CDO taps 4 bulk water suppliers for emergency purchase

By Nef Luczon and Stephen Capillas

May 3, 2024, 6:15 pm

<p>Cagayan de Oro Water District main office.<em> (Photo courtesy of COWD)</em></p>

Cagayan de Oro Water District main office. (Photo courtesy of COWD)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The local government is hiring four independent water firms here to address the state of emergency caused by a lack of water supply.

In an interview Friday, Councilor Joyleen Mercedes Balaba said the authority to purchase bulk water is contained in City Council Resolution No. 14922-2024.

It grants the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) the power to determine the volume and price capacity it will negotiate with the four suppliers, Balaba said.

The resolution, along with four other measures passed during the May 1 special session, was in response to Mayor Rolando Uy's issuance of Executive Order (EO) 196-2024, declaring the city under a "state of emergency."

Uy's EO came following stalled negotiations between COWD and Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Incorporated (COBI), which are locked in a contract dispute involving the water utility's alleged PHP479 million debt.

"Water is a fundamental right of all. No business contract should curtail and suppress this fundamental right of the people to have accessible, clean, and affordable water," Balaba said.

Among the four firms identified for the emergency purchase are Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc., South Balibago Resources, Inc., JE Hydro and Bio-Energy Corp., and Mindanao Cooperatives Water Service Federation.

COBI has a 25-year agreement with Rio Verde to supply COWD with 80,000 cubic meters of water daily. (PNA)