Water utility ex-administrator slams interim board

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Thursday, April 14, 2011


A FORMER administrator of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) challenged the agency and the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) to show any proof that it has power to appoint any member of the board.

"They are in it again by appointing a very highly irregular interim board. I challenge them to show proof because nowhere in the law shows that LWUA has the power to appoint," said Lorenzo Jamora.

A petition for certiorari was filed by the MIWD board of directors, namely: Dr. Danilo Encarnacion, Celso Javelosa, doctor Sergio Gonzalez, Engineer Adrian Moncada and Ma. Bernadette Castellano, asking the appeals court to decide whether their appointments as MIWD board of directors were null and void, as declared by respondents LWUA and MIWD general manager Le Jayme Jalbuena.

In a decision promulgated on February 28, the CA said that LWUA is "primarily a specialized lending institution for the promotion, development and financing of local water utilities, with power to prescribe minimum standard regarding maintenance, operation, personnel training, accounting on fiscal practice for local water utilities, to furnish technical assistance and personnel training programs therefore, monitor and evaluate local water standards and effect systems integration, joint investment and operations, district annexation and de-annexation whenever economically warranted."

However, LWUA Administrator Daniel Landingin immediately appointed a five-man member of the MIWD interim board effective April 1 for a term of one year, which Jamora said is "highly irregular."

Jamora said the recent decision of the CA in dismissing a petition for certiorari and prohibition must be interpreted as the court has no jurisdiction over the case, which issue properly pertains to the Civil Service Commission.

The interim MIWD board is composed of LWUA officials Engineer Alfredo Espino, lawyer Arnaldo Espinas, Engineer Rommel Falcon, Engineer Pablo Bercilla, and Ricardo Quiras. The interim corporate secretary is lawyer Romeo Gerochi.

Jamora also advised the regular board of directors to seek immediate legal remedies and file actions against LWUA and the interim board, including the MIWD management for usurping legal public authority. (Lydia C. Pendon)

Local news

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