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HomeFront PageBreaking NewsOro council greenlights Rio Verde to directly supply water in CDO

Oro council greenlights Rio Verde to directly supply water in CDO

VOTING 15 in favor with one objection and two abstentions, the 20th City Council approved on Monday afternoon a resolution authorizing a bulk water supplier to directly supply water to Cagayan de Oro City’s households after April 12.

Resolution No. 2024-692 stated that the council interposes no objection to the application of Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. to provide end to end Level III water supply to all 80 barangays of Cagayan de Oro City.

The resolution was requested by Rio Verde Water Consortium President Engr. Joffrey Hapitan amid a dispute between Cagayan de Oro City Water District (COWD) and another bulk water supplier.

Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Inc. (COBI) gave an April 12 extension to COWD to settle their P426 million collectibles nearly a month after issuing four disconnection notices to the water district, the latest being issued last March.

COWD had been adamant in refusing to pay the P426 million collectibles charged by COBI, saying their board of directors didn’t issue a resolution approving its payment.

After April 12, COBI said in a letter to the 20th City Council that it ‘will pursue all legal remedies’ but didn’t categorically state whether or not they will disconnect their service to COWD.

‘We held a special session (to approve the resolution) because of (the disconnection threat). We’re not taking any chances,’ Councilor Edgar Cabanlas told local media after the session.

Cabanlas co-chairs the Task Force on Water Supply and Distribution that was created by Mayor Rolando ‘Klarex’ Uy to prepare contingencies that would ensure a sustainable water supply to the city’s households in the event of a COBI disconnection to COWD.

The resolution was also in response to Mayor Klarex’s written request to the council for this purpose. In his request which he certified urgent, Mayor Klarex said the resolution of no objection is a legal requirement for Rio Verde Water Consortium’s water supply permit application to the National Water Resources Board (NWRB).

Mayor Klarex said the City Legal Office stated there’s no legal impediment to the resolution as the NWRB holds authority to approve these applications.

Rio Verde was the first bulk water supplier to Cagayan de Oro starting in 2007 until a court voided the contract between them and COWD and the Commission on Audit (COA) stated that transactions between the two ‘were held without legal basis.’

But Cabanlas explained that the COA ruling applies only to COWD, a government owned and controlled corporation (GOCC). ‘We (the city) are not part of the contract (between COWD and Rio Verde and between COWD and COBI),’ Cabanlas said. (Stephen Capillas of City Information Office)

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