Wednesday, 15 May 2024 01:17


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Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Rolando ‘Klarex’ Uy said the state of emergency he declared early this month will remain in effect until the crisis caused by the disconnection of the city’s water supply is resolved.
During a press briefing held in one of the city’s hotels Tuesday evening, Mayor Klarex said Tuesday’s disconnection of water service by the Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Inc. (COBI) to the Cagayan de Oro City Water District (COWD) served to justify his declaration of a state of emergency.
‘It’s not an imagined emergency (as what my detractors claimed),’ Mayor Klarex said in Visayan.
In a press statement, COBI confirmed that the main supply valves of the east and west pipelines supplying COWD’s water distribution system were closed at past 10 am Tuesday.
The disconnection affected 40 percent of the city’s households mostly in the city’s western parts as water rationing is being implemented in the affected areas.
COBI is claiming that COWD owed them collectibles amounting to P479 million which COWD contested.
COWD general manager Engr. Antonio Young said he was informed of the disconnection at past noon.
Prior to the press briefing held at 8 pm, COWD secured a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the disconnection issued by Acting Executive Judge Ana Candida Casiño of Branch 17 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Misamis Oriental at past 7 pm.
But COBI lawyer Robbie Rodrigo questioned the timing of the TRO issuance, saying the disconnection was already enforced.
Judge Casiño issued the TRO based on a consolidation of petitions filed by COWD legal counsel Angeli Avenido and lawyer Gregorio Pallugna who represented petitioners Ronnie Waniwan and former councilor Enrico Salcedo.
Included in the TRO were Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc., which implemented the disconnection upon COBI’s call and majority COBI owner Metro Pacific Water Investments Corp. (Metro Pac).
For his part, Councilor Edgar Cabanlas said City Hall will support COWD’s legal initiatives saying that public welfare is at stake.
The water supply crisis came to a head two days ahead of a scheduled visit by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Cagayan de Oro City.
Mayor Klarex told local media he was visited by some people in Malacañang whom he declined to name to ask about the COWD-COBI dispute and that he told them details about the situation. (Stephen Capillas of City Information Office)