‘Resignation prevented issue from escalating’

CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella praised Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) board chairman Joel Mari Yu and general manager Jose Eugenio Singson Jr. for resigning their positions.

Labella said Yu could have sought legal intervention to retain his post, but he decided to resign in order to prevent the issue from escalating.

“Since he stepped down, that made our position relatively easier and I admire him for that. I admire both of them for that gesture,” Labella said.

Labella said that, pending any development, it is the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) that is now the interim board, replacing the MCWD board of directors.

“In the meantime that there is this interim board, the ‘dismissed’ MCWD board cannot anymore function. It is the interim board that will now function as board of directors while the LWUA Manila has not made its final decision on our letter,” Labella said.

On Oct. 15, 2019, Labella wrote to Yu and the four other MCWD board members saying he was terminating their services because of their failure to address the water crisis in the utility’s service area.

Labella said the LWUA created the interim board due to the worsening water supply problem in areas serviced by the MCWD.

“The reason for the creation of that interim board is because of the so-called serious institutional crisis that the MCWD is facing,” he added.

Last Oct. 21, the LWUA sent a letter to Yu and four MCWD board members regarding the move to create an interim board. (SunStar Cebu erroneously reported in its Oct. 23 issue that it was the MCWD that announced in its press release the LWUA action of temporarily relieving the MCWD board members. The information was taken from the LWUA letter to Labella.)

Pending the appointment of a new MCWD board, Labella had said he received 25 names of persons interested in or were nominated to the board. They include the names of former mayor Alvin Garcia, lawyer Frank Malilong Jr. and Capitol representative Manolette Dinsay. (PAC of Superbalita Cebu/JKV)


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