It is illegal to privatize the Bacolod City Water District as its existence and operation is covered by a national law, former BACIWA director and former councilor Greg Gasataya said yesterday.
Gasataya, a vice mayoralty candidate of the Nationalist People’s Coalition Grupo Progreso, said privatizing BACIWA, a government-owned and controlled corporation, will involve the passage of a new law. The existing law prohibits its privatization, he said.
Although BACIWA has a huge debt of more than half a billion, it does not consider privatization and its Board had even passed a resolution opposing the move, he said.
Gasataya has been accused of working for the privatization of the water district because he allegedly enjoyed fat perks from big companies that want to privatize the water district.
Gasayata said there is no truth to the reports that he has been working for the privatization of BACIWA and he can prove those making those charges against him wrong
He said his detractors have been circulating text messages that he was chosen by the NPC Grupo Progreso party to run for vice mayor because he was able to make money out of the reported privatization that can help propel the campaign of their group.
Gasataya said his appointment as candidate for vice mayor was a decision made by the NPC national directorate.
There have also been reports circulating that the Maynilad owned by Manny Pangilinan and the Ayala group of companies are interested in the privatization of BACIWA.
Gasataya said there was no plan for the privatization of the entire water district, but for a specific project that will help reduce non-revenue water.
But this did not happen because the BACIWA officials decided that the water district will address the matter, he said.
Lawrence Villanueva, the newly elected chairman of the Board of BACIWA, had assured the public earlier that they will oppose any attempts to privatize the water district.*CGS