2 seats now ‘vacant’ at MCWD board as a result of leadership dispute

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | December 23,2023 - 06:06 PM

(L to R) Lawyers Danilo Ortiz, Jose Daluz III, and Earl Bonachita.

(L to R) Lawyers Danilo Ortiz, Jose Daluz III, and Earl Bonachita.

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Two seats at the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) have been declared as vacant.

Lawyers Danilo Ortiz and Earl Bonachita, who used to represent the civic and education sectors respectively, have decided to already vacate their seats at the MCWD Board of Directors because of their refusal to recognize Jose Daluz III as their Chairman.

In a joint statement, Ortiz and Bonachita said that they do not consider themselves as part of the MCWD board led by Daluz.

“After the issuance of Mayor Rama’s order on October 31, 2023, we recused ourselves from your Board and attended the meetings of what we believe to be the new and legitimate Board chaired by General Melquiades Feliciano,” the two said in a letter which they sent to Daluz on December 4.

Board meeting

In a press statement released on Saturday, December 23, Daluz said that he will honor the decision of Ortiz and Bonachita.

In fact, Daluz said that the remaining members of the MCWD Board of Directors decided during their December 21 board meeting to declare the two seats that used to be occupied by Ortiz and Bonachita as vacant.

Daluz said he was the one who personally moved for the declaration of the two seats as vacant.  His motion was seconded by Director Jodelyn May Seno.

“The civic and education sectors are disenfranchised and essentially deprived of representation in the MCWD Board,” Daluz had said during their Dec. 21 board meeting.

In addition, the MCWD board secretary was also instructed to initiate the solicitation of at least 10 nominees coming from the two vacated sectors. The nominees should come from MCWD’s service area.

The secretary is expected to present the list of nominees in the next board meeting scheduled on January 8, 2024.  The list will then be submitted to Mayor Michael Rama for selection and appointment.

Vacant seats

As part of procedure, MCWD will also have to notify the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and the mayors of the eight local government units (LGUs) served by MCWD about the vacancy.

Ortiz and Bonachita assumed office in January to replace lawyers Manolette Dinsay and Frank Malilong Jr., whose terms of office ended in December 2022.

Both Ortiz and Bonachita were supposed to serve until December 2028.

However, the two decided to cut short their stay with the MCWD board.  The two said that they did not like the issuance of a show cause order asking them to explain their absence in two consecutive board meetings held on November 7 and 17.

The two lawyers had said that they do not recognize Daluz as their chairman of the board, which was the reason for their absences.

Status quo

Daluz was able to hold on to his position as the MCWD chairman after LWUA said that local chief executives lacked the authority to remove the chairperson and members of the board of a water district.

LUWA issued its opinion after Rama appointed Feliciano and the new chairman and Lawyer Aristotle Batuhan, and Nelson Yuvallos as members of the MCWD board to replace Daluz, Seno and Miguelito Pato.

MCWD has since adopted a status quo, acknowledging Daluz as the current chairman.


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TAGS: Board of Directors, cebu news, dispute, Joey Daluz, MCWD

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