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Lao wants to examine credentials of COWD’s 5 directors

Correspondent .

THE chairman of the city council’s committee on public utilities yesterday said he would ask the Cagayan de Oro Water District to go public with the credentials of its five directors.

Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr. said his committee would go over the adacemic credentials, training and work experience of each COWD director, and see if they have the expertise on water distribution.

Lao said this a day after Councilor Enrico Salcedo asked the city council to formally demand for the resignation of all the COWD board members after they unanimously approved the dismissal of Engr. Rachel Beja as COWD general manager.

Lao said he has joined Salcedo in calling for the resignation of COWD chairman Eduardo Montalvan and the utility’s directors: lawyer Mateo Delegencia, former provincial board member Soc Anthony del Rosario, Concepcion Quiblat, and Dr. Hilly Roa Quiaoit.

Lao said he doubts if any of the directors has a background on hydrology, water systems, and water district management.

He blamed this “lack of knowledge” on why the COWD failed to cope with the city’s growth.

Lao also said the lack of expertise in water distribution in the board factored in the assailed joint venture agreement between COWD and Metro Pacific Water Investments Corp..

The agreement gave birth to a new water supplier, Cagayan de Oro Bulkwater Inc., that has been buying treated water from Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. in Bukidnon and selling it to the COWD since Jan. 1.

Lao said, “Beja merely had the agreement reviewed and they quickly became angry. And then they dismissed Beja because of that.”

“Tan-awon lang nato ilang mga educational background. Layo ra gyud sa tinuod if they have the capability in managing the water district,” Lao said.

Montalvan, for his part, said the COWD board of directors doesn’t manage the water district contrary to how Lao put it. Managing the water district, he said, is the task of the COWD management and not the board’s.

Montalvan said he would advise Lao to review the law on water districts so he would find out for himself what the directors’ tasks require.

“It’s true. The directors do not necessarily have the technical expertise.   We are there to put in place policies. We leave the technical expertise to the management,” Montalvan told the Gold Star Daily.

He said each director represents a sector in the COWD’s policy-making body.

The COWD directors and the sectors they represent: Montalvan, professional sector; Soc Anthony del Rosario, academe; Delegencia, civic sector; Quiaoit, business sector; and Quiblat, women sector.

“All this is in accordance with law,” said Montalvan.

Meanwhile, Lao called on Beja to go public with what she knows about the COWD-Metro Pacific deal.

“Dili pa ulahi ang tanan,” Lao said.


About Lito Rulona

Lito Rulona is a veteran newspaperman and broadcaster who covered many of the biggest stories in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental and Northern Mindanao since the early 90s.

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