METROPOLITAN Cebu Water District (MCWD) chairman Jose “Joey” Daluz III admitted that he personally prefers Floro Casas Jr. to be the new assistant general manager of the government-owned utility provider.

However, the final decision rests with the general manager and all members of the MCWD board of directors, Daluz told SunStar Cebu in an interview on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022.

Daluz also denied the allegations of the MCWD Employees’ Union (MEU) that he interfered with the selection process to accommodate the entry of Casas in the water district.

Casas is a close friend of Daluz. During the time of the late Cebu City mayor Edgardo Labella, Casas served as the city administrator, while Labella appointed Daluz to the MCWD board.

Casas serves as chairman of Partido Panaghiusa, of which Daluz is currently president and one of the founders.

Daluz said the inclusion of Casas in the list of nominees for the assistant general manager post went through proper procedures and they were just lately informed about the possible entry of Casas.

“Ako, I have been clear that I am preferring Attorney Casas. I will not deny that, but I am not the only one who [will] approve it,” he said.

Daluz added that only the general manager of the water district can appoint someone to fill in the vacant position and the board of directors’ duty is to approve or deny the appointment.

He added that the members of the board are independent and he does not have the power to influence their vote.

Daluz admitted that he changed some of the policies of MCWD’s human resource (HR) office regarding the hiring of new employees.

The old process, said Daluz, was faulty: The HR office allowed an applicant to take an exam first. If the applicant passed the test but lacked documents, he was disqualified.

The MCWD chairman said he decided to reverse the process. The HR office must review the applicant’s documents and credentials first. If the applicant is qualified, then he can take the exam.

Daluz said the original process was prone to abuse and inconvenienced applicants.

The posting of job vacancies was also altered by Daluz since the original method only announced the hiring on the websites of MCWD and the Civil Service Commission.

“I changed it. I said to have it published in the newspapers so a lot of people can apply so we can have a wide range of candidates to choose from,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Daluz said these changes were not made to accommodate the entry of Casas but rather to correct the procedures of the water district.