Baciwa to keep workers despite joint venture

BACOLOD City – Amid its proposed public-private partnership with Prime Water Infrastructure Inc., the Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) vowed to retain its employees.

Jenelyn Gemora, Baciwa assistant general manager for operations, said all water district employees were not included in the joint venture reorganization.

“These employees shall be absorbed by the merger agreement without diminution of remuneration,” added Gemora.

Baciwa currently has 510 employees, including job order workers.

Gemora said these employees will still enjoy security of tenure and their rights will be protected under the labor laws.

Recently, Baciwa’s board of directors approved the recommendation of the Joint Venture Selection Committee, which include the approval of the negotiation and terms and condition between the water district and the Prime Water for 25 years.

According to Gemora, employees have an option to retire and avail of incentives and livelihood assistance offered by the joint venture partner.

Should the joint venture be successful, Gemora assured its consumers there will be no indiscriminate increase in water rates. 

She explained the increase in water rates can only be made by the joint venture upon the approval of the Local Water Utilities Administration and after several public hearings.

“Water rate increase is therefore regulated by LWUA and not at the discretion of the proposed joint venture partnership,” Gemora said.

Baciwa chairman of the board Lorendo Dilag, meanwhile, said the joint venture is one proposed answer to the water problem in this city.

“This will improve potable water availability to 24 hours-seven days a week. It will provide efficient and responsive customer service,” Dilag said.

He added it will reduce non-revenue water supply to acceptable industry standards./PN


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