opposition to the proposal, to the Senate. — Sheila Covarrubias