The Philippine Association of Water District (PAWD) is opposing the proposed bills in the Senate and House of Representatives aiming to privatize the Water Districts in the country and the establishment of Water and Sanitation Regulatory Authority. According to PAWD national president Gilbert Camaligan, there is no reason to privatize the water districts as proposed by Sen. Edgardo Angara in his Senate Bill 2997 and House Bill No. 5497 of Rep. Romeo Federico S. Quimbo and Rep. Karlo A.B. Nograles. He added that the creation of Water Supply and Sanitation Companies, under the section 17 of Senate Bill 2997 which will allow the ownership of the properties of Water Service Providers, will not do any good to the public.
Camaligan stressed that the privatization of water districts will also cause a huge damage to its 20,000 employees, who are serving the government for more than three decades now. Meanwhile, the PAWD has expressed support to the proposed bill of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada or the Senate Bill 518, which will allow the establishment of a Water Regulatory Commission that will give permission to the continuous operation of water districts in the country.
Camaligan said that the management of Water Districts is far from the interference of local governments and is covered by the Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit and Department of Budget and Management and was declared a government owned and controlled corporation by the Supreme Court on Sept. 13, 1991. Water districts are under the supervision of the Local Water Utilities Administration and its operations are proven to be successful. The said districts were established to give service to the public and not as a business to earn. –Daily Tribune