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Labella to appoint new board after LWUA affirms termination

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio December 12,2019 - 06:34 PM
City Hall File Photo

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella (right) | CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said he would now work on screening candidates for the five-member board of the Metropolitan Cebu Water Districts (MCWD) within the month.

The Local Water Utilities Authority (LWUA) has affirmed on December 5, 2019, the decision of the mayor to terminate the board of directors of MCWD last October 2019 because of “poor service” and complaints from other local government units (LGU).

Read more: Labella sacks MCWD board of directors

The board members were asked to explain by LWUA on November 15, 2019, but the board did not respond to the utility authority, prompting the LWUA to continue reviewing the case.

Acting Administrator Jeci Lapus said in the letter dated December 5 that the LWUA “is left with no other recourse but to cause their termination to save the MCWD from further public disgrace and to regain public trust to MCWD.”

“To make sure that the consumers are properly and fully represented in the MCWD board, our office is mandated to initiate the necessary changes which include terminating the members of the MCWD board and proceed to the process of solicitation, nomination, and appointment of the new set of members of MCWD board,” said Lapus.

MCWD has yet to comment on the LWUA’s ruling.

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

The termination is directed to MCWD chairman Joel Mari Yu; former Cebu City Councilors Procopio “Coping” Fernandez and Augustus “Jun” Pe Jr.; former City Attorney Ralph Sevilla and lawyer Cecile Adlawan, who serves as board secretary.

Yu has resigned as chairman shortly after the termination while Fernandez voluntarily stepped down in order to follow the mayor’s orders.

Labella said that he had 30 names recommended to him by various organizations and individuals, but all of them would undergo objective screening.

“There are so many names suggested to me. What we need for the board are people who can deliver and who has the heart to serve the constituents of Metro Cebu,” said Labella.

Labella, as the mayor of Cebu City, is the appointing authority of the MCWD board because the LGU comprises 75 percent of the consumers of MCWD.

Various names have already surfaced including former mayor, Alvin Garcia, newspaper daily columnist and radio commentator, Lawyer Franklin Malilong, Jr., and Lawyer Manolette Dinsay, one of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s trusted advisors./dbs

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