MCWD adopts ‘status quo’ amid LWUA’s partial intervention


Facade of the MCWD building in Cebu City. | CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines —The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) has assured its consumers that operations “will continue as usual” while they resolve a pending issue with the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).

MCWD General Manager Edgar Donoso said they will adopt a status quo, with him and members of the board of directors leading their operations, while they await the opinion of the Office of the Government Corporate Council (OGCC) on LUWA’s partial invention.

“In view of this, and for the time being, we therefore cannot yet acknowledge LWUA’s authority on this intervention / take-over and appointment of an Interim Board of Directors,” Donoso said in a letter to LWUA administrator Jose Moises Salonga dated Marsh 18, 2024.

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

“Being government corporations, and in the interest of public water supply, we hope you understand our predicament on this matter,” he added.

Donoso’s letter was also signed by the presidents of the MCWD Association of Managers, Supervisors Association, Employees Union, and Non-Regular Manpower Resources Association.

Partial intervention

Last March 15, LWUA administrator Jose Moises Salonga wrote Donoso and MCWD Chairman Jose Daluz III to inform them that they are implementing a “partial intervention” by taking over the water district’s policy-making authority for six months.

In addition, deputy administrator Eileen dela Vega was tasked to supervise the appointment of LWUA officials who would serve as members of MCWD’s interim board of directors.

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

Donoso said in his letter-reply that due to the seriousness of the matter, they decided to seek the opinion of the OGCC that is “the principal and statutory law office of government-owned-and-controlled corporations (OGCC’s), their subsidiaries, government financial institutions, government corporate offspring, government instrumentalities with corporate powers and government acquired asset corporations.”

Pending the issuance of the OGCC’s opinion, Donoso said, they intend to adopt a status quo in their operations.

Water services

In a statement released on Monday, Donoso assured all their consumers and stakeholders of “continuity” in the delivery of water services to their franchise areas.

READ: Dry spell hits: Cebuanos urged to save water

“We are fully committed to prioritizing the needs of our consumers, and our efforts to mitigate the impacts of the El Niño phenomenon will persist,” read part of the statement.

“Our primary goal remains unwavering: to serve our community with reliability and dedication,” it added.

Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said in an interview on Monday that LWUA’s partial intervention was “not the way” he wanted.

Rama said he called for an emergency meeting with the people whom he earlier appointed to the MCWD board.

“They know what they have to do,” Rama said without having to elaborate what he meant. 

/With reports from Josh Almonte, USPF Intern and Pia Piquero, CDND Multimedia Reporter