PBBM steps in on CDO water woes, says MVP agrees to continue supply

By Darryl John Esguerra

May 16, 2024, 2:52 pm

<p>President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. <em>(RTVM Screengrab)</em></p>

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (RTVM Screengrab)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan, who owns the Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water, Inc. (COBI) through Metro Pacific Water, has agreed to restore water supply in Cagayan de Oro City until the government finds a long-term solution to its water supply problem.

COBI reportedly closed the main valve of the water pipe that leads to the entire city of Cagayan de Oro on Tuesday morning after the Cagayan de Oro Water District reportedly failed to pay its outstanding water bill to the distributor.

However, the city government was able to secure a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the court several hours later.

In a speech at the Pimentel Convention Center in Cagayan de Oro City on Thursday, Marcos said he reached out to Pangilinan after learning about the issue.

“Kaya’t noong ito’y nalaman ko ay nakipag-usap tayo kay Mr. Manny Pangilinan ng Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Inc upang manumbalik ang normal na supply ng tubig habang humahanap tayo ng pangmatagalang solusyon sa probelamang ito (When I found out, I talked to Mr. Manny Pangilinan of Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water, Inc. to restore normal water supply while we look for a lasting solution to this problem),” Marcos said.

“Pumayag po si Mr. Pangilinan sa ating pakiusap at handa po siyang makipag-usap sa inyong alkalde upang matuldukan na ang suliraning ito at mabigyan ng kinakailangang tubig ang lampas animnapung libong kababayan dito sa CDO (Mr. Pangilinan agreed to our request and he is ready to talk to your mayor to end this problem and provide the necessary water to over 60,000 citizens here in CDO),” he added.

The President, likewise, ordered the Local Water Utilities Administration to study its possible management of the Cagayan de Oro Water District to address the water supply problem as soon as possible.

“Hindi lang sa supply ng tubig, pati ang pagtukoy ng angkop (na) water rate at pagtupad sa mga obligasyon nito sa mga konsumer at sa ating mga supplier (Not just the water supply, it also include determining the appropriate water rate and fulfilling its obligations to consumers and our suppliers),” Marcos said.

“Hindi natin hahayaan na mapagkaitan ang mga tiga-Cagayan de Oro ng kanilang karapatan na magkaroon ng sapat, malinis at ligtas na supply ng tubig (We will not allow the people of Cagayan de Oro to be denied their right to adequate, clean and safe water supply),” he added.

El Niño aid

Marcos was in Cagayan de Oro to continue his provision of assistance to El Niño-hit provinces in Mindanao.

The President personally handed to 40 identified farmers, fisherfolk and family beneficiaries from Cagayan de Oro City and the Provinces of Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon cash assistance worth PHP10,000 each.

Meanwhile, the City Government of Cagayan de Oro and the Provincial Government of Camiguin both received PHP10 million in Presidential Assistance while the Provincial Governments of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon received PHP50 million apiece.

Furthermore, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) distributed PHP10,000 each to more farmers, fisherfolk, and family beneficiaries while the Office of House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez provided five kilos of rice to each attendee.

Regional line agencies of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Department of Health (DOH) also distributed assistance to their respective beneficiaries during the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair at the University of Science and Technology – Southern Philippines.

Earlier on Thursday, Marcos also distributed financial assistance and extended various government assistance to fisherfolk and farmers from Iligan City, Misamis Occidental, and Lanao del Norte.

Overall, the President distributed over PHP168 million in financial assistance to Northern Mindanao as part of the government’s efforts to alleviate the effects of the El Niño. (PNA)