METROPOLITAN Cebu Water District (MCWD) chairman of the Board of Directors (BOD) Jose Daluz III assured that the services of the MCWD will not be affected by the issue the board is facing now. However, some projects might be halted.
This, after the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 7 issued a 20-day temporary restraining order (TRO), ruling in favor of three former members of the MCWD BOD.
RTC Branch 7 Judge James Stewart Ramon Himalaloan has ruled in favor of the camp of Ralph Sevilla, former City Councilor Augustus Pe Jr. and Cecilia Adlawan in the case they filed against Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, acting administrator Jeci Lapus of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and former interim BOD.
The court also ordered that Sevilla, Pe and Adlawan be restored to their positions as directors of the MCWD board while their petition will be heard in the next 20 days.
Daluz said the daily services of the MCWD will not be affected since the board is more involved in policy making and setting projects of the agency.
However, the water desalination project that the current board is working on may have to be shelved, considering the previous board might have other projects.
Daluz said they are set to sign the contract with the winning bidder this month.
On the decision of the court, Daluz said they are abiding by it and a motion for reconsideration has been filed before the court.
Daluz also said the issuance of the TRO was “wrong, considering the nature of the TRO is an urgent matter.”
“This TRO, for me, we’re already in position, we’ve worked for the board, so there was no urgency on the matter,” Daluz told reporters in an interview on March 17, 2021.
The current appointed directors have been sitting on their positions for over a year now.
They took the oath of office in February 2020.
On March 18 and 25, a hearing will be conducted for the presentation of evidence whether or not the TRO will become a preliminary injunction.
In October 2019, Labella terminated five board members—then chairman Joel Mari Yu, then vice chairman Sevilla, then secretary Adlawan and members Pe and Procopio Fernandez—because of a widespread dissatisfaction of MCWD’s consumers over their services.
The cities of Mandaue, Cebu, Talisay and Lapu-Lapu, as well as the municipalities of Consolacion, Liloan and Cordova, passed resolutions expressing their disappointment with MCWD’s service.
Aside from Daluz, other members of the board who replaced the previous ones are Francisco Malilong Jr. and Miguelito Pato who were elected as vice chairman and secretary during an election on Feb. 17, 2020. Lawyer Manolette Dinsay and Judelyn Mae Seno completed the board. (JJL)