THE LOCAL Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) has designated an interim board at the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD).
A press statement sent by MCWD said LWUA has officially taken over MCWD as an interim board “following the serious institutional crisis” at the water district.
That, as Joel Mari Yu has stepped down as chairman of the MCWD board of directors (BOD), and Eugenio Singson Jr. likewise is resigning as general manager effective Nov. 1, 2019, Superbalita Cebu learned from MCWD.
Pending the appointment of a new BOD, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has received 25 names of people who are pushing themselves or are being pushed to be appointed to the BOD.
On Oct. 15, Labella wrote Yu and the four MCWD BOD members that he was terminating their services because of their failure to address the water crisis in its service areas.
Yu and, except for one BOD member, lawyers Cecilia Adlawan and Ralph Sevilla and former councilor Augustus Pe Jr. were appointees of former mayor Tomas Osmeña. Former councilor Procopio Fernandez was appointed by then mayor Michael Rama.
Their terms of office, specified Presidential Decree 198 as amended or the law creating the local water districts, would have ended in either 2022 or 2024.
LWUA wrote MCWD that it has received the notices of termination for the BOD issued by Labella.
Since the notices took effect on the same day these were issued, Oct. 15, 2019, LWUA saw the need to designate members of the interim BOD “for the partial takeover” of MCWD, LWUA acting administrator Jeci Lapus said in his letter addressed to MCWD.
LWUA has appointed lawyer Roberto San Andres, manager of LWUA’s legal department; Aileen Dela Veyga, acting deputy administrator for institutional development service; and Cristina Marcelino, manager of utilities development division for Visayas as MCWD’s interim BOD.
“The effect of the takeover is that they are set aside, meaning they will temporarily cease to discharge their functions and duties as board,” San Andres said in the press release.
The water sanitation utilities development department with the legal team of LWUA is reviewing the notices of termination pursuant to PD 198 as amended.
San Andres said the action officer tasked to review the termination notices will have to consider the complaints from the local government units (LGUs) through their resolutions and the 200 plus individual complaints about MCWD’s services.
The remaining members of the board except those who resigned have days for their comment upon receipt of order from LWUA.
Meanwhile, Labella has received 25 recommendations for BOD appointees. Sources of Superbalita Cebu say three lawyers are being considered, among them former mayor Alvin Garcia. (PAC, MPS)