After different chair chosen, MCWD union supports Daluz

THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) Employees Union has declared its support for the current chairman of the board of directors (BOD), Jose “Joey” Daluz III.

Samuel Suson, the new president of the MCWD Employees Union, who assumed the position in January 2023, found no reason to replace Daluz even if Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama already issued a letter to the BOD declaring Miguelito Pato as the new chairman.

Suson said that in fact, the union is pleased that a new collective negotiation agreement (CNA) has been reached between the management of the water district and the BOD under Daluz.

“Now, in our opinion, neither our current board nor the management has any scandalous policy or issues, which is one of the reasons we were able to obtain a new CNA. I don’t see any justification to replace our chairman,” said Suson Monday, May 22, 2023.

The complaints filed by the former officers of the MCWD Employees Union at the Office of the Ombudsman against Daluz were among the reasons Rama stated for his eagerness to remove Daluz from the position.

City Legal Officer Jerone Castillo said on Monday, that the City Government acted on behalf of the MCWD union, which lodged a complaint before the Ombudsman of the Visayas in September 2022 seeking Daluz’s ouster due to his poor performance.

Arbitrary, illegal

Daluz, in a statement Monday, said this “reason” was arbitrary because the union had already elected new officers.

“New union officers have already been installed. The petition was copy furnished to the Ombudsman in September 2022, but the latter did not act on it and instead referred it to the mayor. Recently, the mayor acted on it for unknown reasons. Clearly, all of this constitutes interference in the affairs of the MCWD and must be legally addressed by the board and the MCWD,” Daluz added.

Responding to the appointment letter for Pato, Daluz said Rama had no right to appoint members of the board into positions, and that the individuals claiming to be a “body” who attended the mayor’s meeting on May 16, 2023, cannot rightfully assume such a title or carry out a legal “omnibus motion.”

He emphasized that only the board of directors, when convened as a collective body, possesses the authority to declare the chairman’s position vacant through a motion carried by a majority vote, in a valid manner.

“The meeting was illegal because the mayor cannot validly call a meeting of the board to conduct official business. Second, he arrogated himself and appointed himself as chairman, clearly usurping power that belongs exclusively to the board,” Daluz said.

Furthermore, the chairman said, he was not invited to the meeting in the first place, thus his absence.

“He omitted to invite me. My absence was because they did not invite me, contrary to the lie they are telling that I was absent,” he clarified.

Last week, SunStar Cebu reported that Rama kicked out Daluz as MCWD chairman over the “unsatisfactory” preparation for the El Niño weather phenomenon after a “unanimous” decision was reached between him and three members of the MCWD board.

Though he will no longer be its chairman, Daluz will remain an MCWD board member. The other board members are lawyers Earl Bonachita and Danilo Ortiz, Pato, and Jodelyn May Seno. (PAC, DCL)