Monday, 23 July 2012 13:13
Angara’s privatization of water district
Senator Edgardo Angara has gained support from the Zamboanga City-based largest labor group in Western Mindanao in pushing for the privatization of water districts in the country.
On Wednesday, Employees’ unions of the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD), all under Stop Privatization Movement, staged pickets during their lunch break to oppose Angara’s Senate Bill 2997.
The union leaders of ZCWD employees’ unions said the privatization of water district will greatly affect the employees, especially those on job orders and low-income rank and file workers.
But in an exclusive interview, Jose J. Suan, president of the Philippine Integrated Industries Labor Union, revealed his support to privatize the city’s water utility.
Suan said public utilities should be privatized like the Zamboanga City Water District to improve the delivery of service to clientele and also to guarantee the security of tenures of workers.
“If this (water district) will not be privatized, most of the workers in that utility under contracts of services and job orders cannot even be regularized,” said Suan, also the concurrent Vice President of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines.
In a statement issued to the local media earlier, the anti-privatization groups based in Region IX called on Zamboangueños to oppose to all schemes of privatization as this will lead the displacement of thousands of government employees from their jobs.
But Suan refuted the groups’ call saying that “to oppose privatization is not good. They should realize and pity the workers within the water district who have no security of tenures...anytime they will be thrown out of their jobs because they are not regular employees.”
He asked: “What would be the future of the workers within that utilities if we do not know by tomorrow they will be out of job? That’s why the water district in Zamboanga City should be privatized for security of tenures of the employees.”
Suan further said that when water district is run by private enterprise the clients are assured of good delivery of services.
“We can not afford for a long time that water district will always be subsidized.. and then we go to improve the services through loans from any agencies.”
Reacting to some fears that a profit-oriented monopoly control of water by business giants will come in once the water district is privatized, Suan replied: “I don’t think so, that is not true because you know when water district is run by a private enterprise we are assured of good delivery of services.”
He said the oppositors to privatization should realize that any move to increase, like the water rate hike, will undergo consultation. “You can’t just increase even one centavo if it will not urdergo to public consultation...there are laws that safeguard any action detrimental to interest of consumers.
He recalled the Zamboanga City Water District more than 10 years ago was privatize and the workers’ benefits were carried on when the water utility became under government controlled corporation.
“There were so many benefits that the workers are receiving before and it was carried on the present.”
In privatization, employees can demand additional increase of their salary, according to Suan. “So I am supporting the Bill of Senator Angara. The water districts especially those who have poor delivery of services should be privatized.”
Suan called on politicians who opposed the privatization to re-study and revisit what is good for the water district. “They should study more and research...which is which?...what are the disadvantages and advantages?”
By Hader Glang
- 24/07/2012 12:51 - Nuño opposes Water District privatization
- 24/07/2012 12:24 - Perez takes over as Zambo Sibugay prov’l police chief
- 24/07/2012 12:23 - Pro-RH now? Aquino tells PH: Practice responsible parenthood
- 24/07/2012 12:20 - SCC celebrates centennial birthday of its founder today
- 24/07/2012 12:09 - Stray bullet hits young boy’s chest in Pasonanca
- 23/07/2012 13:12 - Beng’s grandstand at ZSCMST underway
- 23/07/2012 13:06 - BSP says new generation series currencies now being counterfeited
- 23/07/2012 13:03 - DOT IX launches ‘Vinta’ sailing at Paseo del Mar
- 23/07/2012 12:54 - Drunk man shot, hurt by buddy in Culianan
- 23/07/2012 12:53 - On Jalosjos’ voter registration case Fabian: ‘Let the people decide’