Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Water District was created purposely to make the delivery of water and its system of distribution efficient. To have an effective check and balance the segments of stake holders were and have been given representations in the policy making body of the water district. It was envisioned to maintain the integrity and transparency of the management. Simply saying to curb any excesses, one representative guards the other because each is accountable to the group (s)he represents and to shield it from political bickering.

True enough during the early years of the existence of the water district it was efficiently and effectively functioning and it met the expectations. San Pablo Water District then was supplying potable water, cool and clean from the springs delivered in every home mostly via gravity alone. The water was so cheap. For several years the water district of San Pablo was the water district of all water districts in the Philippine. Everybody who knew envied the SPCWD. Not for long the SPCWD was eased out from contention of being outstanding water district. It was elevated in the hall of fame.

But the water district management did not rest in its laurel of being best. The sight is aimed at the future. The management never stopped innovating and improving. It knew that sooner the concessionaires will increase in number and the volume of water will geometrically increase. The plans for gradual expansions were in place and executed with precisions. Everything was done under the cloak of subtle anonymity. Nobody flaunted what had been tremendously achieved.

But what is surprising was the fact that being a director then was not as glamorous as today. The directors were not serviced with luxury vehicles. They were not spendthrifts. They were ashamed to squander money intended for the operation of the office. They did not indulge in so many trips and seminars costing tens to hundreds of thousand pesos. They have no scandalous expenses that reach the court. The money were accounted to the last centavo without much hassles and issues. Even appointments were done in a highest degree of delicadeza. That was once upon a time.

Until finally the water district seemingly was politicized. There were technical people who were eased out and replaced by protégées. The directorship is like spoils of war reserved to reward the warriors who sacrificed to unseat a king by a new monarch. The vanquished of course will not simply surrender the treasure to the victors without giving a signal that they are needed in the operation of the water district.

The problem of effective distribution of water was felt. The gate valves of the distribution lines have to be balanced for equitable dispersals of water. Technical people due to be eased out altered the same to dismay the concessionaires. By hit and miss the new management had to try its best. The best way not to be noticed for ineptness was to open wide the valves going to the lines of VIPs?! Important people were then served water 24 hours a day while others had to make do with two to four hours a day?! Since then water district was never the same. Poor quality of water has to be paid expensive. (SANDY BELARMINO)

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