Board chairman admits: MNWD losses brought about by mismanagement

By Paolo Gabriel Jamer


The new chairman of the Board of Directors (BOD) of the Metropolitan Naga Water District (MNWD) has admitted in public that mismanagement of the operation of the water utility firm resulted in fiscal disaster for three consecutive years that started in 2019 up to 2021.


MNWD BOD Chairman Gilbert Albero, in an interview over Asintado sa Radyo hosted by top rated broadcaster Joe Osabal over Energy FM 106.3, made the admission and stated that the members of the Board and the MNWD management are studying ways to recover from the financial losses.


According to Albero, “lack of efficiency in the operations of water supply and depreciation costs of MNWD supplies are specific reasons for the net losses incurred by MNWD.” He also added that “there must be accountability and responsibility of all officials if it will be found out these people are responsible for MNWD net income losses.”


Albero is hopeful and positive that with proper solutions the


water district’s financial problems could be resolved. He assured stakeholders that MNWD would render a yearly financial report for the sake of transparency and that these financial losses will not happen again.


Osabal, who exposed since last year the alleged irregularities and financial losses in MNWD, also bared in his radio program on Tuesday, Feb. 15, that several personnel informed him that the water district led by its general manager, Virgilio Luansing, is planning to suspend starting this year the grant of employees benefits such as Collective Negotiation Agreement Incentive (CNAI), Service Recognition Incentive (SRI), Performance Based Bonus (PBB), and gratuity pay for Job Order (JO) and contract of service (COS) workers.


The suspension on the grant of these benefits is part of the proposed austerity measures of the MNWD so that it could recover from its financial problems, MNWD insiders said.


CNAI not exceeding P25,000 per qualified employee is given annual to members of government employees associations based on their agencies savings, while SRI amounting to P10,000/employee is given every December by virtue of an executive order (EO) issued by the President of the Philippines. In addition, PBB is given to all government employees based on their performance. The amount of this benefit varies based on the employee’s basic salary. On the other hand, Gratuity Pay in the amount of P5,000 is given to JO and COS personnel by virtue of an EO issued by the President.


To recall, Ricardo Felix, MNWD Customer Services division manager, on Feb. 7 sent a letter to the MNWD BOD and Luansing on behalf of the MNWD employees. In his letter, Felix requested for an open forum on Feb, 14 to given them “to ask questions and seek clarification concerning the current issues” besetting the water district.


Felix cited the “alleged net income losses incurred by the office for 3 consecutive years” and “unreleased Employees Benefits for F/Y 2021.”


He said the request was made in “the spirit of transparency and to allay the fears and apprehensions” of personnel, saying that “everybody deserves to know the truth to avert demoralization and maintain the efficient service to MNWD consumers and stakeholders.”


Felix also requested the presence of the following local chief executives: Nelson Legacion of Naga City; Nelson Legazpi (Canaman); Philip Salvador Senar (Magarao); Marilou Hirose (Camaligan); Leonardo Agor (Gainza); and Anthony Reyes (Milaor). MNWD serves Naga City and the five towns mentioned.


Albero and the MNWD management disapproved Felix’s request but assured the public that they will schedule a stakeholders forum soon.


MNWD reportedly has over 600 employees compared to the Camarines Sur II electric Cooperative, which has over 300 personnel only. The latter has a bigger area covered than the former, Osbal said.


Based on the organizational structure of the MNWD, its BOD is composed of one chairperson and four members. Under the BOD is the Office of the General Manager (OGM) with one division under it. Below the OGM are two Assistant General Managers (AGMs), one for Administrative and Finance (AF), and another for Operation and Technical Services (OTS).


Under the AGM-AF are two departments, the Administrative Services Department(ASD), and Commercial Services Department (CSD). The ASD has two divisions with 4 sections, while the CSD has two divisions with 5 sections.


The AGM for OTS also has two departments under it, namely: Engineering and Environment Department (ED)c and Pipeline and appurtenances Maintenance Department.Both have two divisions under them.


During Osabal’s interview with Almero, the latter agreed with the broadcaster who said MNWD has a bloated manpower.