Cagayan de Oro City

Water crisis hits Cagayan de Oro as Pangilinan firm cuts supply

Franck Dick Rosete

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Water crisis hits Cagayan de Oro as Pangilinan firm cuts supply

WATER. A man fetches water from a water tanker sent by city hall during a water interruption in Barangay Canitoan, Cagayan de Oro, several weeks back.

Cagayan de Oro City Information Office

(1st UPDATE) The supply from the Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Incorporated accounts for nearly half of the city's tap water

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – At least 13 villages in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental are currently experiencing a tap water shortage after the Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Incorporated (COBI) cut off its supply to the local water district over a disputed P479-million debt, on Tuesday, May 14.

The Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) confirmed that its primary bulk water supplier discontinued the supply due to the unresolved debt dispute.

The supply from COBI, a firm controlled by business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Water, accounts for nearly half of the treated water the COWD has been distributing in the city.

Engineer Antonio Young, general manager of the COWD, told Rappler that they received a text message from COBI around 12:30 pm on Tuesday about the disconnection.

The affected villages in Cagayan de Oro include Iponan, Bulua, Patag, Upper Carmen, Canitoan, Pagatpat, Camaman-an, and portions of Lumbia, Lapasan, Gusa, and Macasandig. Additionally, the villages of Barra and Igpit in Opol town, Misamis Oriental, are also impacted.

Initially, these villages were reported to have lost their water supply due to a pipe burst in a raw water line around midnight on May 13, based on a now-deleted advisory from the COWD.

Lawyer Roberto Rodrigo, senior legal counsel for Metro Pacific Water, which controls COBI, confirmed that both COBI and its subcontractor, Rio Verde Water Consortium, agreed to stop the supply since negotiations for a settlement reached a deadlock.

“Since we have not received any communication from COWD – any offer, any mention of further negotiation, any invitation – we took advantage of the situation and decided to cut off the water supply,” Rodrigo told Rappler.

In a May 14 statement, COBI announced that the main supply valves for both the east and west pipelines leading to the water district’s distribution have been closed.

“We recognize the importance of a reliable water supply and have made every effort to reach an amicable resolution with Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD). However, due to the current circumstances, we are forced to temporarily cut water services until the situation is rectified,” read a part of the statement.

COBI added, “COWD has not provided a formal response regarding outstanding payables owed to COBI, including the outstanding balance for the March 2024 bulk water bill. These payments are essential to ensure continued operation and maintenance of the water treatment plant.”

Rodrigo said COBI remains committed to working with COWD to find a swift solution. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!