THE board of Career Executive Services (CES) in Manila ruled that the new general manager for a water firm must possess CES eligibility and not the usual Civil Service Commission (CSC) eligibility, a Cagayan de Oro Water District (Cowd) official said Wednesday.

Joel Baldelovar, Cowd board chairman, said Cowd will republish in the newspapers the hiring for the new general manager (GM) to replace interim GM Proceso B. Pag-ong, particularly indicating therein that applicants must be CES eligible as an additional requirement to the existing prerequisites for a top position in said water utility.

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The CES is the top eligibility-giving body for public officials including those in the government-owned corporations and local utilities such as Cowd.

Recently, Cowd was able to publish the hiring but was held in abeyance until such time the CES board releases the new guidelines in consonance with the

Executive Order number 891 dated June 10, 2010 signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

At least 10 applicants were advised to wait for the COWD management’s go signal.

Under the said order, non-CES holders who are currently holding top posts in public offices, government-owned and controlled corporations and local utilities are given only until July 30, 2010 to vacate their seats to pave way for CES eligible officials to “effectively” lead said offices.

In an interview, Pag-ong expressed regrets that all of the existing applicants would likely be replaced with other qualified applicants as Cowd need to repost and renew the criteria of hiring permanent general manager for Cowd.

A staff from the Cowd board of director office, who refused to be identified, said six applicants for the position are from Cowd while another four came from outside the water firm.

In a related development, the Cowd management wrote a clarification letter to the CSC and the CES board in Manila if the EO includes utilities.

Pag-ong said whatever is the decision of the CSC and CESB, the Cowd and its board of directors must comply.

Pag-ong, who holds office for months already, claimed no intention of continuing his duties as general manager. (Loui S. Maliza)