For decades until now, there has been a persistent public outcry against the failure of BACIWA, now BACIWA/PrimeWater, on its mandate to provide clean, safe, affordable and adequate supply of water for the consumers in Bacolod City, Water Watch Advocate Wennie Sancho said in a press statement.
Sancho lamented that “the inconvenience and sufferings due to lack of water and inefficient services of BACIWA/Prime Water had robbed us of our right to quality life.”
BACIWA/PrimeWater is guilty of failure in duty, which is a disgrace to public service because it failed to protect public health and welfare of the people, he said.
Mismanagement and inefficiency are the hallmarks of this public utility and commodity service provider, Sancho said.
The unholy alliance of BACIWA/PrimeWater has become an instrument of oppression against the consumers because their repeated complaints fell on deaf ears. Their complaints have been answered only by repeated economic and financial injuries, he said.
Among the perennial and irritating problem that most people hate, is the disturbing episode that after a brownout by CENECO, there is a gushing or emission of turbid, muddy and dirty water once you open your faucet, that qualifies our statement that BACIWA/PrimeWater is a disgrace to public service. They should provide services or commodities that are necessary for the maintenance of life and occupation of the public, Sancho said.
Before the approval of this so-called “joint venture” between BACIWA and PrimeWater, the consumers were lured into a scenario that it is the only solution to address the problem of water crisis then. But the process was done surreptitiously, with BACIWA management invoking the confidentiality clause of the contract that we had never seen. We were not furnished a copy of the contract, he said.
Sancho said the failure of BACIWA/Prime water to inform the consumers, stating in explicit details, of the agreed upon terms of the joint venture agreement violates the principle of transparency and accountability because it involves “public utility services. We deserve to know.
Until now the consumers are not fully aware of the corporate status of BACIWA/PrimeWater. Is it a Public Private Partnership? Or is it a strategic alliance? With all the hullabaloo, we shall demand a performance audit so that we can determine the culpability and accountability of BACIWA/PrimeWater as a public utility service provider, he added.*