Thursday, 19 July 2012 11:19
The Labor Union of Zamboanga City (LUZC) is opposing the proposed Bill No. 2997, filed by Senator Edgardo Angara, aiming to privatize the water districts in the country.
“The union is opposing the privatization because it will affect the employees, especially those on job orders only and those in low income group (like the rank and file),” LUZC president Eduardo Mingala said.
He added these are the people wil be hardest hit once the water districts become privatized. “We know that once our water district is privatized, we don’t have a control anymore over the water and water supply.”
Actually, he said the people of Zamboanga City have been facing with the problem on supply of water which comes out very slow.
“Man privatize coneste mas malu ya kay the more nuway mas kita control con el agua de atun (if it is privatized it would be more worse because we don’t have a control anymore of our water),” Mingala emphasized.
He also said that the eventual privatization of all water districts in the country will turn water into a profit-oriented monopoly control of water by business giants.
The group of Mingala which picketed in front of the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) office along Pilar St., was joined by a Stop Privatization Movement.
The movement is composed of Federation of Land Transportation Associations of Zamboanga City (FELTRANZ), Zamboanga City Water District Employees Labor Union (ZCWDELU), Zamboanga City Water District Management & Labor Union (ZCWMLU), and Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE).
They carried banners and streamers with slogans “Stop Privatization of Social Services!”, “No To Privatization of Water District Angara Senate Bill 2997”, “No To Privatization of Water Angara Senate Bill 2997.”
Senator Angara’s proposed bill aims to institutionalize reforms in the water industry, rationalization, allocation and distribution of service areas, provision of incentives for infrastructure development or for new clean, efficient and ecological technologies, reorganizing the National Water Resources Board, creating local water supply and sanitation companies, amending for the purpose certain laws and for other related purposes or otherwise would be known asd the Water Sector Reform Act 2012.
But the anti-water privatization group sees the proposed bill as “the water industry shall as be a priority investment sector that will regularly form part of the country’s investmenet priority plan.”
They believed that scarce water resources are morelikely to be monopolized by the rich for the purposes other thatn regular household water usage at the expense of poor families who simply cannot afford higher rates imposed by PPP projects which aim for increased returns or profit from their investment.
“We firmly believe and our own experience tells us that it is the state that is still in a better position to provide water services because of its constitutional mandate to ensure the delivery of public goods and services including water,” the group’s statement said.
By Hader Glang
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