By NITZ ARANCON
THE Cagayan de Oro Water District and Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. have arrived at a settlement that would allow a regional court to nullify their decade-old contract.
COWD officials have announced that a compromise agreement between the two firms has been signed last week.
Engr. Rachel Beja, COWD general manager, said she signed the agreement with authority from the water district’s board of directors.
The agreement to cancel the COWD-Rio Verde contract was also given the go-ahead by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, she said.
Beja said COWD’s lawyers submitted a copy of the compromise agreement to the 38th branch of the Regional Trial Court. It would be Judge Emmanuel Pasal’s basis in officially cancelling the 10-year old COWD-Rio Verde contract.
Beja said she was expecting the regional court to decide on the contract nullification case filed by COWD anytime soon.
The anticipated nullification of the contract would allow the Manny V. Pangilinan-owned Metro Pacific Water Investments Corp. to come into the picture. The Pangilinan firm and COWD earlier signed a joint venture agreement for the supply of bulk treated water to the city.
COWD chairman Eduardo Montalvan said Metro Pacific and COWD would form a new company called Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Inc. that would produce and supply potable water to the water district.
Montalvan said he and Beja would sit in the new company’s board being the COWD chairman and general manager, respectively.
Three options were being considered by the Pangilinan group in order to supply water to the COWD:
- buy water from any group that can produce treated water;
- rent water production and distribution facilities; or
- build or buy Rio Verde’s facilities.
“Wala pay tubag ang Metropac. Atong gihulatan ang tubag sa Metropac aron atong mahibaw-an kon asa siya mokuha ug tubig kay para official niya nga i-declare kon asa siya magkuha ug tubig,” Beja said.