Opinion: BACIWA Must Settle Imbroglio
OR CONTEND WITH A CONTROVERSY OF NO END. The controversy confronting the Bacolod City Water District (BACIWA) has broken into the limelight and made known the injustices it has done. What we mean are the injustices done by its officials mainly General Manager Juliana Carbon and its board members. We are not impugning other officials because in the first place, Carbon and the officials as its rightful heir and owner Erle Gionzales have given evidences, of no mean content, he claims and with good reason that he is the owner of the 3.5 hectares property in Talisay City’s hinterlands wherein BACIWA gets 30 percent of the water it supplies to residents or concessionaires of Bacolod City.
Gonzales says they have only brought the issues incumbent in the controversy to the surface after 39 years. He shows many documents and the possible Ombudsman case he will bring up later, once the issue is not amicably resolved in the near future.
SLEW OF EVIDENCES. With a slew of evidences, we really have no reason to doubt Gonzales and his family’s claim over the property and which is the source of precious water, about 30 percent of BACIWA without which, water would be lacking here. This is not the only controversy BACIWA is facing but there is also another issue brought up by contractor Jocelyn Yee, which concerns the building or installation of pipelines presumably to bring water from Boro-Boro in Barangay Granada, to key parts of areas in Bacolod City. Once the water reaches that portion of Lopez-Jaena-Burgos Sts., it is supposed to bring water to still waterless districts in the city, where underground connections are to be done. This is a project which has not yet transpired for years. Yee filed charges against the contractors with one key man, Miguel “Mike” Carriedo, attesting that the project was intent in bringing commodity, water, to areas in Bacolod which is bereft of the water.
Sub-contracting is a scourge in the infrastructure and construction industry because too much resources are wasted. Yet, once Gonzales files a case against BACIWA officials before the Ombudsman, another big case will be faced by BACIWA officials.
IN THUNDER’S NAME. We cannot understand in thunder’s name why Carbon and the BACIWA board members have not settled the case with Gonzales with its estimated earnings of close to P1-B yearly. Gonzales is asking BACIWA to pay P207M in water cost it has sourced from his property for a number of years. Instead, BACIWA filed a case for expropriation before a Bacolod City Court which mistakenly ruled positively. But the dampener was that it did not realized that the source of the water was in Talisay City. Again, it amended its ruling which now encompassed Gonzales’ property, but with the latter not yet filing a case before the next higher court, especially the Court of Appeals (CA).
A lump sum payment by BACIWA should have resolved the issue but Carbon and other officials used the court in the process, to negate the payment to the rightful owner of money from an entity which it actually does not own. It is Gonzales who claims the 3.5 hectares the water comes from.
The controversy will go on and on. Such injustices in the Philippines will go on. This is the very reason why insurgency won’t disappear or go away. Millions of people are subjected to injustices by government or the state.
Tell you me. But, indeed!*