By NITZ ARANCON
THE city council’s public utilities committee would meet today and tackle the water crisis gripping western parts of the city and Opol, Misamis Oriental.
Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr., the committee’s chairman, said members of the panel would meet this morning and confront officials of the Cagayan de Oro Water District and Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc..
He brought the matter to the attention of the city council during the legislature’s regular session yesterday afternoon.
Lao threatened to have COWD and Rio Verde executives brought by the police to the city council if they failed to show up. While the city council has no power to cite anyone for contempt, Lao noted that Mindanao, including Cagayan de Oro, are under martial law, and local officials can ask law enforcers to exercise their police powers.
The problem with the city’s water supply, aggravated by the water crisis that started last week, is a cause for alarm, said Lao, adding that the city council should step in.
The committee would meet at 9 am at city hall today.
Lao said COWD officials have a lot of explaining to do before the committee.
He said the committee would like to know if COWD’s has contingency measures in times when its bulk water supplier fails to deliver.
Lao said the committee would also want to know the status of the contract of bulk water supplier Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. and COWD.
“We’ve heard about the interest of another company to buy Rio Verde. That’s why we want to know about the status of their contract,” he said.
He said COWD should disclose what the problem really is, and the real cause of the water crisis that started last week aside from claims that Rio Verde’s main steel water pipe submerged in the Cagayan River was damaged by debris as a result of rampaging waters two week ago.
“Kon mao na ang hinongdan, nganong dili man nila pangita-an ug pama-agi nga makalikay sa baha kanang ilang pipe?” he asked.
Other councilors took turns in lambasting the COWD during the city council’s session yesterday.
Councilor George, for one, said he was disappointed with the water district’s services and on the quality of the city’s tap water.
“COWD should answer. People are clamoring for better services. There is a shortage in the supply of water, and people are unhappy about the quality of the tap water,” Goking said.
Councilor Zaldy Ocon, for his part, lambasted the COWD, citing the town of Villanueva in Misamis Oriental, where townsfolk are supposedly enjoying a much better water supply and pressure.