Tuesday, 05 March 2024 07:58


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An ‘exploratory discussion’ of sorts that will focus on the P437 million collectibles owed by Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) to its bulk water supplier will be held Thursday morning at the City Council session hall.
Councilor Edgar Cabanlas, who chairs the ad hoc committee tasked to spearhead the discussion, confirmed this during a joint special report on the nearly two-day loss of water supply to at least 20 barangays of Cagayan de Oro City’s first district last Saturday and Sunday.
Aside from COWD, also invited was bulk water supplier, Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Inc. (COBI). Other parties invited to the 10 am meeting are representatives of Metro Pacific Inc., COBI majority owner and Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. which owns the pumping facilities operated by COBI.
‘The (results of this ad hoc committee) meeting will be independent from the decisions and actions of Mayor (Rolando) ‘Klarex’ Uy,’ Cabanlas said.
Vice Mayor Jocelyn Rodriguez called on the 20th City Council to attend the meeting, saying it’s a matter of public interest and welfare.
In the special report Councilor Romeo Calizo—who chairs the council’s public utilities committee—said COBI should have readied contingencies that would ensure a steady supply of water to affected households in case of delayed repairs.
‘Is the supplier of water limited only to giving advisories? Don’t they have any contingency plans in case of (a prolonged water service interruption)?…isn’t that part of their corporate social responsibility to ensure that they supply even limited water to their clients?,’ Calizo said.
Councilor George Goking said the ad hoc committee should focus on COBI’s ‘threat’ of a disconnection notice to COWD. ‘There is already a pending notice of disconnection…this (problem) has an ill effect on the economy,’ said Goking, who chairs the council’s trade and commerce committee.
And while Councilor Joyleen ‘Girlie’ Balaba raised the possibility of City Hall intervention, Councilor James Judith II proposed that a court issued temporary restraining order (TRO) be secured against COBI’s disconnection notice.
Mayor Klarex’s executive order creating a technical working group that will address this problem has yet to be finalized pending results of the ad hoc committee discussion, Cabanlas said. (Stephen Capillas of City Information Office)