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Rama plans to create city-based port authority, water district

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | April 05,2024 - 01:35 PM

Rama to car owners: ‘Don’t use own cars, take public transport’ during Sinulog. In photo is Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama. Photo courtesy of Cebu City PIO

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City will soon have its own Port Authority and water district.

These were the plans of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama after both existing agencies were engaged in an ongoing battle over authority.

He proposed the creation of these dedicated agencies to deliver services specifically for the city and serve the consumers in Cebu City better.


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“If we have our own water district, it will complete the autonomy of our city and it will bring emphasis to a highly urbanized city. That means we could be self-reliant,” Rama said in his Ing’na Mayor teleradyo program via Sugbuanon Channel on April 4.

The proposal to create these agencies stemmed from the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) and the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), both embroiled in an ongoing political controversy for seemingly disregarding the mayor’s orders.

On March 8, Rama issued an order to halt the construction of a port behind the National Museum after the CPA failed to secure a building permit.

The mayor slammed the CPA for its lack of ‘decency’ and ‘courtesy,’ citing its failure to inform his office about the project located within the city’s territorial waters.

However, despite the mayor’s directives, the CPA continued its operations, asserting that the project site falls within its jurisdiction rather than the city’s.

Consequently, the city initiated multiple lawsuits against the CPA and conducted an on-site investigation.


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In response, the CPA issued a statement condemning what it deemed as an abuse of power.

Conversely, the issue with the MCWD arose after Mayor Rama removed three board members and appointed new members in October 2023.

 The appointments were deemed legitimate by the city, as the newly appointed members took an oath.

However, the ousted board members refused to acknowledge the appointments and continued to perform their duties, arguing that local executive authorities lacked the power to remove board members.

As a result, at present, the agency has not recognized the board members appointed by the mayor, as they have also adopted a status quo stance.

Given these current situations, Rama suggested that there might be someone backing these agencies, which could explain their apparent disinterest.

Furthermore, the mayor stressed the need to establish city-based water districts, as he believed they could alleviate the water crisis faced by the city due to El Niño.

Meanwhile, on April 4, Rama reiterated to the CPA that the entry and exit points of some of its piers within the city were under the jurisdiction of the Cebu City Government, and he retained the authority to order their closure at any time.

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TAGS: Cebu City, Cebu Port Authority (CPA), Mayor Michael Rama, Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD)

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