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Support swells for dismissed Baciwa employees

BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

Manny Villaera of Amlig Tubig, Bacolod Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr., and former Diwa Partylist Rep. Pete Pico (l-r) at the press conference*

A manifesto was signed yesterday by stakeholders and consumers of the Bacolod City Water District appealing to Mayor Evelio Leonardia and the Baciwa Board of Directors to act on the Civil Service Commission Order relative to the reinstatement of 60 dismissed employees of the water utility firm.

The CSC ordered the reinstatement of the Baciwa employees dismissed last December 2020 and for Baciwa to pay them in full from the time of their separation until their actual reinstatement.

Baciwa filed a motion for reconsideration last week on the CSC Order No. 210015, promulgated on August 20.

Pete Pico, former representative of Diwa Partylist, yesterday said the dismissed Baciwa employees hold regular plantilla positions with specific duties and functions. Their positions remain vacant and need CSC approval to be filled.

The Civil Service eligible employees have the responsibility to protect the interest of Baciwa, the government and stakeholders-consumers, he said.

Pico said based on the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA), Prime Water Infrastructure Corporation (PrimeWater) should comply the following: water quality production and chlorination, accurate reading and billing, submit periodical reports on PrimeWater’s accomplishments, among others.

The 20 remaining Contract Monitoring Unit (CMU) of Baciwa cannot sufficiently handle these parameters of the job required thus the need for reinforcement which the 60 dismissed employees can readily offer, he said.

The services of these dismissed Baciwa employees are essential to the water district, so they firmly stand with the decision of the CSC to reinstate them now, Pico also said.

Pico added that copies of the manifesto will be furnished the Office of the President, CSC, Local Water Utilities Administration, Mayor Evelio Leonardia and the BOD of Baciwa.

Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr. said the dismissed employees and their families will submit a copy of the manifesto to the Office of the Mayor on Thursday.

Gamboa said they have gathered about 24,000 signatures and hope to gather another 24,000. The manifesto is just a reiteration of the justice being sought by the dismissed employees.

They are also calling for the nullification of the contract between Baciwa and PrimeWater which is disadvantageous to the city, he said.

The motion for reconsideration filed Baciwa is only a delaying tactic that will only prolong the agony of the dismissed employees, Gamboa said.

Pico said that if Baciwa refuses to reinstate the dismissed employees as ordered by the CSC, they will resort to extra legal action like holding protests.*

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