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Rio Verde Water Consortium

We are capable of meeting CDO’s


total water demand – Rio Verde

LOCAL bulk water provider Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. is capable of meeting the total water demand of Cagayan de Oro’s residential, commercial and institutional consumers if its services are needed, its president Joffrey Hapitan said.


Hapitan’s statement March 4 came amid the threat of rival bulk water supplier – the aptly named Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Inc. (COBI) – to cut off its supply if its client, the government-operated Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD), could not fully pay its P426 billion debt within 30 days.


COWD is the major water utility provider to Cagayan de Oro City and neighboring towns. It sources 50 percent of its supply from COBI whose pipes run along the western barangays of the city, affecting more than 40,000 households.


In a February 29 letter, COBI sent a notice of disconnection to COWD whose debts have ballooned to P426,873,163.26 accumulated in a 37-month period from January 2021 to January 2024.


The debt incurred was due to warring interpretations of COBI and COWD into the contract that it entered with each other in December 2017 with COBI as the bulk water supplier of the utility.


In the notice of disconnection, COBI was insisting that COWD honor its “applicable bulk water rate under our bulk water supply agreement” which increased from P16.60 per cubic meter in 2017 to P20.57 per cubic meter in 2021 and again starting January 2024 now at P24.19 per cubic meter.


But COWD, through general manager Antonio Young, invoked in 2021 force majeure due to the Covid-19 pandemic in disregarding the price increases.


Since 2021, COWD has been paying COBI monthly based on the P16.60 price rate. The difference in the amount resulted in the accumulated debt to the present.


Along this line, COBI gave COWD 30 days to fully settle its account or it will “immediately halt the supply of water.”


Interestingly enough, COBI purchases water from its supposed rival bulk provider Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc., itself a former direct supplier of COWD.


With this latest development, Hapitan said that Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. is fully capable to supply water in all the 80 barangays of Cagayan de Oro City, both as a COWD contractor and as a direct utility.


As a direct utility, Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. already supplies water to barangays Indahag, Camaman-an and Gusa.

As a bulk water provider, its current sole client is COBI.


But in the event that COBI makes good its threat of cutting the city’s western water supply, Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. can immediately fill the gap should COWD contract it under an emergency purchase scheme.


Emergency purchase is provided for under Republic Act 9184, otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act, either through direct shopping or negotiated procurement.


Meanwhile as a direct utility, Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. through Hapitan is calling on the City Council to grant the company a resolution of no objection.

This resolution is the first step so Rio Verde Water Consortium, Inc. could supply water as a direct utility to all the barangays in Cagayan de Oro City.


Hapitan met with City Council committee on public utilities chair Romeo Calizo last February 27 but the councilor reportedly told him that Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. needs to prove that the city is in water shortage before they could tackle the matter.

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