August 14, 2014
WHEN broadcast stations here Tuesday (August 12) broke the news of Rep. Jerry Trenas (LP) authored a resolution for the privatization of the Metro-Iloilo Water District, I didn’t hear a congressman acting in behalf of his riding or constituency which is Iloilo City and its residents.
When he castigates the MIWD in his resolution for, among others, its “lackaidisical” services, I don’t see a public servant riling to defend consumers.
I only see a lawyer in loyal service of a client, FloWater, a bulk supplier of the MIWD. The Trenas law firm is among the choiced counsels of mogul Rogelio Florete whose group of companies to include a bank and a network of radio stations are clients of Trenas the lawyer.
Trenas’s initial move was to hold a “congressional inquiry” which I was able to attend as it was just three floors above our office at the Iloilio Provincial Capitol. The inquiry, supposedly, in aid of legislation, appeared more like “in aid of collection.”
It was preceded by days of unrelenting broadcast tirades against the MIWD. Florete through his broadcast station has been castigating MIWD for failure to pay him P15 M at P5 M per month. The water district, a government facility, refused to pay insisting that it is only bound to pay the volume of water actually entering its pipes.
Florete’s engineers installed 800-mm pvc pipes from his source in Pototan, bigger than the recipient’s main line of only 200 mm. He now wants the MIWD to shoulder the snafu, ineptitude even, of his own engineers.
Trenas, the counsel of Florete’s latest manuever against the MIWD — privatizing it, is not intended to promote the general welfare nor protect public interest.
To be blunt about it: the resolution filed by Trenas the legal counsel of his high paying client is to promote his business interests which is to take over the water facility.
Trenas is just one among the bureacrats peddling the yarn that privatization is a magic wand that solves poor social services in one stroke.