Henry Ducao, one of the leaders of the Consumers Alert Alliance (CAA), said their move was to show support to the 22 employees who earlier wrote a petition addressed to the city mayor to order an audit of the MKWD’s financial records.
“As concessionaires, it’s our right to know what’s happening inside our water district. Just like the MKWD employees, we demand that we be furnished of these financial records,” he said.
The LWUA audit is expected to start today, with the auditors staying in the city until completion of their work, according to LWUA chair Prospero Pichay.
The MKWD management was surprised of the LWUA audit. MKWD general manager Stella Mares Gonzales-Anima said this is the first time that LWUA is conducting an audit of the water district. She pointed out that LWUA did not conduct any audit since she assumed the top post in the late 1990s.
“As far as I know, the LWUA has only regulatory powers over us, not supervisory powers as claimed by [LWUA chair] Pichay,” said Anima.
But Pichay, a radio interview, clarified that it was City Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco who requested for an audit, apparently in response to the petition by the 22 MKWD employees. He said, too, it was part of their supervisory powers ” as stipulated in the Presidential Decree 198 or the Local Water Utilities Act of 1973.
“If they’re not hiding anything, why would they feel threatened by the audit?” Pichay said.
In their petition, the employees claimed that the agency has been mismanaged and that there was misuse of funds. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)