The members of the Board of the Bacolod City Water District strongly oppose the privatization of the water district, its newly elected president Lawrence Villanueva, said yesterday.
Villanueva said this is not allowed by law, so the people should be vigilant if there is a Bill pending in Congress that will allow water districts to be privatized. They should not allow this to be passed, he said.
The BACIWA Board had passed a resolution opposing the privatization of water districts and the Philippine Association of Water Districts had written the President and Congress opposing the Bill authored by Senator Edgardo Angara who is pushing for it, he said.
Villanueva said his fear is not privatization but the coming in of private companies competing against BACIWA by putting up their own operations in areas which the water district has not yet served.
That is why they have to widen their coverage by serving areas not yet served by BACIWA, he said. They also want to provide water 24/7 so one of his priorities is the reduction of non-revenue water, he added.
Villanueva said they want to explore the Matab-ang and Bago rivers and install more water pipes in joint partnership with the private sector to expand their coverage. They also want to implement the septage management law and encourage their consumers to store rain water, he said..
He also plans to construct a decent and beautiful building for BACIWA personnel and their consumers that will have amenities like a basketball court, gym and function hall, he added.
Villanueva, president and chairman of the Board of the First Community Bank, replaced former BACIWA president Pompeyo Querubin, who has served the water district for about 18 years.
Other members of the Board are former councilor Lorendo Dilag, Dr. Marichi Ramos, Maida Torre and Cecilia Henares.*CGS