Labella fires MCWD board
Notices of termination were sent to Chairman Joel Mari Yu, Vice Chairman Ralph Sevilla, Secretary Cecilia Jugao-Adlawan, and members Procopio Fernandez and Augustus Pe, Jr. yesterday, October 15, 2019.
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Labella fires MCWD board
Gregg M. Rubio, Mary Ruth Malinao (The Freeman) - October 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has terminated the members of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), citing dissatisfaction on the part of consumers on MCWD's service.

Notices of termination were sent to Chairman Joel Mari Yu, Vice Chairman Ralph Sevilla, Secretary Cecilia Jugao-Adlawan, and members Procopio Fernandez and Augustus Pe, Jr. yesterday, October 15, 2019.

The five have chosen not to issue a statement.

“It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to formally inform you that your services as the Chairman and Director of the Board of the MCWD are hereby terminated,” reads the notice sent to Yu.

“It is a fact that the consumers of MCWD have been greatly dissatisfied with its present service. This has prompted local government units, such as the Cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Talisay and the Municipalities of Consolacion, Lilo-an, Compostela, and Cordova, and the Province of Cebu through their respective Sanggunians, to issue Resolutions expressing their dissatisfactions and calls for action on the matter. It is for this widespread dissatisfaction over the services of MCWD that I am constrained to terminate your services as a Director,” the notice reads further.

Under the law that created the water district, the city mayor has the authority to appoint or remove the members of the MCWD Board.

“The power to appoint carries with it the power to remove or discipline. Thus, pursuant to the authority granted to me by the provisions of P.D. 198, as Mayor of the City of Cebu, I am now exercising this power, subject to the review and approval of the Local Water Utilities Authority, as per Section 11 of P.D. 198,” Labella said.

The Local Water Utilities Authority (LWUA) did not object to Labella's decision.

In a letter to Labella, LWUA Acting Administrator Jeci Lapus said the mayor’s movie is within the bounds of the law consistent with the last sentence of Section 11 of Presidential Decree No. 198, also known as the   Provincial Water Utilities Act of 1973.

The MCWD Board has five members who each serve a six-year term. Except for Fernandez who was appointed during the term of former mayor and now Vice Mayor Michael Rama, Yu, Pe, Sevilla and Adlawan were appointed during the term of former mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Rama who was mayor since 2010 lost to Osmeña in the 2016 elections. Osmeña, meanwhile, lost to Labella in the May 2019 polls. (FREEMAN)

EDGARDO LABELLA
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