Cebu News

Feliciano: No MCWD privatization

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Newly-installed Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD board of directors (BOD) chairman Melquiades Feliciano yesterday promised he is not keen on the privatization of the water utility.

He said he would instead evaluate the management programs and plans to address the water supply problem.

His stance is in line with Mayor Michael Rama's own, who said during a Facebook Live interview yesterday that he has no intention of pushing for the privatization of MCWD.

“Privatization? Wala gyud na sa akong utok, wala. Wala... Kinsa man ganiy nagbuhat ana, ila na lang nang gihimong rason aron maka-hold-on sila.  ao nay ilahang battle cry diha,” he said, referring to Atty. Jose Daluz, whom Feliciano replaced last Tuesday.

Daluz has questioned Rama's authority to replace him and two others of the MCWD BOD. (See related story.)

Yesterday, Feliciano said over the City’s Sugboanon Channel aired live over Facebook that privatization ws not any of their discussion with the mayor, who is currently on a vacation abroad.

“I haven’t heard that from Mayor Rama, in fairness.... He just said to take the leadership of the MCWD Board, but we did not discuss that (privatization).... In fact, I just heard that coming from you (anchor Vilma Andales) nga nay privatization,” he said.

“Probably, during my term also, I will not agree with that.... Dili,” said the retired army general and former Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force Visayas implementer.

Feliciano said that as long as MCWD is properly managed, the Cebuanos can be assured of better services.

“Kon dili nimo ma-maximize ang ilang (MCWD) services and functions, mag-deteriorate ang performance.... Kinahanglan ang proper management and leadership. If all perform., it could provide better and cheaper water,” he said.

Feliciano said, he has not yet sat down with the MCWD management, but he hopesdto meet up with the officials  soon as possible.

He said that even before his formal appointment last Tuesday, he already studied the city's water problems, including salt water intrusion, surface and ground water contamination, wastewater violations, among others.

It may be another field, he said, but as a good soldier, he is ready to face the new challenge.

On the legitimacy of his being the MCWD BOD chairman, he said he relies on Rama's  appointing powers.

“My basis is the appointment order of the mayor.... As a precedence, previously by the late mayor (Edgardo) Labella, these members were also appointed by him,” he said. (CEBU NEWS)

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