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Access to clean, cheap water is a basic human right - Balaba

“UNSA  ang ilang katungod na putlon ang tubig? Wala silay katungod, it does not even exist or stipulated in the contract that if there are any disputes among the parties, COBI will stop the water supply.”

CDO City Councilor Joyleen Mercedes "Girlie" L. Balaba

Thus, pointed out Councilor Joyleen Mercedes L. Balaba during the 6th Special Session of the 20th City Council last May 1, 2024, as she felt distraught over the decision of COBI (Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water, Inc.) to cease delivering water to COWD (Cagayan de Oro Water District) due to the failure of the latter in complying its material obligations under its 2017 Bulk Water Supply Agreement with the former despite repeated demands.  

Following the endorsement from the majority of its members, the 20th City Council has adopted a resolution requesting the COWD to make an emergency purchase of Bulk Water Supply from the Rio Verde Water Consortium, Inc., South Balibago Resources, Inc., JE Hydro & Bio-Energy Corporation, Mindanao Cooperatives Water Service Federation (MWCSF), and other independent water concessionaires, to ensure the continued supply and distribution of water in the city in view of the decision of COBI to cease supplying bulk water to COWD effective May 1, 2024.

Prior to this, the lady councilor also reminded her colleagues in the City Council that as public officials, it is their duty to put the fundamental right of the people of Cagayan de Oro above all else, emphasizing the right of Kagay-anons to water and sanitation services despite the ongoing disputes between the parties.

“(Let them) settle their disputes sa Singapore Arbitration Court... Wala tay labot kung gusto sila moabot sa korte, ang ato diri dili nato tugtan na ang katawhan mawad-an og tubig. Inasmuch as we would like to dissect the contract between COWD, COBI, Metropac, and Rio Verde, ato sa nang i-set aside kay ang kailangan aksyonan karon na panahon ang kining katawhan nato na mawad-an og tubig, we have the obligation to fulfill our duty,” Balaba strongly urged.


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