IT shall continue to cooperate with the local government units within its service area to find ways and solutions to serve the people.”
Thus goes a part of Joel Mari S. Yu’s reply to Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella’s Notice of Termination, addressed to the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) Board of Directors (BOD) dated Oct. 15, 2019.
The Cebu City mayor wanted to unseat the BOD, composed of Yu and members Augustus “Jun” Pe Jr., Procopio “Coping” Fernandez, lawyer Ralph Sevilla and board secretary Cecilia Jugao-Adlawan.
But stepping down is apparently the last thing in the BOD’s mind. It said, through Yu, that Labella’s notice violates a number of laws.
“It is in direct contravention of no less than the Philippine Constitution, Presidential Decree No. 198, existing relevant circulars and issuances, including jurisprudential guidelines,” Yu said in his letter. Off limits to politics, as though the BOD wants to say, emphasizing “independence” from the direct control of government as its solid ground in defending its turf.
Going by its letter’s “cooperate with the local government units” and “find ways and solutions to serve the people,” at this juncture in the game, sounds more like wishful thinking, even perplexing in the thick of a crisis where no less than the local governments of the metro’s major cities, including the Provincial Government, look at the water district with scorn and contempt they’d rather see heads roll. And why not? Low water pressure ironically means pressure from businesses who are greatly affected by it. Nobody wins with a gasping faucet.
To respond to Labella’s notice of termination with legal gobbledygook totally misses the whole point. The “local governments” whom you want to “continue to cooperate with” are simply disinterested, all the signs are telling you to pack up. That according to Yu the crisis has been brewing for decades, with demand and supply growing disproportionate, it may be high time as well that the current BOD rethink its shortcomings and hope the next sitting board fellows can do a better job. You knew the problem, and you had no better imagination. There is crisis, the BOD itself admits, and they have been at the helm supposedly charting out policy directions, innovations, or simply getting a grip at new solutions for old problems. But it failed, or at least that’s how public perception goes, which is no less inspired by water getting intermittently elusive.
So perhaps we need visionaries, fresh eyes, designers and thinkers, young blood to plot new ways out of this water mess. The tested BOD needs to go.