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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, January 25, 2018
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Water joint
venture discussed

Dumaguete City Councilor Joe Kenneth Arbas informed the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the alleged joint venture agreement last week between the Dumaguete City Water District and the Metropac Water Investments Corp.

Arbas also informed the SP committees on Environment, Public Utilities, and Rules, Ordinances and Legal Matters about a letter received from councilors of Cagayan de Oro.

He said this is bothersome because it appears that DCWD is silent about the venture, but suddenly, information comes from CDO councilors. Another information was that there is an application for water rate increase before the Local Water Utilities Administration.

Arbas said he was not accusing the DCWD officials of any wrongdoing in entering into a possible joint venture agreement with a private company or even asking for an increase in water rates because he also believes and espouses that if there is a need to do so because the cost of operations has become really burdensome, and necessitates the increase, then he is amenable. However, the public should be informed, he said.

The letter of the Cagayan de Oro councilors on the alleged questionable character and activities undertaken by the company with their local water district is another issue that has to be discussed, he said.

Arbas said the company appears to be the same one with whom Iloilo local governments also has a problem with because it also engaged in a partnership with the Iloilo local water district. The LGU is now questioning the transaction.

He said there is therefore a need for them to meet and discuss this with the DCWD officials, but the latter had always refused to attend when invited to the SP session for discussions.

Councilor Manny Arbon, chairman of the SP Committee on Environment, said the jointly signed invitation by concerned committees to the DCWD officials was made urgently because they were in a quandary on whether Metropac Water Investments Corporation and DCWD had already inked a deal.*



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