Gamboa Spearheads BCWWI Open Forum to Update Stakeholders on Developments of the Water Shortage Problem
Negros Daily Bulletin
By James U. Sy Jr.
Councilor Wilson C. Gamboa, Jr., Chairman of the Bacolod City Water Watch Council Inc. (BCWWI), spearheaded the BCWWI Open Forum for BACIWA and Bacolod Bulk Water Supply Project and Its Reportorial Updates for stakeholders from various sectors, including the baranagays and the media, on September 7, 2017 at the SP Session Hall, New Government Center.
Councilor Wilson C. Gamboa, Jr., Chairman of the Bacolod City Water Watch Council Inc. (BCWWI), awarding the certificate of appreciation to Ryan Yapkianwee (2nd from right), Chairman, Bacolod Bulk Water Inc. (BBWI), and Atty. Juliana Carbon (3rd from left, 1st row), General Manager, Bacolod City Water District (BACIWA), at the conclusion of the BCWWI Open Forum for BACIWA and Bacolod Bulk Water Supply Project and Its Reportorial Updates for on September 7, 2017 at the SP Session Hall, NGC.* (BCWWI photo)
The Bacolod City Water Watch Council Inc. (BCWWI), the only accredited water consumer’s watch dog and member of the Bacolod City Water Supply and Quality Monitoring Council, invited Ryan Yapkianwee, Chairman, Bacolod Bulk Water Inc. (BBWI), and Atty. Juliana Carbon, General Manager, Bacolod City Water District (BACIWA), to give the status of the water shortage situation in Bacolod as well as updates on the proposed six additional wells and the acceptance by BACIWA of its unsolicited proposal from private companies with regards to the installations and construction of pipelines extension projects to waterless communities with a fear that this will lead to privatization.
The Bacolod City Water Watch Inc. (BCWWI) seeks and ensures water sufficiency and security, ensures consumer protection against water rate increases, and unreasonable fees and imposition. During the last administration, Gamboa had passed the following resolutions, “RESOLUTION RESPECTFULLY REITERATING OUR REQUEST TO BACOLOD CITY WATER DISTRICT (BACIWA) THROUGH ITS GENERAL MANAGER ATTY. JULIANA CARBON OR ITS CHAIRMAN ATTORNEY LORENDO DILAG FOR A COPY OF A NOTARIZED WATER SUPPLY CONTRACT BETWEEN WATER SUPPLY INC. AND THE WRITTEN STATUS AND COMPLIANCE OF EXISTING PRODUCTION WELLS AS WELL AS EXPLAINATION OF THE NEED FOR FUTURE PRODUCTION WELLS” and “RESOLUTION APPEALING TO THE LOCAL WATER UTILITIES ADMINISTRATION (LWUA) AND THE BOARD TO REMOVE THE MINIMUM CHARGE THE WATER DISTRICT IMPOSES TO ITS RESIDENTIAL WATER CONSUMERS WHEN NO WATER WAS DELIVERED” due to the fact that it violates the consumer rights. As the water watch dog of the Bacolod, the BCWW uses these as the bases of supports to the proposed Bacolod Bulk Water Supply Project of BACIWA when they made a presentation at the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
The Bulk Water Supply Project Contract will cost Php1.234 billion without additional cost from BACIWA or to the consumers with 6 conditions among them no capital outlay or investment, or loan, resources will be drawn only from spring or surface water, and the bulk water supplier shall ensure continuous potable water supply 24/7, 365 days each year, even during power interruptions, equipment breakdowns, adverse weather conditions, repairs and maintenance, except in cases of BACIWA major water interruptions and force majeure;
BACIWA currently has 60 wells, 56 of which are operational, contributing 87% of water supply in Bacolod. The City granted BACIWA in 2016 6 additional wells, the purpose of which was to temporarily address the shortage while the Bulk Water supply project is to be realized, and with the condition that this will eventually be used as backups or “contingency facilities” once the bulk water supply project becomes operational.
Gamboa noted that the construction of another additional 6 wells is not beneficial and cost efficient to the consumers anymore, with each well priced at over Php8 million, or a total of Php49 million additional project cost, not to mention the incidental expenses like operations and maintenance. It is not also environmentally friendly, and contrary to the direction of BACIWA that deep wells will be used only as “contingency facilities.” These findings were based on the feasibility study conducted entitled, “BACIWA Feasibility Study on Bulk Water Supply Project through Combined In-House and Contracted Capability (2015-2043).”
Gamboa said that said Php49 million could be put to better use if utilized for the reduction of the non-revenue water, rehabilitation and maintenance of old pipes, and construction of additional water lines for the non-serviceable communities.
Bacolod Bulk Water Inc. (BBWI) will begin delivering water to BACIWA on October 12, according to Yapkianwee.*