DAVAO City Councilors mulled Monday the possibility of amending the local Watershed Code if Mayor Rodrigo Duterte says so.

Councilors Leonardo Avila and Bonifacio Militar, though reiterating the City Council's objection to the use of the Tamugan River by either Hedcor or Davao City Water District (DCWD), said "there are higher powers above the City Council."

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Duterte on Friday ordered Hedcor and DCWD to iron out by March 20 a draft agreement on the use of Tamugan River as corresponding action to the power crisis experienced in Mindanao.

"The City Council has denied the applications of both utility companies because of the standing Watershed Code of the city but it cannot be denied that the city mayor has the highest power to make a decision. The resolution of the City Council is not final," Militar said during Monday’s Kapihan sa SM.

Militar said the City Council would understand if Duterte is "only exercising a decision facing an emergency or a calamity."

"We recognize that his decision would not be to embarrass the City Council but to protect the welfare of the people of Davao City," Militar said.

Avila, who chairs the City Council committee on environment and natural resources, echoed the same sentiments.

"We'll have to cross the river when we get there," Avila said. "We are currently waiting on the agreement between Hedcor and DCWD. As of now, there are talks that Hedcor has a proposed acceptable to the DCWD, that instead of Hedcor staying on the upper side of the mountain they will stay below."

There are also talks that the Talomo River will be used. “Ngayon pa lang I express my objection because the Talomo River is one of the last remaining aquifers. We will still look into that," Avila said.

Militar also expressed objection to whether the City Council simply follows the decision of Duterte.

"In many cases, we also opposed the decision of the mayor. We consider ourselves independent. We are not rubber stamps. We only move when we think it's correct for us," Militar said.

Meanwhile, Hedcor and DCWD are now meeting in response to the mayor's orders, Avila said.

The two utilities' companies ran for years as they could not agree on where the drop-off will be located. DCWD wants it 400 meters below sea level.

Hedcor said Tamugan would give an additional 27 megawatts to Davao City’s power supply.

Duterte gave his orders during a City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) meeting last week. He said he will appeal to members of CPOC to forge a compromise that would allow Hedcor to put up a power plant. (JCZ)