The Dumaguete City Liga ng mga Barangays manifested its opposition yesterday to a joint venture between the Dumaguete City Water District and any private company that they claim will only result in higher water bills and the termination of regular, casual and Job order workers in the utility.
Punong barangays Vincent Andrew Perigua and Isagani Bana of Bagacay and Junob prodded the city government to stop the privatization of the water district.
Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo said there are legal means to stop the planned privatization, but he also urged the punong barangays to help explain the issues to their constituents, and try to convince the members of the DCWD board of directors to abort the plan.
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 on 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 a growing city and is incapable of upgrading its facilities without inviting a private investor.
The position of the DCWD management is that the water utility is only entering into a joint venture partnership, but the barangay officials and grassroots leaders believe that the plan will result in the privatization of the sole water utility in the city.
The barangay officials claim that DCWD is poised to relinquish 80 percent control to Metro Pacific Water Investments Corporation and 20 percent to DCWD. In short, MPWIC will have seven BOD, and DCWD only 2 percent.*RG
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