SC allows mayor to appoint Water Board

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THE Supreme Court (SC) has ruled that the Cebu City mayor is lawfully mandated to appoint members of the Metro Cebu Water District’s (MCWD) Board of Directors in accordance with Presidential Decree (PD) 198 issued by then- President Ferdinand Marcos in 1973.

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In a full court ruling penned by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, the SC granted the petition for certiorari filed by Mayor Michael Rama, et al. as it annuled and set aside the decision rendered on November 16, 2010 by the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 18 in Cebu.

On May 25, 1973, Marcos issued the decree (Provincial Water Utilities Act of 1973), which eventually formed the MCWD in 1974. From 1974 to 2002, the Cebu City mayor appointed all the members of the MCWD Board of Directors in accordance with Section 3 (b) of Presidential Decree 198.

In July 2002, then Cebu Gov. Pablo Garcia wrote to the MCWD to assert his authority and intention to appoint the members of the MCWD Board of Directors.

In its verdict dated December 6, 2016 that was released to the media only recently, the High Court declared unconstitutional Section 3(b) of PD 198.

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