Residents of Cagayan de Oro got a feel of the effects of the ongoing water row between the city's water supplier and water district. 

Around 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, bulk water supplier Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Inc. (COBI) disconnected the supply to Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD), affecting major parts of the city's First District. 

Supply returned shortly before midnight after the city government and COWD sought refuge with the court, which issued a temporary restraining order (TRO). 

COBI said it would abide by the court order. 

“Well, based on our assessment of the order, there’s no directive from the court that we should turn on the water. So, we would just abide by the order of the court that we will not disconnect anything anymore... ganun na lang po, but for what has been already disconnected, eh, tapos na po,” MetroPacific/COBI legal counsel, Atty. Rob Rodrigo, said.

He said it was only after several negotiations that they arrived at the decision to disconnect. 

“We’ve been negotiating with the water district since 2021 regarding these issues. It was only through several negotiations then that no other options left to COBI and Rio Verde that we decided jointly last April 30 that we stop receiving any communications from COWD, that it is about time to disconnect,” Rodrigo said. 

City Councilor Edgar Cabanlas said the city is not in conflict with the water supply but it had to step in because it has an obligation to protect the general welfare. 

“Ang kontrata dili man tali sa dakbayan sa Cagayan de oro ug COWD. Atong tan-aw niini, ang nag-away ang COWD man ug ang COBI ug ang Rio Verde... kita biktima lang ta but we come into the picture tungod kay aduna man gud kitay obligasyon ang dakbayan, ang atong mayor, dunay obligasyon to see to it nga ang general welfare sa katawhan maproteksyonan,” Cabanlas said.

Residents like Jelma Morales could only wish the issue will be resolved soonest, especially with the hot weather.

“Unta dili maputlan ang atong tubig dinhi kay lisod gyud kayo kung walaay tubig astang lisora kung wala tay tubig asa man ta mao mana ang atong panginabuhi ug di ta kainom og tubig pareha ani grabe kainit karon,” she said.