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COWD washes mud thrown by detractors

by Noy Adaram

Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) refuted accusations that the government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) is neglecting its responsibility in resolving the water problem the city is facing.

During a press conference on May 08, COWD General Manager Engr. Antonio Young particularly denounced the social media bashing against them as well as the city’s local government unit to save the public from misleading speculations.

Aside from responding to questions from journalists, Engr. Young proved their efforts by showing a timeline not just from earlier this year when Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Incorporated (COBI) issued their final demand for COWD to pay up but since April last year when COBI sent its first notice of collection.

Engr. Young imparted that during COWD and COBI’s meeting on January 25, 2024 with Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Rolando “Klarex” A. Uy, the local chief executive assured gradual payment of the debt but implored not to halt the supply which is why the flow of water continued even after the end of the said month.

COWD also welcomed the petition of the United Filipino Consumers and Commuters (UFCC) before the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) for an audit.

The request for a comprehensive review on their management and performance primarily comes from the complaints UFCC has been receiving from COWD customers that they are paying expensive water bills but receive poor quality service. 

UFCC also gathered information that only one COWD board member attended their supposed meeting which was not enough for the declaration of a quorum on April 30, 2024 to discuss the more than P400 million debt causing the city’s water problem. 

The failed meeting caused UFCC to accuse COWD of lacking sufficient board meeting records and having questionable financial practices.

COWD countered the statements of UFCC expounding that the Commission on Audit (COA) scrutinizes annually. It was added that they complied with COA’s standard for disbursement which is the submission of documents after a certain number of days. As for the board members who did not attend, it was imparted that other important matters had to be attended and they sought permission before going absent – one was said to be feeling ill on that date – and they cannot be demonized just because of the lapse on such day noting the progress they showed on their timeline.

COWD reassured the people of Cagayan de Oro City that they are always exerting their best for the continuous supply of water.

1st SET OF PHOTOS’ CAPTION: COWD General Manager Engr. Antonio Young and one of COWD’s board members Dr. Gerry Caño during the press conference on May 08, 2024  at Dynasty Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City. Photos by Noy Adaram.

2nd SET OF PHOTOS’ CAPTION: Excerpts of the timeline presented by COWD during the press conference on May 08, 2024  at Dynasty Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City. Photos by Noy Adaram.

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