THE current general manager of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) may face removal based on the grounds of loss of trust and confidence and insubordination, according to an MCWD board member.
In a phone interview on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, retired major general Melquiades Feliciano, the appointed MCWD chairman by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, said the board of directors still has to convene and decide on the potential removal of MCWD general manager Edgar Donoso.
However, they have already identified initial reasons for his possible removal, including insubordination.
“Naa mi nakita nga insubordination kay kon mag meeting mi dili siya mo attend, unya nag issue og statement nga status quo nga he is recognizing the old board,” Feliciano said.
(We observed insubordination because of his absences in our meetings, and he issued a statement declaring a status quo, indicating that he recognizes the old MCWD board).
The statement reflects the MCWD employees’ recognition of lawyer Jose Daluz III as chairman, Miguelito Pato as vice chairman, and Jodelyn May Seno as a member, along with Rama appointees Earl Bonachita and Danilo Ortiz as members, amid the dispute among three groups, each claiming to be MCWD’s rightful board of directors.
The statement issued last Wednesday, Nov. 15, was supported by the MCWD employees, composed of different employee associations like the Association of MCWD Managers, MCWD Supervisors Association, MCWD Employees Union, and the Non-Regular Manpower Resources Association.
Moreover, Feliciano told reporters that Donoso allegedly did something that made him lose the “trust and confidence” of the board.
“The first meeting that we had, we asked him if there were any projects to be bidded (out) in a specific place. That was (on) the 7th of November. He said (there were) none, but later on, there was this schedule,” he said.
Feliciano added Donoso has attended only one board meeting, on Nov. 7.
Feliciano said the board has not yet identified Donoso’s replacement.
In a phone interview on Monday, Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia refused to comment on the matter, saying he still needs to meet with the City Legal department and some councilors to discuss the issue, as per Rama’s instructions.
On Thursday, Nov. 16, during an interview on the Sugboanon Channel’s segment “Ingna’ng Mayor,” Rama expressed his plans to remove Donoso as MCWD general manager
Donoso, for his part, through a statement issued on Thursday, Nov. 16, expressed his commitment to abide by the decisions of the board of directors that appointed him, and which was “officially confirmed by the Local Water Utilities Administration.”
Donoso was appointed MCWD general manager on Dec. 16, 2022, by the MCWD board of directors led by Daluz.
Donoso said he would continue in his role if the board of directors led by Daluz deemed it necessary to retain his services.
He said according to Section 23 of Presidential Decree 198, as amended, only the board is authorized to appoint a general manager, delineate their responsibilities, and set their compensation, and removal from office can only occur for valid reasons following due process.
“I continue to hold Mayor Michael Rama in high regard, and I hope he understands that MCWD’s stance is solely motivated by the necessity to uphold the authority of our governing body, establish a clear direction, and ensure uninterrupted service,” Donoso said.