Lumbia residents organize to address water issues

RESIDENTS in Barangay Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro City, have organized creating its own board of directors as they prepare to get back its water system from a private water supplier.

Alexander Torralba, Lumbia village chair said they are ready to manage their own water system and leave its water supplier Kyogojo Engineering Service Cooperative for its poor services.

In June, several Lumbia residents staged a protest to denounce the planned 300 pesos increase per cubic meter water rate by Kyogo, up from the P168 per cubic meter water rate it charged to residents.

"Ang amoang gusto nga makuha na sa barangay balik ang water system nga ilang gikuha. Iuli na nila aron ang mga tawo dili na ma-alkansi," he said in a committee hearing last week.

Torralba said they will ask the Cagayan de Oro City Water District (COWD) to supply water in their barangay or accept investors to develop their water system.

Currently, Kyogojo supplies water in the village after a supposed resolution was inked by the previous barangay administration, authorizing the signing of a water service agreement between the barangay and the water service cooperative Kyogojo.

Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr., public utilities committee chair demanded a copy of the said resolution to validate their claims.

Lao said if former officials cannot produce the resolution, this will mean that the contract entered into by the two parties is null and void.

"If the agreement will be proven null and void, then it will be easier for the barangay to get back its water system," he said.

Lao said he plans to file a resolution to demand Kyogojo to return the water system to the barangay.

Meanwhile, lawyer Dale Mordeno, who serves as legal counsel for the Lumbia residents, said they will question in court a decision by the National Water Board that approved Kyogo’s application for a certificate of public convenience even if the barangay itself was unaware of said application.


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