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60 terminated Baciwa workers to seek reinstatement: counsel

BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III

The 60 employees of the Bacolod City Water District who were terminated for job redundancy will seek reinstatement, Ceasar Beloria, one of their counsels, said yesterday.

Beloria said they might file the appeal before Baciwa management or they will go directly to the Civil Service Commission.

He said they believe that the termination did not follow due process and violated provisions of Republic Act 6656, or an act to protect the security of tenure of civil service officers and employees in the implementation of government reorganization.

Baciwa was founded on October 8, 1973 through Sangguniang Panlungsod Resolution 4460 as a quasi-public corporation.

Beloria said that employment and termination of workers of Baciwa are regulated by the CSC, being a public entity.

He stressed that what was entered into between Baciwa and PrimeWater was a private undertaking and the utility firm remains as a public entity.

Beloria added that the Board of Directors of Baciwa has no legal jurisdiction in terminating the employees, whose position they regard as redundant, because their role is only to make policies.

Engineer Michael Soliva, general manager of Baciwa, issued Office Order No. 2020-081 on Dec. 29, terminating the employees’ services by Dec. 31.

The employees were given options, whether to apply with PrimeWater or to accept an early retirement plan, both of which they refused.

They stood by their option to remain as Baciwa employees since they are already tenured and are under plantilla positions.

Soliva had earlier emphasized that the decision of the Baciwa Board in terminating the employees was legal and is based on the legal opinion of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel. He said the positions of these employees were not in the organizational chart when Baciwa and PrimeWater entered into a joint venture agreement.*

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