Cebu News

MCWD’s interim board installs another OIC GM

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Just a few days after the chaotic scene at the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) office following the installation of a new general manager who has since stepped down, the Local Water Utilities Administration-installed Interim Board of Directors (IBOD) has designated another one to the position.

This time, the LWUA has designated lawyer Joselito Thomas Baena as the new officer-in-charge GM.

Baena was actually first installed as part of the IBOD last April 18, 2024 after another appointed lawyer by the LWUA Administrator, Manolette E. Dinsay, failed to report and assume the position.

“The MCWD Interim Board of Directors designates ATTY. JOSELITO THOMAS P. BAENA, currently serving as member of the MCWD Interim Board of Directors, as the Officer-in-Charge General Manager (OIC General Manager") of the MCWD during the Ninety (90) Day Suspension of General Manager Donoso,” read the interim board’s resolution.

Prior to Baena, the IBOD installed lawyer DX Lapid, but also resigned after a couple of days for his family’s peace amid allegedly being used for politics.

The interim board has earlier stressed on the need to appoint an additional member IBOD “to ensure the continued and unhampered operations of MCWD during the implementation of LWUA Board Resolution No. 35, Series of 2023.”

As OIC General Manager, Baena can appoint MCWD employees and is authorized to implement personnel movement. On the other hand, the appointment of employees to supervisory/managerial positions is subject to the confirmation by the IBOD.

Baena is also “authorized to sign and execute all financial documents including, but not limited to bank account application, signature cards, cheque disbursements, withdrawals, transfer of funds, and all its bank transactions.”

The OIC GM is also expected to engage in regular communication with the IBOD, providing updates on MCWD operations, initiatives, and any developments relevant to its consumers. He is also mandated to strictly adhere to all directives issued by the MCWD’s IBOD.

Aside from that, Baena has also been mandated to ensure full compliance with the IBOD’s request for the turnover of documents, as previously served upon Donoso which the latter refused to do, among others.

Baena has accepted the challenge and hopes to stabilize the situation at MCWD, as shared by the Cebu City News and Information team.

“The task is great and the responsibility that landed on our shoulders is heavy, but we cannot turn our backs on Cebu and the Cebuanos. We cannot shirk away from the call of duty. As we assume the role of interim caretaker of MCWD at the mandate of the National Government, our first order of business is to take immediate steps to stabilize the situation. We will coordinate with MCWD officers, employees and other stakeholders,” Baena said.

Baena is also looking into reaching out to barangay officials and community leaders in both upland and urban localities whose residents are facing severe challenges in water supply.

“Collectively, we will explore how we can move forward, how can we mitigate the effects of El Niño, what can we do on the water supply, how can we all contribute to make the situation better…The water crisis needs urgent attention. Real livelihoods are at stake, everyone is affected. Thus, we recognize and express our gratitude to the local officials and community leaders who took the initiative and provided emergency water to residents,” added Baena.

Constructive dialogue and the cooperation of all stakeholders is also set.

“We do all of these while we remain true to the rule of law and respect to the directives of duly constituted authorities…We need the help and prayers of everyone. Let’s make this an avenue for all to contribute to the common good, and become parts of the solution,” shared Baena.

Baena’s mission, however, would not be easy as a separate statement shared by MCWD spokesperson Minerva Gerodias said, MCWD “remains firm in its stance on the status quo and will continue to recognize only the current Board of Directors (BOD), comprised of Chairman Jose Daluz, Vice Chairman Miguelito Pato, Secretary May Seno, and General Manager Edgar H. Donoso”.

Accordingly, All MCWD managers and employees will strictly adhere to directives from the “legitimate Daluz-led board and GM Donoso” amid the suspension of LWUA.

“MCWD is committed to safeguarding our organization and office premises against any potential intrusions, complying with proper government rules and procedures, and upholding our charter under PD 198. We have implemented increased security measures to prevent unauthorized access by non-MCWD personnel,” the statement read.

Further, access for consumers is restricted solely to the Customer's Area on the ground floor.

“We sincerely urge our valued consumers for their understanding and patience during this challenging period. We assure you that despite the current challenges, the delivery of water services will remain unhampered,” mcwd’s statement added.

Free Water

Meanwhile, while the leadership row at MCWD continues, San Nicolas barangay captain Clifford Jude Niñal said he has been extending help in rationing off water from his barangay’s deep well and not from MCWD even to other barangays.

Niñal told The Freeman that now, they are rationing off water 24/7, extending help not only to his constituents but also to Brgys Pahina Central, Calamba, Duljo Fatima, Sambag 1 and 2, and even as far as Guadalupe.

It would have been easier if MCWD allows them to get water from the fire hydrants to their fire trucks for distribution, but Niñal said, requesting for it takes a lot of time considering the situation of Cebu’s water district.

Niñal disclosed that while the water comes from the barangay’s deep well, the water tank and truck, as well as fuel expenses, comes from his own pocket.

“Luoy man pud ug di nato tabangan ning uban. Kung unsay akong makaya, aw, agwantahon lang sa pud nato karon. Pag una, sa amo ra untang mga taga barangay, pero daghan naming manawag og tabang, so kutob sa kayang serbisyuhan, sige lang,” said Niñal. — (FREEMAN)

vuukle comment


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with