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ROUGH CUTS | DCWD should be wary of this

Here is one thing that the Davao City Water District (DCWD) management should be wary about.
We are informed, and we have personal knowledge as well, that in certain rural barangays reached by the service of the water agency, there are persons who band themselves around as the contact guys for those who would want to have water connection without going through the rigors of complying with certain documentary requirements other than going to the office and filling up the application form.

These supposed middlemen claim they have plumber friends with “contacts” inside the DCWD who will facilitate the application. The catch however, is that the charges will be so much as the applicant will not anymore have any hassle and that part of the amount charged will be given to the agency “insiders.”
Even in the submission of one documentary requirement, a photocopy of the land title of the property where the house occupied by the applicant is located, can be replaced with a photocopy of a title of another property. All the applicant has to do is wait for the installation to be completed by the plumber and the meter installed.

This is what happened to an acquaintance of ours. Only, the installation of the meter of our acquaintance did not material as the owner of the house that was rented by the applicant discovered the tricky transaction where his title to the property was substituted with a title of another lot far, far away from the location of the applicant.

We also learned that the “middleman” in that application charged applicants who he brokered from a low of P8 thousand to a high of as much as P15 thousand depending on the distance of the applicants’ house from the main water pipe. And the charge is only for the pipe installation from the would-be location of the meter up to the inside of the house where water faucets are needed. up The charges collected by the water firm are not included. So are the cost of materials.

And allow us to remind the public that this scheme in supposedly “facilitating” applications for service connection is not practiced only by some unscrupulous individuals at the DCWD. This is also done at other utility companies, more prevalent at Davao Light despite efforts to curb the same.

Of course we cannot blame if some people will resort to using the scheme, especially those from the rural villages. Coming down to the city proper to work out their application is too cumbersome and expensive.
May be the DCWD can think of ways to bring such service closer to the prospective applicants for water connection on a scheduled basis.


Now we will go back to the proposed Ordinance that will allow the local government of Davao City to collect Payment for Ecological Services (PES) from residential and business or industrial establishments connected to the Davao City Water District (DCWD). The fees are P.25 centavos and P.50 centavos per cubic meter for residential and commercial consumers, respectively.

We are just wondering why the Council has already approved on first reading the proposed measure introduced by First District Councilor Pilar Braga when the city has not even distributed to strategic locations the hundreds of heavy-duty plastic garbage bins the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) delivered before the onset of the CoViD 19 pandemic. That was a good five years ago.
Are not garbage disposed of indiscriminately a grave danger to the ecology of Davao City? And, is not the utilization of the garbage bins procured at an exorbitant cost and just allowed to be stockpiled in some inconspicuous corners of the barangay center areas not a waste of people’s money? And now the council could already be thinking of accumulating money through an “innovative” legislation for programs and projects on ecology that are as vague as man’s nebulous dreams.

Why cannot any of our councilors think of crafting ordinances, or even just amendments to existing local laws that will impact positively on the city’s ecology without having to tax every Tomas, Ricardo and Hilario of Davao City?

Good for the business or industrial water consumers as they just simply pass on to the public the amount they will pay as PES by factoring it in the determination of the cost of their products or services.

We do not know if the residents of the city could expect Second district councilor John Louie Bonguyan, chairman of the Council’s Committee on Energy and Water, to scrutinize the proposed ordinance for the purpose of having a meaningful deliberation on all the aspects of the “tsunamic” tax imposition should it be approved by the body.

Perhaps it is also worth reminding the councilors that the bulk of the Davao City voters belong to the so-called disadvantaged and middle sectors. And the 2025 midterm elections for local officials fall in May of that year. Davaoenos do not forget easily, we believe.


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