Cebu News

For MCWD excavations: Permits approved

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City acting mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia has signed the pending permits for excavation applications of the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) that have been left unsigned for more than a year now.

The members of the MCWD board, led by Chairman Attorney Joey Daluz III, and the executive committee, led by General Manager Edgar Donoso, went to Cebu City Hall to meet with the acting Mayor yesterday, May 27, 2024.

According to Garcia, the meeting was to tackle the numerous applications for excavations in the city that were still pending, some of which were left unsigned since March of last year.

Prior to the meeting, Garcia said that he already instructed the city administrator to gather all the pending permits. Yesterday, Garcia presented at least five permit applications, which he signed before the media.

“Just to show you that we really mean business when it comes to providing water to our constituents and to show you nga ang MCWD and ang syudad sa Sugbo naghiusa ug nagtinabangay,” said Garcia.

Among those that Garcia signed was for the MCWD Pipeline Project Extension in Barangays Binaliw, Cambinocot, Guba, Busay, and Agsungot. He said that these areas in the upland portion of the city were those that needed the water supply the most.

“If this was, unta, signed last year, nag-agas na gyud unta ang mountain barangays unta. Sagdi lang, let’s not talk about that. Mu-move forward ta, mu-move on na gyud ta,” said Garcia.

The acting mayor also explained that the move was motivated by his policy of diplomacy, which aims to iron out differences through conversation and negotiation.

With the signed applications, the contractors of the said excavations can now start their respective civil works. Garcia also expressed his hopes that in the next six months, results may be seen following the approval of the permits.

Daluz for his part expressed gratitude to Garcia, and has manifested his support for the latter’s mayorship.

“Ako, personally, I am assured nga maka-istorya gyud mi sa atong mayor, and he has an open mind, and he is really after for the welfare of the entire Cebu City,” said Daluz.

Donoso also said that the city excavation will last for six months up to eight months.

Compromise on Satellite Office

In the same press conference, Garcia also discussed with the MCWD officials the pending case concerning the City Hall’s Satellite Office, which the MCWD is in possession of.

With this, Garcia said they are looking at a possible “compromise” agreement. According to the acting mayor, they will no longer wait for the decision of the court.

Garcia, however, did not divulge the details of the compromise agreement, but instructed Cebu City Administrator, Lawyer Christine Joyce Batucan, to work hand-in-hand with the City Legal Office of MCWD for the said arrangement.

Last February 23, 2024, the Cebu City government “respectfully declined” the ultimatum imposed by the MCWD for it to vacate the building in front of the City Hall that the latter owns. This was the move under the leadership of Mayor Michael Rama who is now on six-month preventive suspension.

In a letter addressed to MCWD GM Donoso dated February 20, 2024, the city government said through the City Legal Office (CLO) that it will not heed the demands of MCWD since the city government has “lawful possession of the property.”

A document obtained by The Freeman showed that MCWD gave a final notice to the city government last Jan. 22, 2024, to vacate the MCWD-owned building, which the city has used for its satellite offices.

The letter was received by the City Administrator's Office. — (FREEMAN)

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