Cagayan de Oro City Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr. is pushing for the privatization of the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) as a solution to the frequently encountered water supply problems of the city.
In an article by Sunstar Cagayan de Oro, Lao, being the Chair of the Committee on Public Utilities, said that privatizing COWD could mean gaining more access to funds which may solve the problems of the city’s old water supply system.
Lao said that the water district should be open to embark on this new step because some water utilities have been successful in their implementation of the same system.
He also said that turning the water district into a cooperative could also be one of the options since it will also allow consumers to take part in the decision making of the body. It would also mean that consumers will become part owners of the water district which gives them the right to have a say whenever there are plans to increase water consumption rates.
He also believes that the new bulk of water supply will not entirely address the problems of COWD as it will still be the one to handle the distribution of water and there are still other parts of the city where water distribution is still weak.
On the other hand, COWD Assistant General Manager Engr. Bienvenido Batar Jr. said that while privatization remains one of the options, the current system of the water district still has its strong points and advantages since it is also a financially viable utility despite the fact that there are restrictions on its finances and technology.
He also believes that the faith of the water district lies on the successful implementation of projects, management, and cooperation among the personnel of the facility.