THE Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) on Wednesday said it would furnish the city council a report on the P6-million annual budget it set aside for city hall-identified water service-related projects.
COWD chairman Eduardo Montalvan told a news conference said it is the mayor’s office that identifies the projects to be funded by the P6-million budget from the water district’s general fund.
If left unused, the fund returns to the COWD, and not to city hall, Montalvan said.
Montalvan said this after Councilor Edna Dahino authored a resolution for the city council to ask COWD to present a list of city hall-identified projects funded by the COWD.
Dahino said that under Section 291 of the Local Government Code, government-owned and -controlled corporations (Goccs) are required to allocate one percent of its gross sales or income in its previous fiscal year to the localities where they operate.
COWD general manager Bienvenido Batar Jr. said just this year, the COWD implemented two water projects for Cagayan de Oro.
He also said the COWD is committed to collaborating with the city government to provide water and expand its services to the city’s barangays.
On Monday, Dahino told the city council: “Asa na ang mga proyekto? Kay gipangita na sa mga tawo.”
The communications group of the city council said there was a resolution passed by the COWD in 2006 committing to fund various water projects amounting to P6 million per year.
Dahino said the COWD was not not true to its commitment because after 13 years, many water consumers in the city are still grumbling.
She said it was time for city hall to start demanding instead of requesting COWD.
Citing Chapter 2, Section 291 of the Local Government Code, Dahino said water is a national wealth and Goccs engaged in its utilization and development should set aside a share from its gross income for the city through the local government.
“COWD should pay one percent supposedly from the gross income of the water district. You could just imagine that in 2011 gamay ra ang tawo sa Cagayan de Oro compared now, 2019. It’s already 13 years, P6 million lang ilang gihatag,” Dahino said.
Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya said, “The point being raised now is the commitment that was [unfulfilled] by the COWD. We are not threatening to file a case against them. There was already a resolution that was passed 13 years ago. If we want to update the figure, we can renegotiate but let the commitment stay. That’s how we operate the government. We commit with our word, and we follow our commitment. While COWD exists in the territory of the city, let’s co-exist and help each other,” Nacaya said.
The matter was referred to the city council’s committee on public utilities chaired by Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr.. (SC/CIO/SP)