Tag Archives: MIWD

Mayor Joe III can’t interfere in daughter’s happiness

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
-John Wooden

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — A father can’t interfere in his daughter’s love affair.
He can only give advice and suggestions, but a father can’t control or halt a daughter’s heartbeat.
He can’t prevent her either from marrying the love of her life–unless it’s a shotgun marriage; unless the marriage is fraught with fraud and impropriety.
Such was the case when the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) defied Iloilo City Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa and proceeded with the issuance of notice of award to the MetroPac Water Investments Corp (MWIC) for their P12.349-billion joint venture December 21.


MIWD showed Mayor Joe III that its love affair with the MWIC is “none of his business” to say the least.
That the deal underwent transparent process, legitimate and aboveboard.
Therefore, the city mayor has no right to halt the MIWD-MWIC romance.
As a father, Mayor Joe III can’t stand in between his daughter and her happiness.
As long as they are both happy and satisfied, their understanding is mutual; and the marriage doesn’t have any legal impediment, couple MIWD and MWIC can live happily ever after.
Mayor Joe III can always run to the court if he still wishes to uncouple the lovers.

News is when a man bites a dog. Dog biting a man isn’t news.
News is when a cabbie or a driver of any public or private vehicle fatally attacks a pedestrian or a fellow driver in a traffic altercation.
They call it “road rage.”
A mere exchange of heated words isn’t news. A road scene where an angry motorist flashes “f” sign to another motorist or a pedestrian vice versa, isn’t even earthshaking.
When irate drivers and passengers tangle in chaotic traffic snarl during rush hours, it’s not a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Just like when we see beggars wearing rugged cloths in the sidewalks or a cop placing cuffs on a thief. They are normal events.


But when a sweet-looking young lady, who seems can not hurt a fly, punches an elderly driver in broaddaylight over a traffic snafu and the victim reels away like a groggy pugilist about to hit the canvas, it’s not only news, it’s viral especially when the tumult is caught on video.
In our culture, elderly persons are treasured, loved, and respected regardless of status in life.
Even if they commit slight trespasses or simple misdemeanor, we don’t lay our hand on them.
If they misbehave or commit unplesant acts sometimes due to dementia and other age-related ailments, we can chide them surreptitiously but not harm them physically.
We don’t assault our own parents.

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Posted by on December 31, 2017 in Family, MEDIA, POLITICS


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For Whom the Bell Tolls: Defensor’s Hemingway Solution to MIWD vacuum

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams

By Alex P. Vidal

ILOILO Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.’s use of authority and influence to arrest the impending vacuum at the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) Board of Directors can be called as the Hemingway Solution.
Defensor has installed Dr. Teodoro Robles and Architect Ramon Victor Singson as new members of the MIWD board.
Robles, president of the Central Philippine University (CPU), will represent the academe sector, while Singson of the Rotary Club of La Paz, will represent the civic sector.
The appointment came in the heels of the resignations of Engr. Adrian Moncada and Bernadette Castellano.
The duo informed Defensor in a letter dated November 28, 2014 that they will serve the MIWD only until December 31, 2014.
Moncada represented the professional sector, while Castellano represented the women sector.
Their terms should have expired on December 31, 2016.
Robles, who will replace MIWD Chairman of the Board, Dr. Danilo Encarnacion, and Singson, who will replace Dr. Sergio Gonzalez, will officially join the water utility family on January 1, 2015 until December 31, 2020.
Encarnacion’s and Gonzalez’s terms will expire on December 31, 2014.
Defensor will fill up the posts vacated by Moncada and Castellano from the list of nominees to be submitted by Corporate Secretary Cyril Regalado.
It has always been the dilemma every leader faces at one time or another whether to use authority or influence in directing an organization.


As appointing official, Defensor’s authority gives him power to force change, to set goals for an organization or standards of performance, and demand that they be met.
Influence gives Defensor power in a different way.
Time magazine highlights the difference between authority and influence: “To have influence is to gain assent, not just obedience; to attract a following not just an entourage; to have imitators, not just subordinates.”
Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls is a classic that better demonstrates the difference between authority and influence.
It is a product of Hemingway’s interest and involvement in the Spanish Civil War.
The book focuses on man’s fate as he faces the difficult problems of living in the Industrial Era.
It closely scrutinizes the dramatic human issues of turning around a troubled organization like the MIWD, enabling leaders to understand better the differences between authority and influence, two of the most important tools of the leader.


As a leadership strategy, Defensor’s influence requires a willingness to guide–not command–employees.
It takes times and patience in the case of the MIWD.
It involves the nurturing of an organizational culture in which employees are the initiators of change because they see the need for it.
Influence empowers employees and in the process, empowers the organization.
“I will not be pressured. Arthur Defensor cannot be bought. I will appoint people whom we believe will serve to the welfare and development of the city and province of Iloilo,” the governor had vowed.
“Nobody can dictate me on what to do. Even the President, if I believe that he is wrong, I will not follow him.”

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Posted by on December 17, 2014 in POLITICS


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Yes to water, no to MIWD

“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” W. H. Auden

By Alex P. Vidal

Water and the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) are supposed to be like Siamese twins: inseparable.

Without MIWD there is no water. Without water there is no MIWD. At least that’s how most Ilonggo concessionaires think in as far as the water system in Iloilo is concerned for almost 50 years now.

MIWD produces potable water in the households, offices and farms. Consumers pay for the water supply. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. They maintain this type of symbiotic relationship.

Just like Panay Electric Company (PECO) and electricity, services are smooth and uninterrupted if consumers don’t renege on the payment of their monthly bills. There is no public uproar and restlessness if there are no frequent power outages and atrocious hidden fees. Simple logic.       

But public perception for MIWD has changed critically. Irate consumers have grown tired of its inefficiency and lackadaisical services that MIWD is not anymore indispensable in their eyes.


Consumers have realized that there would still be life, after all, even without MIWD. They are not anymore afraid to kick MIWD in the butt and tell MIWD straight in the face to get lost!

When the faucets stopped producing water last June 14 and 15 because MIWD failed to settle the partial payment of its debt worth P2.7 million to its bulk water supplier, Flo Water Resources Iloilo, Inc., the patience of consumers reached the tipping point. Enough is enough.

Picking up the cudgels for the distraught consumers, Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Trenas and Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, who are water consumers themselves, uncorked the heaviest verbal barrage never uttered before by high-ranking local leaders in recent memory.

Trenas, a many-time referee of MIWD internal squabbles, has called for the privatization of the water utility firm. He feared the worst for the consumers if MIWD’s management was not privatized. He has no more love lost for MIWD owing probably to his love for his constituents and, perhaps, to his love for Dr. Rogelio Florete, Jr., his business associate and owner of Flo Water Resources Iloilo, Inc.


Trenas wanted MIWD to adapt to the paradigm shift of water management in the modern world. There is no room for inefficiency, sloppiness and ineptitude in a privatized MIWD, Trenas thought.

Mabilog, on the other hand, wanted to dissolve the MIWD. He wants water consumers in the city to look for their own water distribution system and not to anymore rely on the decrepit MIWD.

He has given up on MIWD’s series of demagoguery. Both city leaders fear MIWD’s lousy services will delay Iloilo City’s march to progress and development. Investors would never risk a long-term investment in a city that can’t quench the thirst of its residents even during rainy season.

The hostile reactions of both Trenas and Mabilog were enough proof that Iloilo City is willing to let go of MIWD after years of mutual co-existence and relationship. Somebody has to pack up and leave. A divorce is inevitable.

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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in Uncategorized


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