TACLOBAN CITY –The Leyte Metropolitan Water District Employees Association (LMWDEA) has expressed their overwhelming support to the board of directors (BOD) appointed by Mayor Cristina G. Romualdez to run the Leyte Metropolitan Water District(LMWD) saying that they have lost confidence in the current set of BOD appointed by the provincial government as they are not “pro-employee.”
Engr. Daryl Makabenta, spokesperson and board member of LMWDEA, said on Wednesday that the provincial government-appointed BOD has turned a deaf ear on their request to implement the Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) entered into by the management and LMWDEA in 2006.
Makabenta said that they are fed up with the dilly-dallying of the current set of the provincial government appointed BOD to implement the CNA, saying that the benefit due the LMWD workers was stalled for 11 years.
In a mass action of the union coinciding with the dialogue, the majority of the union members signed a statement of support to the city government-appointed BOD.
Meanwhile, the BOD appointed by the city government had said that they support the implementation of the CNA.
Engr. Roberto Muñoz, BOD chairman in a dialogue with the LMWDEA said that they had issued resolution No. 2017-12-02 ratifying the CNA.
He added that a satisfied workforce will redound to better services to water consumers.
Since Tacloban residents have been suffering from water shortage for the past ten years and since most of the consumers are from the city – the city government has deemed it necessary to initiate steps to solve this water problem in the city by taking over management of LMWD by legal means.
Last December 11, Mayor Cristina Romualdez appointed 5 members of the board of directors of the Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD), namely Engr. Roberto Muñoz, Atty. Bautista Corpin, Jr., Atty. Jenny Lyn Manibay, Atty. Sharilee Angela Gaspay and Ms. Bernardita Valenzuela.
The appointments were made after the Supreme Court handed down a decision declaring Presidential Decree 198 unconstitutional. The decree mandated that an LGU that has 75% of water consumers of a Water District has the authority to manage the agency.
However in a case elevated to the Supreme Court declared P.D. 198 unconstitutional – ruled that a city – highly urbanized – chartered – component that does not vote for provincial officials need only 51 percent of the total number of water consumers to have the authority to manage the water district.
A written and published report of the LMWD in 2014 stated that 67.5 percent of water consumers are in the city of Tacloban. (CIO)