Thursday, 14 March 2024 17:31


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Water bladders or tanks will be set up in key drop off points in Cagayan de Oro City’s barangays for households who would be affected in case of a disconnection of water service by the city’s contracted bulk water supplier.
This is one of several contingency measures being readied by the Task Force for Water Supply and Distribution in Thursday’s meeting held at the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Department (CDRRMD) office.
The task force met with officials of the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) who briefed them on their own contingencies in case of a disconnection of water service by the Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Inc. (COBI).
COBI served a fourth disconnection notice to COWD late last February stating that the water district owes them P426 million in collectibles stemming from the P3.97 incremental increase on water rates that is imposed every three years starting in 2021.
COWD pays COBI P16.60 per cubic meter of water since they signed the contract in 2017.
COWD and COBI are locked in an ongoing water rates payment dispute with COWD citing force majeure or the COVID-19 pandemic as basis for not settling the P426 million collectibles.
Mayor Rolando ‘Klarex’ Uy created the task force to set up contingencies in case COBI disconnects its service to COWD which COWD manager Engr. Antonio Young said would affect 40,000 households in the city’s eastern side.
CDRRMD department manager Nic Jabagat said they will coordinate with barangay officials who will identify the drop off points in barangays together with the COWD.
‘The barangay officials will take charge in the distribution of water on the ground and we’ll provide them with water,’ he said.
Jabagat said water tankers will be deployed to augment their water supply efforts. ‘The BFP (Bureau of Fire Protection) will take charge in coordinating with volunteers (in the distribution of water to households and we will coordinate with COWD to identify nearby water sources (for our supply efforts),’ Jabagat said.
He said they hope to finalize their contingency measures before the Holy Week break next Saturday.
As this developed, the City Legal Office will meet with COWD’s legal counsel to discuss its legal options in relation to its dispute with COBI.
An inquiry into the COWD-COBI contract chaired by Councilor James Judith II is ongoing at the City Council session hall and the results will serve as basis for any legal action the city. (Stephen Capillas of City Information Office)