Cebu News

Rama to Gov. Garcia: Stop meddling

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Following her Monday’s press conference on the issues surrounding the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD), Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama asked Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia anew not to be involved with the affairs of the city.

"Dako na na siya...anak na siya sa iyang ginakanan, mga lawyer na tanan diha. Namasa na og local government code. Siya mismo magsige’g sulti, di ko manghilabot anang Cebu City, they belong to the city of Cebu, it is a highly urbanized city, and now why is she intruding?” Rama said in a press conference yesterday, April 17, 2024, addressing Gov. Garcia.

Garcia, in a press conference alongside mayors of some towns and cities, said she saw the need to comment on the matter as this also affects residents of the province who are experiencing a water supply problem.

Garcia and the mayors raised the limits of the powers of Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), and stressed on their support for MCWD board Chairman Joey Daluz.

The Cebu Provincial Board also approved en masse a resolution demanding LWUA not to meddle in MCWD.

The PB called on LWUA to “respect the status quo to prevent confusion and disruption of the water district’s operation.”

The League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP)-Cebu chapter has also pledged support for Daluz and MCWD general manager Edgar Donoso through a manifesto.

But when asked about the manifesto of support rendered to the current MCWD board, Rama said it doesn't matter.

"I don't care," Rama said. "They can have it, but they should always be reminded that they are the province and we are the city," he added.

According to Rama, LWUA was in control and the city government was only providing assistance.

"They can go to court as far as they want so that we can bring in how we enter," said Rama.

Rama stressed that the intervention done by the city government is to look after the general welfare of the public, especially now that the city is facing a water crisis.

He added that they have to step in order to clear the "confusion" of who is the mayor underscoring also that 70 percent of MCWD's consumer is from Cebu City.

Further, Rama said that LWUA also sought the assistance of the city government.

"Why should we be withdrawing, I mean water is life and LWUA is a national government and now this person there was a time that they respected LWUA and now they defy?" he said.

"Is there another law that they are observing? The law of the governor?" Rama asked.

As the partial takeover of LWUA was implemented last March 15, 2024, Rama said there is a direct defiance of the order from the camp of Daluz, and other two board members who are supposed to be suspended for six months.

He added that the Daluz and the others are not supposed to be allowed entry as there is an investigation of "corruption."

On the idea of establishing its own water district in Cebu City, Rama said that it is already in talks, particularly with the LWUA.

According to him, the LWUA seemed receptive to the idea. —/ATO (FREEMAN)

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