Kidapawan mayor asks water district board members to step down

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/16 February) – Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco has urged members of the board of directors of the government-owned and controlled water district here to resign from their posts to prevent a possible ‘whitewash’ of an ongoing investigation on the alleged ‘misuse of funds’ within the institution.

In a letter, Gantuangco told members of the board of the Metro Kidapawan Water District to submit their courtesy resignation as a “necessary step to recover from whatever undue damage the issues have brought to the corporate image of the organization.”

“The situation, if not averted, will surely create factionalism inside the organization brought about by lack of trust and confidence in the officers. Eventually, this will cause the organization to break down, and, worse, its collapse if appropriate measures shall not be taken in due time,” he said.

The mayor was referring to a complaint filed last month by 22 MKWD employees and a group of water concessionaires against MKWD for alleged mismanagement, misuse of funds, and lack of transparency.

The complainants had urged Gantuangco, as the official tasked to appoint members of the board, to recommend a comprehensive audit of the organization. They also wrote Vice Mayor Joseph Evangelista to investigate ‘in aid of legislation’ the alleged anomalies inside the water district.

In a letter, the complainants demanded the resignation of the general manager of the MKWD and a revamp of the organization.

The complainants alleged that some of the projects constructed by the MKWD since 2006 “have not served the concessionaires fully.”

One of these projects, they said, was the multi-million catalytic line filter constructed in 2006.  

“The facility was constructed without a comprehensive and detailed study as to its feasibility and efficiency,” the complaint said.

“The project was a complete waste of public funds. Clearly, it practically and miserably failed in its expected outcome to provide allegedly a stable and crystal-clear potable water supply,” it added.

Gantuangco clarified in his letter that his demand for the courtesy resignation of the board members should not be interpreted as interference in the internal affairs of the water district. He said he just felt responsible being the one who appointed them.

Edwin Gantuangco, the mayor’s elder brother and one of the board members, resigned Friday to give the Commission on Audit, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and other bodies a ‘free hand’ to look into the complaint.

The water district board is headed by Corazon Malaluan, wife of the late Kidapawan City vice mayor Luis Pana Malaluan.

The other members of the Board are Lolit Flores, Dolly  Aranas, and Suzy Serquina. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)