Friday, 03 May 2024 04:26


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Police were dispatched at the facilities of bulk water supplier Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. in barangay Indahag for security and nothing else, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Rolando ‘Klarex’ Uy said on Friday.
In his Friday program ‘Inyong Alagad: Mayor Klarex Uy’, Mayor Klarex refuted a claim by the Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Inc. (COBI) that a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team was sent to Rio Verde’s water treatment plant to prevent the shutdown of valves supplying bulk water to the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) scheduled on 12:00 am of May 1.
‘I received a call confirming an order by COBI (to disconnect its service to COWD) at 1:30 am (of May 1) and I received confirmation from Rio Verde president Bienvenido Santos. Hence I issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency….police were sent (to these facilities) to prevent sabotage by those wishing to exploit the situation,’ Mayor Klarex said in Visayan.
COBI supplies 80,000 cubic meters of water daily to COWD which it sources from Rio Verde with whom it has a 25-year supply agreement.
COBI’s claim of ‘forced entry’ by a SWAT team inside Rio Verde’s water treatment plant was contained in a statement issued by the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).
In response, the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO) issued a statement refuting COBI’s claim, saying that Rio Verde’s water treatment plant is located in Baungon town, Bukidnon province.
‘Rio Verde’s water treatment plant is located in Baungon town, Bukidnon province (where the city police has no jurisdiction) and not in Cagayan de Oro City,’ the city police said.
Mayor Klarex said contrary to COBI’s allegation, there was no forced entry. ‘The police were outside guarding the facilities, there was no harassment. They didn’t even enter the compound. Their presence was intended to avert (any sabotage),’ Mayor Klarex said in Visayan.
At the same time, Mayor Klarex said the public should be spared from the COWD-COBI dispute.
COWD and COBI remain locked in an ongoing dispute over the collectibles that COBI claimed were owed to them by COWD that amounted to over P400 million.
COWD adamantly refused to acknowledge payment of the amount citing force majeure due to the COVID-19 pandemic as reason for their refusal to pay.
A 25-year-old contract signed between COWD and COBI in 2018 allowed COBI to impose a P3.97 increase in water rates every year starting in 2020.
‘Whatever their dispute is, the people of Cagayan de Oro City should not be made to suffer for it. And the people know we are protecting their welfare,’ Mayor Klarex said in Visayan. (Stephen Capillas of City Information Office)