Rama hopes new LWUA exec will resolve MCWD’s leadership dispute

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 25,2024 - 07:06 AM

Rama hopeful new LWUA exec will resolve MCWD's leadership dispute


CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has expressed hope that the leadership dispute at the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) will now be resolved following the appointment of the new head of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).

Rama said in an interview on Saturday that Jose Moises Francisco Salonga, who used to be with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, has been named by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the acting LUWA administrator and chief executive officer. He will replace Lawyer Vicente Homer Revil.

READ: Rama appoints new MCWD directors, Daluz says move ‘unlawful’

The Cebu City mayor said that he received a copy of letter dated February 19, 2024 and signed by Marcos, which announced Salonga’s appointment.

Salonga, according to Rama, already took his oath of office as shown in a photo that he also received from an undisclosed source.

“If you’re talking about official communication to me, I think pictures will never lie,” Rama said.

MCWD leadership dispute

In October 2023, Rama ordered MCWD Chairman Jose Daluz III replaced by his appointee, Melquiades Feliciano.

Rama also appointed two new board members, Aristotle Batuhan, and Nelson Yuvallos, to replace current board members Miguelito Pato and Jodelyn Seno.

His decision was based on accusations that Daluz and the two board members violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in relation to three bulk water supply projects in Mactan, Cebu, that were earlier approved by the MCWD board.

But LWUA, under the leadership of Revil, said that “local executives have no authority to remove the chairperson and members of the Board of Directors of a Water District.”

READ: LWUA claims Rama has no authority to remove MCWD directors

As a result, Daluz, Pato and Seno remained in office.

General Manager Edgar Donoso and members of the MCWD employees’ union also issued a statement on November 15, 2023  expressing their intention to adopt a status quo in the water district’s leadership.

READ: MCWD general manager to keep post despite Rama’s call for removal

New LWUA administrator

With the appointment of the new administrator, Rama expressed hope that the removal of Daluz and the two board members will already be in effect.

In a separate interview, Daluz admitted that he was well aware of the change in LUWA’s leadership.

Should, LWUA under Salonga’s leadership, decide to have him, Pato and Seno removed from the MCWD board of directors, Daluz said, he would abide.

“We will not stay a second longer in the BOD if LWUA confirms the recommendation. This has always been our stand,” Daluz said.


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TAGS: Jose Daluz III, LWUA, MCWD, Mike Rama

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