MCWD chairman, general manager resign; LWUA to take over as interim board

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio October 22,2019 - 09:07 PM

MCWD General Manager Engineer Jose Eugenio Singson Jr. | CDN DIGITAL FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Chairman of the Metropolitan Cebu Water Districts (MCWD) Board, Joel Yu, has resigned from his post on October 22, 2019, one week after he was terminated, together with the rest of the board members, by Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella.

In a statement released by MCWD, the utility confirmed the resignation of Yu and General Manager Jose Eugenio Singson Jr. effective November 1, 2019.

Assistant General Manager Stephen Yee was named acting General Manager to carry out the duty of supervising and controlling the maintenance and operation of water district facilities and appoint personnel as per Presidential Decree No. 198 or Local Water Utilities Act of 1973.

Board members Ralph Sevilla (vice chairman), Cecilia Adlawan (secretary), and Augustus Pe (member) will remain as they insisted that the termination was illegal.

Read more: MCWD Board of Directors refuses to step down: Termination order ‘illegal’

However, Procopio Fernandez, another board member, already expressed his desire to step down and follow the termination order of Labella.

“I will not defy the order of the mayor,” said Fernandez in an ambush interview on Tuesday, after he visited Labella at the Cebu City Hall.

Augustus Pe was designated to take over Yu’s place as acting chairman and MCWD has declared a vacancy of a board member, allowing the present board members to nominate a new one.

Read more: Labella has yet to name replacements of fired MCWD board of directors 

“In light of the resignation of MCWD Chairman of the Board of Directors Joel Mari Yu, the MCWD BOD declared the position of one director as vacant,” said the statement.

After serving the notice or request for nominations, the secretary of the water district will submit to the appointing authority within 30 days a list of nominees from which the appointing authority, Labella, can choose a replacement from the nominees for the representative of the education sector.

In the absence of such nominations, the appointing authority shall make such an appointment.

If within 30 days after the submission of a list of nominees and the appointing authority fails to make an appointment, the vacancy shall be filled from such list by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board of Directors constituting a quorum.

However, this is not what the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) has in mind, as they released a statement on Tuesday evening confirming that they would be taking over MCWD after they had received the termination notice of all members of the board.

In a letter submitted by LWUA dated October 22, Tuesday, the office has confirmed the receipt of the Notices of Termination for the board issued by Mayor Labella last October 15.

LWUA has appointed Lawyer Roberto San Andres, LWUA manager Legal Department; Aileen Dela Veyga, acting deputy administrator for Institutional Development Service; and Cristina Marcelino, manager of Utilities Development Division for Visayas as interim board of directors of MCWD.

“Considering that the said notices took effect on the same day they were issued, we deem it necessary to designate members of the Interim Board of Directors for the partial take-over of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District,” said Jeci Lapus, LWUA acting administrator, in his letter addressed to the water utility.

The Water Sanitation Utilities Development Department with the Legal Team of LWUA is reviewing the notice of termination pursuant to Section 11 of Presidential Decree No. 198 as amended.

“The effect of the take over is that they are set aside, meaning they will temporarily cease to discharge their functions and duties as board,” said San Andres

San Andres added that the action officer tasked to review the said notice of termination would have to consider the complaints made by the different local government units (LGUs) through their resolutions and would review the over 200 individual complaints of the water district.

The remaining members of the board except those who resigned will be given 5 days for their comment upon receipt of order from LWUA. /dbs

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