'Super coop' to provide water supply to underserved areas in Cagayan de Oro
CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – A "super cooperative" was established to provide water services to high-elevation barangays in Cagayan de Oro City.
The creation of the Mindanao Cooperatives Water Service Federation (MCWS) is in line with efforts to address vital issues for the city's growing population of more than 750,000 residents.
The MCWS is composed of at least 13 cooperatives, including:
- Kyogojo Engineering Service Cooperative (KESC)
- First Community Cooperative (Ficco)
- Oro Integrated Coop
- Xavier University Community Credit Coop
- DMPI Employees and Community Credit Coop
- Allied Services Multipurpose Cooperative
- Oro Savings and Sharing Coop
- City Hall Employees Multipurpose Cooperative
- Provincial Capitol Employees Multipurpose Cooperative
- Cepalco Community Multipurpose Cooperative
- Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School Faculty, Retirees, Employees, and Students Multipurpose Cooperative
- Philippine Public Safety College Regional Training School Region 10 Employees and Staff Multipurpose Cooperative
- Department of Agriculture Multipurpose Cooperative
The combined assets of these cooperatives amount to P20 billion.
The MCWS targets to serve barangays where the Cagayan de Oro City Water District (COWD), a government owned and controlled corporation, has no presence.
The COWD serves nearly 100,000 households in the city, but growth areas have water issues that the state-run firm cannot address at the moment.
Isagani Daba, MCWS treasurer and former Ficco chairman, said that the MCWS' first project is the signing of a joint venture agreement (JVA) with KESC.
KESC has been the water provider of Barangay Lumbia since 2010, serving 2,300 households.
Its certificate of public conveyance covers the barangays of Lumbia, Dansolihon, Bayanga, Taguanao, and Baikingon, while the JVA with the MCWS covers Dansolihon, Mambuaya, Indahag, and also Barangay Gango in Libona, Bukidnon, which shares a border with Indahag.
With the joint venture, the MCWS will expand operations in the current KESC service areas, as well as establish water systems in Dansolihon, Mambuaya, Bayanga, and Indahag.
All of these barangays are in high-elevation areas of the city.
"The purpose of the joint venture is for the KESC, with the help of MCWS, to expand its operations so it could serve more water consumers in the city's rural barangays," Daba said.
"This is to prove that the people, and not huge corporations, can own and operate their own water system," he added.
"What we are seeing now throughout the country is that water distribution is owned by taipans, if not cronies. So what the coops aim for is for the general public to own and manage public utilities, like water distribution. This can happen only through cooperatives."
KESC president Neil Bryan Oraiz said KESC has the experience and the expertise, while the MCWS has the financial capability.
"Our intention in this JVA is to fast-track the expansion of water systems in areas not yet serviced by the [COWD]," Oraiz said. – Rappler.com