Baliwag Water District (BWD) is a Government Owned and Controlled Corporation (GOCC) that primarily deals in providing potable, adequate and affordable water to its concessionaire. It is mandated by the Presidential Decree No. 198, otherwise known as the “Provincial Water Utilities Act of 1973” which entitles BWD all authorized rights and privileges of a water district. It was officially formed on July 01, 1989 under the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) Certificate of Conditional Conformance No. 407. The primary reason of its conception is to solve the growing problem in the water system of the whole town of Baliwag. Inadequate supply of water, mismanagement of collections and poor customer service were the problems encountered before its creation. BWD experienced several triumps and misfortunes that contribute to its stability and success. To give a picture of its struggle to success the succeeding paragraphs illustrates the journey of Baliwag WD.
LWUA Support And Intervention
The initial years were not easy for BWD especially there were no resources that were transferred from the former management. The salaries of employees were always delayed and they have to borrow office supplies and materials from nearby water districts to survive and experienced signing of promissory notes to avoid disconnection of electric services. However, when the Local Water Utilities (LWUA) granted the first financial support to BWD amounting to Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00), it opened new horizon to the employees and to BWD. The said support was used in metering and leak detection which decreased the percentage of non-revenue water which is 50% that time. After these programs were implemented, the district was able to increase its service connection from 800 to 1,200 households which resulted to increase in water sales.
On 1992 to 1994, another financial support from LWUA was received by the District amounting to Eleven Million Pesos (P11,000,000.00). It was used for the rehabilitation of three (3) pumps, electrical facilities, installation of valves and fire hydrants, construction of office building at the Aquas Potables compound and pipelines expansion at Rizal St., Sta. Barbara to Makinabang. As a result, water service connections increased by 100% equivalent to 2,400 connections. Water salse increased to Two Hundred Eighty Pesos (P280,000.00) monthly. The Board of Directors was then composed of Mr. Luciano B. Robes, Mr. Reynaldo Cristobal, Mr. Conrado E. Evangelista, Engr. Solomon Mendiola and Dra. Victoria Balagtas and the management was under the supervision of Mr. Ferdinand Cruz. By the end of 1994, the district has a total net income of P548,128.71 which was the beginning of its journey in reaching its goal.
In the year 1996, new management came into picture and made a remarkable in the history of the water system of Baliwag. GM Baylosis became the official general manager of BWD. It was the star of the total turnaround of BWD. Employees work harder and were unified to face the organizational change offered by the new management which was well supported by the Board of Directors. From then on, several programs were implemented such as penalty charges for late payees reinforcing concessionaires to pay early or on due dates, strict implementation of policy on disconnection to maintain collection efficiency and encourage concessionaires with illegal connection by applying penalty to the concessionaires and permanent disconnection, while the tipster will receive an incentive. The guiding principle of BWD then was to expand its service connection to all barangays of Baliwag. Major projects were well drilling and pump stations. The management also implemented programs to encourage residents to apply for service connections. Anniversary and Christmas promos were given, wherein service connection fee were discounted or can be made through instalment for six (6) consecutive months.
From selected barangays in 1992, the district was able to serve fourteen (14) barangays in 1998 which resulted to increasing number of new service connection and in turn increase in net income. By the end of 1998, the district has a total asset of P27,326,255.80 compared to P7,993,040.71 total assets on 1994. All water district performance indicators in the said year increased thus, qualifying to the next category – the MEDIUM CATEGORY. In terms of human resources, the district was able to maintain small number of employees, the thirty (30) employees by the end of 1998, giving an employee-concessionaire ratio of 218:1. It also lowered its non-revenue water from 50% to 24.74%.
As time flew, the BWD’s journey to success became clearer – increasing number of service connections, expansion of service coverage to different barangays in Baliwag, well drilling of pump stations to sustain the growing demand for safe, potable and adequate water at a very low price. It was one of the lowest water rates in Bulacan and even in Luzon. It was able to maintain low meter rates despite the increasing prices of commodities. In 2003 another re-categorization was given to the district; it became BIG Water District with a total assets of P72,983,829.88, annual net income of P9,598,299.00 and a total number of service connection 13,337. During this year, BWD also passed the accreditation of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) which was the very first water district in Bulacan accredited by the CSC. Aside from excellent performance, it likewise conquer the sports grabbing different titles in different sports like basketball and bowling. In the same year, the district started to conduct oratorical and poster making contest which aims to develop skills and increase awareness of the youth on the importance of water and the environment. All of these contribute to the Outstanding Water District for Luzon Award for 2003 received by the district.
Every organization has its own ups and downs, there are years that were not as fruitful as the other. There were also times when hindrances and misunderstanding among employees ruled out cooperation and harmony. The year 2005 was not as good as the other since in terms of profit; one of the lowest net incomes for ten years was recorded in this year. This is because of the unbalance cash flow. Water rates were very low and the price of commodities especially fuel and electric power charges were inevitably increasing. However, the following years were exactly the opposite of the previous years. In 2006, the BWD had recorded the highest net income (P14,604,497.04) and lowest percentage of non-revenue water (12.49%) since it was created. By the end of 2006, the district was able to cover twenty four (24) out of the twenty seven (27) barangays in Baliwag. This shows the capability of the district to stand after a storm and it is more important than what had happened.
Industrialization in Baliwag, Bulacan
However, covering the whole town does not stop BWD from serving our concessionaires. Now that BWD had completed all barangays in Baliwag, it is now on its way to the second level: ensuring the SANITATION of every household in Baliwag. Increased potentially of Baliwag, Bulacan has brought investors; hence, increasing the population and the demand for water and sanitation in Baliwag. In 2009, the district in cooperation with the Philippine Revolving Fund (PWRF) has completed a feasibility study on the septage management of Baliwag. It was presented to the Local Government and 100% support to the said project was given to BWD. This year, BWD plans to start the construction of the Septage Treatment Plant.
As of February 2012, the district has ninety nine (99) employees broken down into 76 permanent, 10 casual and thirteen (13) job orders maintaining its low concessionaire-employee ratio of 249.95 which is way above the industry average. It has completely covered by the end of 2008 the twenty seven (27) barangays in Baliwag and has laid pipelines with a total linear meter of 189,079.60 connecting pipelines that serve every family that builds a sommunity. The seventeen (17) pump stations supplies 24,745 total service connections. The BWD continuously improve its facilities to further develop its services in the name of professionalism and public service. Through the years, BWD received awards to commend its performance, such as (a) Creditworthy Water District in the Philippines (2007), (b) Outstanding Water District for Luzon (BIG Category) (2003), (c) High Collection Efficiency Award (2007), (d) Low Operating Ratio Award (2007), and (e) Top Performer Water District for Big Category (2008), and continuously nominated as Outstanding Water District.