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HomeFront PageBreaking NewsCity Council has no knowledge about COWD-COBI deal, says Ex-VM Uy

City Council has no knowledge about COWD-COBI deal, says Ex-VM Uy

by Gerry Lee Gorit


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Former Vice Mayor Joaquin “Kikang” Uy revealed to Mindanao Daily News Friday that during his time, the City Council has no knowledge about the contract entered into between the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) and the Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water, Inc (COBI).

Uy recalled that during the reported contract signing in Manila, the City Council is supposed to attend a convention but when they landed at the airport, a team allegedly from then mayor Oscar Moreno fetched them at the airport and brought them to another hotel.  

“We were surprised why we were brought to another hotel which is Shangrila. Only to find out there was a contract signing at said hotel and I saw Mayor Moreno there,” former Vice Mayor Uy recalled.

Uy also recalled that when they reached Shangrila the signing was finished and they only joined the picture-taking. “Pag abot namo didto sa hotel humana ang contact signing so nag picture taking nalang dayon mi,” he recalled.

RESOLUTIONS

The former vice mayor continued that a few days after the signing in Manila, the late Teodulfo Lao, being the chairman of public utilities, together with City Councilors Doc Boy Daba and Enrico Salcedo filed a resolution to ask for the copies of the contract and to investigate whether the contact is disadvantageous or advantageous to the people of Cagayan de Oro.

Uy said the three councilors, with his greenlight, had even filed a case against the persons involved in the contract signing, and they also hired Atty James Judith as their lawyer.

NEW PLAYERS

Meanwhile, The local government is enlisting the services of four independent water firms to address the state of emergency caused by a water supply shortage.

During an interview on Friday by the media, Councilor Joyleen Mercedes Balaba stated that the authority to procure bulk water is outlined in City Council Resolution No. 14922-2024. This resolution empowers the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) to determine the volume and price capacity it will negotiate with the four suppliers, according to Balaba.

This resolution, alongside four other measures approved during the May 1 special session, was a response to Mayor Rolando Uy’s issuance of Executive Order (EO) 196-2024, which declared the city to be in a “state of emergency.”

Mayor Uy’s EO was prompted by stalled negotiations between COWD and Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Incorporated (COBI), entangled in a contract dispute over the water utility’s purported PHP479 million debt.

Balaba emphasized, “Water is a fundamental right for all. No business contract should impede or infringe upon this fundamental right of the people to access clean and affordable water.”

Among the four firms selected for emergency procurement are Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc., South Balibago Resources, Inc., JE Hydro and Bio-Energy Corp., and Mindanao Cooperatives Water Service Federation.

COBI holds a 25-year agreement with Rio Verde to supply COWD with 80,000 cubic meters of water daily.

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