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MCWD ‘drama’: Gwen hits LWUA on ‘politics over water crisis’

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | April 16,2024 - 04:05 PM

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia | Screenshot from Sugbo News

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia | Screenshot from Sugbo News

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has called out another national government agency. And this time, her criticisms were directed towards the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).

Garcia hit the government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) in the ongoing organizational crisis that hit the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD).


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During a press conference on Monday, April 15, the governor took a jab at LWUA and accused them for politicking in the midst of water shortage in Metro Cebu.

“We are facing a real and present danger, the crisis of shortage of water because of El Niño,” said Garcia.

“And yet this has been picked as the worst possible time by LWUA to intervene and cause confusion and havoc in the operations of MCWD,” she added.

Garcia and several mayors in Metro Cebu threw their support to the current administration of MCWD, whose executives are being booted out by the LWUA.

LWUA has appointed interim board members to replace the administration of MCWD chairperson and Lawyer Jose Daluz III.

Joining the governor during Monday’s press conference included Mayors Jonas Cortes (Mandaue City), Junard ‘Ahong’ Chan (Lapu-Lapu City ), Samsam Gullas (Talisay City), Cesar Suan (Cordova), Teresa Alegado (Consolacion), Aljew Frasco (Liloan), and Felijur Quiño (Compostela).


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The five mayors, together with the president of the League of Municipalities in the Philippines – Cebu Chapter and Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura, also issued and signed a joint manifesto, reiterating their support behind Daluz and the current MCWD executives.

MCWD serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, and Lapu-Lapu and the towns of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela, and Cordova.

Escalating tension

The months-long tension between LWUA and MCWD finally escalated last Monday in a stand-off that lasted the whole day.

On the morning, security barred lawyer John Dx Lapid, whom LWUA assigned to be the acting general manager, from entering the MCWD premises.

When afternoon arrived, City Hall officials later entered the utility firm’s building to implement LWUA’s orders.

According to legal consultants at the Capitol, what LWUA did was ‘unlawful’.

They cited provisions under Presidential Decree No. 198 that created the GOCC tasked to oversee ‘development of water supply systems in provincial cities and municipalities outside of Metro Manila.’

Under PD No. 198, a valid takeover by LWUA can only be made possible when utility firms under its supervision defaults or failed to fulfill its financial obligations, the province pointed out.

According to Daluz, MCWD has not defaulted in its obligation to LWUA of P13.7 million, adding that the amount remained manageable.

MCWD, meanwhile, assured the public that their services remain unhampered despite the ongoing internal crisis it faced. 

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TAGS: Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD)

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