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MANILA, Philippines -- Employees’ unions of water districts around the country mounted simultaneous protests against efforts to privatize water utilities.
The union, all under the Water System Employees’ Response, an affiliate of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees or COURAGE, staged pickets during their lunch break, from noon to 1 p.m., to oppose Senate Bill 2997 authored by Senator Edgardo Angara.
The measure seeks to privatize all water districts in the country but critics say its enactment into law would put consumers at the mercy of profiteers and deprive them of their right to a basic resource.
In Bacolod City, officers and members of the Bacolod City Water District Employees’ Union used the time to explain the effect of the proposed measure to colleagues and consumers.
The BEU said they will stage similar protests regularly in the coming weeks.
In a communication to its member unions, WATER cited the advances in the campaign to oppose SB 2997, including the 10,000 signatures gathered so far for a petition against the measure.
The signatures, it said, “come from various water districts, from employees and management … (and) the general public” and are expected to increase.
WATER also said the opposition to the privatization bill is being waged not only by workers but the managements and trustees of water districts around the country as well as by farmers, indigenous people, environmental activists, women’s organizations and consumers’ groups.