By CRIS DIAZ
It appears that the issue about the Metro Pacific Investment Corporation (Metropac) and the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) is getting out of hand. As my little bird said: “It all boils down to money.”
Indeed, money is a “hot” item. Whether an exchanged for money between the Metropac and COWD bulk water supply contract has taken place, the CYNOSURE is not interested at all.
What does the P 2.8 billion Metropac-COWD contract controversial and suspicious? Perhaps, it is the manner of the contract’s execution that becomes outrageous. Based on reports, the Metropac and the COWD has already tackled and approved (in principle) the contact in the latter part of 2016. The formal signing of the contract, however, took place on August 15, 2017 in Shang-rila Makati. The signatories of the contract were the COWD’s top management while City Mayor Oscar Moreno and his entourage allegedly led by City Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya were present as witnesses.
Some even questioned the presence of Mayor Moreno and some city officials as witnesses when the signatory of the COWD was supposed to be only the COWD Gen. Manager and the Chairman of the COWD’s Board of Directors. Anyway, Moreno could be excused because he appoints the water district’s Board of Directors. It appears too that the city government has a total control of the COWD when the water district should be under the supervision and control of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) as a quasi-government institution.
However, why would Moreno bring about a dozen city officials, including Nacaya and the head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Department? Another also asked whether the city government pays for the hotel and travel allowances of the government officials.
If the city government did not pay for the hotel and accommodation of the city officials, except Moreno, who foots the bill for them? Did the COWD spend for the city officials who fly to Manila to witness the signing? Wow!
Now, there is this report about the split in the City Council when some City Councilors reportedly smelled something fishy about the Metropac-COWD “sweetheart deal.” They called it “sweetheart deal” because the public was not informed of the deal until it was exposed to the public.
Perhaps, there was nothing wrong with the contract. However, the water consumers were enraged of the agreed water rates of P16.00 per cubic meter that the Metropac imposed on the COWD. The consumers were not happy because there was no “public consultation” about the contract and the water rates, too. Perhaps, this one of the reasons that some well-meaning City Councilors in the local legislative body are rallying to nullify the Metropac-COWD contract.
The Cagayanons are glad that City Councilors Bong Lao and Eric Salcedo along with some other city councilor like Boboy Daba are standing on the ground to repel an otherwise “outrageous” contract. It is expected that as the public support to the city councilors mounts, the majority of the city councilors, including the opposition would come together to support Lao. Nacaya would be left alone and his days as Majority Floor Leader would certainly end soon.
Anyway, as my little bird has opined, the issue boils down to “money.” Amid the hype, the Metropac has lately announced that it is now preparing to implement the contract with the COWD. Thus, while Lao, Salcedo, and Daba were not invited to the sumptuous dinner in Shang-rila-Makati, there is still a tendency that they would succumb to Moreno.
When that happens, all that the Cagayanons are fighting for would come to naught. Many, however, have expressed the confidence that the elected city councilors would carry the mandate of protecting the interest of the people at all costs. It is hoped that the city councilors would not renege their election promise to serve the public with integrity and honesty. -0- Email reaction/comments: email@example.com
Oct 17, 2018 0A new one-level corporate building will soon rise in the uptown part of this city, particularly along Masterson Avenue. But unlike any other edifice, this one is more environment-friendly and cost-efficient. The new corporate offices of S.V. More Pharma (Butuan) will only take five months to...