By Jesus Sievert
IN THE morning of July 19, 2019, Jayrald Carbonell, National Water Resource Board (NWRB) engineering assistant at the Visayas Extension Office, arrived at Greenhills Subdivision, Casuntingan, Mandaue City, empathically saying that he was implementing an ORDER, dated July 8, 2019, for the permanent closure and sealing of a deep well. The ORDER was by the Authority of the Board and signed by Dr. Sevillo David, executive director.
Before executing the order, however, Carbonell went to meet with some of the Greenhills Homeowners Association Inc. (GHAI) officers and board of directors (BOD), who, themselves, are the proponents for the deep well. After about an hour of conference, Carbonell went back to the deep well site singing a different tune when he told the group opposing the deep well that he could no longer carry out the ORDER of David since, according to him, the proponents had been able to file a Motion for an extension of 15 days. However, when asked for a copy of the Motion, he could not produce it.
Please note that the July 19, 2019 ORDER was not the first directive to be addressed to the GHAI Officers and BOD. Much earlier, on Feb. 21, 2019, by authority of the NWRB Board, David ordered the cancellation/revocation of the GHAI conditional water permit, considering that the location of the deep well is now under a moratorium pursuant to NWRB Board Resolution 004-0507 where, among other things, there will be a suspension on the acceptance and processing of water permit applications in portions of the areas of Consolacion, Liloan, Cebu City, Mandaue City and the whole area of Mactan Island, where the condition of the groundwater has reached critical level.
The GHAI officers and BOD were ordered further to cease and desist from appropriating/utilizing water and to cause the CLOSURE AND SEALING OF THE WELL within five days upon receipt of the ORDER. They were warned that failure to comply with the directive within the period provided shall constrain the NWRB BOARD to institute appropriate administrative and/or criminal charges in accordance with law.
In view of the documented events mentioned above, where the GHAI Officers and BOD seem to blatantly ignore/disrespect the NWRB ORDER and the monitoring and enforcement staff of the NWRB, represented by Carbonell, equally defying openly the same, those opposing the deep well cannot help but question the legitimacy or legality of such an ORDER or whether it is for real or not.
Indeed, why can’t NWRB implement a lawful ORDER firmly and strictly so that there will be an immediate, fair and just settlement of issues, instead of bending over too much backwards for some people to the detriment of peace and harmony among homeowners?