Friday, March 28, 2008

Davao Consumer Groups Assail Water Cooperative

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 28, 2008) – Consumer groups and civil society organizations have assailed the Davao City Water District (DCWD) for allegedly terminating employees without due process.

The Consumer Alert! (CA) and the Nagakahiusang Mamumuo sa Davao City (NAMADACWAD) have thrown its supports to the former employees and condemned their termination.
"We sympathize for the workers and their families who are now in a desolate situation. We believe that the management's move to terminate and suspend the employees annihilates these people's aspirations and their only means for survival," Leon Bolcan, CA spokesman, said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

"What is more condemning is the fact that these employees were terminated and suspended without due process. They were denied of the chance to defend their innocence and the management is seemed unmoved with their arrogance and irrational stands," Bolcan added.

The two groups have previously opposed a plan by the utility cooperative to loan some P126 million from credit firms, saying, it would further put the DCWD in debts. It said DCWD should first put in top priority the welfare and benefits of employees.

“Apart from the loan, the workers of DCWD have other issues that need to be addressed by the management. It is proper and legitimate that the workers demand for the benefits that are due to them. To deny them of this right, or worse, to order for their termination and suspension on the basis of their oppositions is unjust and absurd," Bolcan said.

The loan, DCWD said, would be used to repair pipelines and other projects.
Bolcan said his group would appear to a plenary session of the Davao City Council to express support to DCWD employees and renew their opposition to the proposed loan.

"We support the workers in the fight to protect DCWD and the water consumers of Davao City. We can not allow the management to continue on violating basic human rights and endangering the future of the city," Bolcan said.

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