CAGAYAN DE ORO, PHILIPPINES – The Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) announced that water supply in western part of this city may be affected due to the P400 million debt.
Engr. Antonio Young, the general manager of COWD, reported that Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Inc. (COBI) issued them a notice.
The notice instructed them to settle their financial obligations within 30 days from December 15, the receipt date. Failure to do so would result in the immediate cessation of the water supply until full payment is made.
In the event of a water supply cutoff, Young noted that all barangays in the first district could potentially be impacted, with some households experiencing low pressure or a complete lack of water connection during peak hours.
In the second district, only Barangays Camaman-an and Lapasan would be affected if COBI discontinues water supply.
“We have ways because we already encountered that during typhoons ‘Sendong’ and ‘Vinta,’ where the supply was lost, only our own,” Young said in a press conference. “We can install public faucets, water delivery, and water rationing,” he added.
COBI provides nearly half of the city’s water supply, contributing 80,000 cubic meters, with a 70 percent supply capacity in the first district.
In 2021, COBI increased its rate from P16.60 to P20.57 per cubic meter. However, COWD requested that this rate hike not be implemented, citing force majeure due to the pandemic.
COWD currently pays COBI P16.60 per cubic meter. The accumulated difference in price due to COBI’s rate increase has resulted in an outstanding amount of over P400 million billed to COWD. This includes approximately P360 million from 2021 to 2023, as well as COWD’s bills for September and October of the previous year.
Young stated that the September and October bills were settled in December. They aim to pay the outstanding November balance, received in mid-December, by the end of the current month.
On January 12, both entities held a meeting. Young expressed optimism for a positive outcome, noting that they are awaiting an official response from COBI.
Mayor Rolando Uy stated in a January 15 interview that he plans to request COBI not to halt their supply once he has more information about COWD’s outstanding payments, recognizing the potential impact on consumers.