SEVERAL Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) employees have expressed negative sentiments towards the current chairman and members of the board of directors (BOD).
This was the result of the survey conducted during Mayor Michael Rama’s visit to the MCWD on May 23, 2023. The mayor met with the employees to gather information regarding allegations of anomalies against the MCWD.
Cebu City Legal Officer Jerone Castillo revealed in a press conference on Thursday, June 8, 2023, that out of the 218 of 900 employees interviewed by Rama’s office, 45 percent stated that there are significant issues within MCWD, including water supply shortages, management problems and questionable projects.
Five percent stated that there are no problems, while 50 percent abstained from giving a response, according to Castillo.
The Cebu City Government intends to pursue appropriate administrative and criminal actions after obtaining a copy of a document addressed to Edgar Donoso, general manager of MCWD, on February 27, 2023. The document, issued by the government’s legal counsel, states that MCWD’s actions are detrimental to government and public service.
A statement sent by the MCWD management Thursday does not directly answer the allegations hurled against its BOD, adding that its focus is on ensuring that there is enough water for its consumers.
It also emphasized its need of support and cooperation from all the local government units in its franchise area, which covers the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay, Naga, Carcar and Danao, as well as the municipalities of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela and Cordova.
Last year, the MCWD Employees Union (MEU) called for the resignation of MCWD BOD Chairman Jose Daluz, citing reasons such as poor operational performance of the agency in recent years, alleged questionable procurements and contracts, and intervention and provision of unwarranted benefits in the hiring process.
The City has submitted a report containing the complaints of MCWD employees to the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas on June 1, 2023, and is currently awaiting further actions from the anti-graft office.
The City Hall sent last month a letter to the MCWD BOD, demanding that it install a new chairman; however, during the BOD’s meeting last June 2, it decided to defer any discussion on the matter.
Thus, Daluz remains the board chairman. The other BOD members are vice chairman Miguelito Pato, secretary Jodelyn May Seno, and lawyers Earl Bonachita and Danilo Ortiz.
The mayor’s office had earlier sent a letter to the members of the BOD, demanding that they submit legal formalities relative to the installation of Pato as the new BOD chairman. Dated May 22, 2023, the letter was signed by Cebu City Administrator Collin Rosell.
Daluz told SunStar Cebu on June 2 that Rama wants him out as chairman of the board for two reasons: first is the refusal of the BOD to privatize MCWD, and second is because of his personal suggestions on the political succession of their party coalition. (RJM, JJL)