MPIC’s CDO water unit says supply cutoff meant to prompt action on unsettled accounts

THE Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water, Inc. (COBI), a unit of Metro Pacific Water, said that it intended to promptly resume supplying water to the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) if it showed efforts to resolve issues over its unsettled accounts.

The decision to cut off water supply to COWD was a joint decision by COBI and Rio Verde Water Consortium, as they deemed it “the only way COWD would take the matter seriously,” the company said in an e-mailed statement on Friday.

The company said the decision went through “painful deliberation, with the full intention of immediately restoring water supply as soon as COWD comes back to the negotiating table and shows seriousness in resolving the issue.”

The company issued the statement in response to Resolution No. 2024-723 passed by the 20th City Council of Cagayan de Oro (Cd0), urging COBI and Metro Pacific Water to explain why they should not be declared persona non grata in the city following the decision to cut off the bulk water supply to COWD.

“We are surprised to learn that we are now being asked to explain why we should not be declared persona non grata when: (a) we are the ones who are exerting all efforts to resolve the dispute amicably, and it is COWD which impeded discussions thru lack of representation, and (b) this decision to cut off supply to COWD was made together with Rio Verde, and (c) we invested heavily and is legally operating in CDO,” it said.

COBI said that there was a meeting on April 30 “to come to an amicable settlement with COWD.”

The meeting included representatives from the Local Water Utilities Administration, Metro Pacific Water, the Congressman’s office, and COBI.

“However, we were very surprised to learn that COWD’s board of directors could not even form a quorum on the day of the meeting, which brings into question the seriousness of COWD to amicably resolve the matter,” it said.

In a statement posted on Facebook on Saturday, COWD said that the talks during the meeting had been endorsed by its negotiating team to its board of directors.

COWD said it was not able to hold an emergency board meeting, as requested, due to short notice and prior scheduled meetings.

Because of this, the COWD management wrote to COBI asking for an extension for its board of directors to analyze the matter and do appropriate action.

Metro Pacific Water is a wholly owned water infrastructure investment subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).

MPIC is one of the three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific, the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT Inc.

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