LWUA takes over MCWD’s policy-making functions for six months


The Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA). | Photo from LWUA’s FB Page

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) has assumed control over the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), a significant step to resolve the long-standing issue as to who will manage the utility firm.

LWUA earlier wrote a letter to MCWD Chairman Jose Daluz III and General Manager Edgar Danoso, informing them of the agency’s partial intervention into the water district’s policy-making functions.

In its letter dated March 15, LWUA said that it would takeover the policy-making functions of the water district for six months starting from March 15, 2024.

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

Moreover, deputy administrator Eileen L. dela Vega would supervise the appointment of LWUA officials who would serve as members of MCWD’s interim board of directors.

With this, Maria Rosan Perez, Engr. Noel Samonte, and Engr. Anabelle Gravador assumed responsibility for managing MCWD operations during the ‘intervention period.’

The intervention that was approved by the LWUA board of trustees under Presidential Decree No. 198 signifies a turning point in the ongoing dispute over the management of the utility firm.

Lawyer Jose Moises Salonga, the new LWUA administrator, implemented the board’s resolution No. 35 that was issued in 2023, which required MCWD board members to cease from performing their functions during LWUA’s supervision.

“All members of the current regular board of directors shall be set aside and shall cease from exercising their functions during the period of LWUA’s intervention,” Salonga said in the letter.

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

In October 2023, Rama replaced Daluz with his appointee, Melquiades Felicano, following accusations that Daluz and two board members, Miguelito Pato and Jodelyn Seno, violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act related to three bulk water supply projects in Mactan Island and mainland Cebu.

However, the previous LWUA administrator, Vicente Homer Revil, reportedly delayed the execution of LWUA’s Resolution No. 35, claiming that “local executives have no authority to remove the chairperson and members of the Board of Directors of a Water District.”

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

Sought for comment on this latest development, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said that “the heavens have heard the Cebuanos’ prayers,” particularly those who are in desperate need of water supply.

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

With LWUA’s partial intervention, Rama has expressed hope that this would not only resolve the ongoing leadership crisis at MCWD but also Metro Cebu’s sneed for additional water supply.

Cebu currently faces a loss of 30 million liters of water as we experience the dry spell.