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UNPAID ICWS CASUALS SHUT DOWN MAIN LINE GATE VALVE

By Albert Loyola

ILIGAN CITY (June 25) - Unpaid casual workers of Iligan City Waterworks System (ICWS) shut down the gate valve of the main supply line from Abaga Reservoir last Monday, June 23, to express their disgust in the delay of their wages since January 1, this year.

ICWS Manager Christine Milagros Orbe expressed surprise that the incident happened.

She told newsmen that another group of casual workers from another water source had warned her recently that they may do something drastic if their wages for almost 6 months will not be paid.

"But, they were calmed down when I explained to them that they should five little more time because she hopes that they will get paid when Supplemental Budget No. 1 will be approved," she said.

The Abaga group reopened the valve when Mayor Celso R. Regencia and Engr. Josephus Alabao came to them and assured that they will be paid as soon as Supplemental Budget No. 1 is approved.

On the other hand Vice Mayor Rudy Marzo and Committee on Water Chairman Bayani Areola said that the the wages of casuals workers should have been paid as the budget for these were included in the MOE proposed by the Chief Executive and approved by the SP.

It may be recalled that ICWS has several sources of water, namely: the old Suarez intake tank, the Ditucalan Reservoir, Hinaplanon Pumping Station and the Abaga Reservoir constructed during the past Administration that started to serve the population during the last few months of that administration.

Eight Watchmen and four Operators of the Abaga source have not received thier wages since January 1, this year.

Abel Admain, one of the casual workers of the Abaga source told reporters that they and their families have been feeding on bananas, root crops and other edible things around the facility.

These casual workers are lamenting that a few favored casuals with high wage rates have been paid for services during the first quarter year.

The local government of Iligan City is now facing the problem of unpaid casuals though the Administration boasts of an income surplus.

RANAO STAR
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