By LITO RULONA
THE Philippine Competition Commission has asked councilors Teodulfo Lao Jr., Enrico Salcedo and Reuben Daba to meet with an official from its enforcement office today in connection with their complaint against the Cagayan de Oro Water District and the Manny V. Pangilinan-controlled Metro Pacific Water Investments Corp..
Lao said his group, alonmg with lawyer James Judith would see PCC assistant director for competition enforcement Ferdinand Redulla.
He said the meeting would form part of the PCC investigation into the Aug. 14, 2017 joint venture agreement between COWD and Metro Pacific which Lao’s group want to be voided.
The COWD-Metro Pacific agreement gave birth to a new firm, Cagayan de Oro Bulkwater Inc., that is now supplying treated water to the COWD.
The group accused COWD and Metro Pacific of “cartelization” even as they questioned the increase in the Cobi’s selling price of P16.35 per cubic meter. Before January, COWD bought treated water from the previous supplier, Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc., for P10.45 per cubic meter.
COWD has assured that it would not pass on the increased cost of treated water to the consumers.
Lao said, “Wala na gyu’y makapugong namo ani. Ang gusto lang namo nga dili mapahantangan sa dako nga water rates ang mga Kagay-anon ilabi na sa pagpirma sa mga contract nga dili gani kami masayod.”
He said the group would submit more documents to the PCC, including an audit report on COWD.
The group said what they want is a proper bidding, and to open the bulk water supply to COWD to competition.