Tell it to SunStar: ‘Voice of the majority’

Tell it to SunStar.
Tell it to SunStar.SunStar file photo

By Concerned employees of MCWD

We, the concerned employees of Metropolitan Cebu Water District, feel compelled to voice our profound dissatisfaction with the current stance of the management regarding the temporary takeover of Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) in shaping the policy decisions of our board of directors.

The recent statement released by the management, endorsed by the rank-and-file union, managers association, and the supervisors association, has left us disheartened. We find it distressing that our opinions and perspectives were not sought or considered in this matter.

Speaking collectively on behalf of the majority of MCWD employees, we wish to remain anonymous due to our apprehensions about potential repercussions from the management. However, the current state of affairs within our organization has reached a point where we can no longer remain silent observers.

We fail to comprehend the rationale behind the management’s resistance to LWUA’s authority. LWUA serves as our regulatory body, entrusted with ensuring the sustainability and efficiency of our operations for the benefit of consumers. The decision to intervene temporarily is well within their purview and is aimed at safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders.

Our concerns extend beyond mere governance issues. The management’s focus on procuring bulk water from private suppliers at considerable expense has strained the financial resources of the water district. Despite the exorbitant costs, essential pipeline rehabilitation efforts have been neglected for the past three years, resulting in a staggering non-revenue water (NRW) rate of 36 percent as of the first quarter of 2024. You do not need an engineering degree to understand hydraulics. The more water you introduce into the system, the greater the likelihood of leaks occurring within the system.

The absence of an approved water tariff further exacerbates our financial woes. LWUA, as the authority responsible for tariff approvals, plays a crucial role in ensuring the financial sustainability of water districts. We fail to comprehend why the management would resist such necessary measures, especially when the need for tariff adjustments is undeniable.

While the implementation of the purchase water adjustment (PWA) has provided temporary relief by augmenting income, it comes at the expense of burdening consumers with additional costs. Despite assertions to the contrary, the financial strain resulting from NRW is indirectly passed on to consumers through mechanisms like the PWA.

Furthermore, the management’s proposal to expand our water supply through the addition of six desalination plants, with water priced at P73 to P74 per cubic meter, raises serious concerns about our long-term financial viability. While acknowledging the necessity of addressing water scarcity in certain barangays, the financial implications of such a venture cannot be ignored.

In light of these developments, we are deeply apprehensive about the future trajectory of MCWD under the current management’s leadership. It appears evident that personal agendas may be influencing decision-making processes, raising questions about the motives behind the resistance to LWUA oversight.

In conclusion, we urge the management to reconsider its stance and prioritize the long-term sustainability and welfare of MCWD and its stakeholders. Collaboration with LWUA should be embraced as a constructive step towards achieving these shared objectives, rather than resisted out of unfounded concerns.

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