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HomeFront PageBreaking NewsOro brgy chairmen to oppose possible LWUA turnover of COWD

Oro brgy chairmen to oppose possible LWUA turnover of COWD

By MARK FRANCISCO

MORE than 50 barangay chairmen in Cagayan de Oro City will oppose a possible turnover by the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) of the government-operated Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD), which is locked in a bitter debt battle against its supplier.

In a press conference April 30, Liga ng mga Barangay vice president Marlo Tabac said the barangay officials feared that a possible LWUA turnover would create more mess in the already volatile situation.

COWD’s supplier Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water, Inc. (COBI) had earlier threatened to cut off its provision of 80,000 cubic meters a day if the utility could not pay its P426-million debt.

Tabac – the barangay chairman of Gusa – said the barangay officials have been following closely the developments in Cebu City wherein LWUA attempted to take the utility Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) over.

The action resulted in cases and counter-cases filed by LWUA and MCWD against each other, even dragging the Cebu City government into the legal mess.

“It is on this premise that, we, the majority members of the Association of Barangay Councils of Cagayan de Oro City hereby proclaim our loud and bold manifestation of rejection and condemnation of any act or form of possible

takeover/interference by LWUA to our COWD,” the barangay officials said in a joint statement.

“The cogent stance of the Local Government ot Cagayan de Oro headed by Honorable Mayor Rolando Uy and the City Council, is more than the satisfaction of the water security of the people but the fulfillment of the time-honored principle of governance to provide for the “general welfare of the people,” they added.

LWUA held a meeting with COWD and COBI officials also last April 30 to thresh out the matter.

In his April 26 letter to both parties, LWUA chairman Ronnie Ong expressed his intention for approval within 90 days for COWD’s application for water rate increase to end consumers, a move that displeased Uy.

“Ako sila giingnan nga ayohon usa nila ang ila panerbisyo usa sila mag-increase,” Uy said on March 4, referring to COWD’s repairs on its leaks that resulted to non-revenue water which has also ballooned to 50 percent.

The increase proposed by COWD would have totaled P13.10 add-on per cubic meter to be implemented in three tranches.

As of press time, LWUA has not yet issued a statement on the results of their meeting.

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