Valencia City councilor Atty. Oliver Owen Garcia questions new VCWD manager Joel Fernandez background

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VALENCIA CITY | BUKIDNON NEWS | CONTROVERSIAL | SERVICE | PERSONALITIES – There’s an ongoing controversy over at the Valencia City Water District (VCWD). Its newly appointed general manager, Joel Fernandez, reportedly seems to lack the necessary number of years of managerial experience and there allegedly seem to be other “irregularities.” So now, the members of the Valencia City council, particularly re-electionist Councilor Atty. Oliver Owen “Babba” Garcia, wants a thorough background check on Fernandez.

The journalist side of me finds this a particularly interesting issue. Not only because Garcia’s kin (Romeo Garcia) was the former VCWD manager (and so perhaps Atty. Babba wants the VCWD to be left in capable hands) but also because I think it’s high time that people who get appointed to important and sensitive positions go through background investigations or fact checks.

Ordinary entrepreneurs who hire employees take the time out to check a person’s background and ask for requirements — so why shouldn’t the VCWD management and the Valencia City council do the same?

First things first, though. Let’s back track a bit.

Joel Fernandez, before he was appointed as VCWD manager, reportedly used to be the operations officer of Valiant Security Agency. However, during the testimony of Police Supt. Johnmark Lagare, chief of security agencies and guard services division, he claimed that based on the monthly disposition report submitted by Valiant Security Agency, Fernandez’s name wasn’t included among the licensed security officers.

Secondly, Valiant Security Agency owner Richard Baladhay reportedly testified that Fernandez was the agency operations officer from 2002 to 2005. So that’s 3 years, yes? Unfortunately for Baladhay and Fernandez, Atty. Babba also pointed out another fact: that Fernandez only graduated from Bukidnon State College in 2003. So either Fernandez really didn’t spend three years as a manager or the security agency hires undergraduates and places them in top positions right away.

Plus here’s another blow: Baladhay bought the security agency from Tomas Garcia in 2006. Yep, you read that right. 2006. So either Baladhay was misinformed as to who really was the operations officer in 2002 to 2005 or he just has so much more explaining to do.

Thirdly, Atty. Oliver Owen Garcia also said that he inquired from the agency’s operations officer (who served in 2004 to 2005). The person reportedly told him that he didn’t know who Fernandez was AT ALL.

So yep…one can’t help but scratch his head and ask, “what the hell is going on?”

I myself would love to hear Joel Fernandez’s side. After all, I’m sure he has a good explanation about all of these.

Nay, make that: he MUST have a perfectly good explanation about all of these, lest he wants this controversy to forever hound him and his stay over at the VCWD.

Let’s hope that he can produce the necessary documents, the necessary proofs very soon.

As for the Valencia City council especially Atty. Garcia — I laud their efforts. I particularly commend Atty. Babba because he went out of his way to really investigate, to call on the people who can help shed light on all of these and to get to the bottom of things. I bet it wasn’t and it isn’t easy to do so. Background checks, whether necessary or not, can be uncomfortable for many.

My guess is that Atty. Garcia has this in mind: Better to be thorough now than wake up one day and be blamed by the people for not doing your job.


adel-and-babbaValencia City Councilor Atty. Oliver Owen “Babba” Garcia (right) with senatorial candidate Adel Tamano

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  • Joel Fernandez is qualified to be appointed as General Manager of VCWD because he is a Civil service passer, he had a necessary experience in management and he finished his four year course.

    The problem with Atty. Oliver Owen L. Garcia is he is already bias because his relative is also applying for the same position of General Manager of Water District.

    The appointment of GM is a sole prerogative of the VCWD Board and it is not that of a Mayor or that of the City Council.

  • Good in questioning>>>>>

    Atty. Garcia before you make a question to other people, please answer me first. Why you make a claim for your travel to Manila in June of 2007 with then mayor-elect Catarata as approving officer? He is not yet a mayor in June of 2007. Why??????? please answer me.

    You are a lawyer but you do not know the law????? oh… come on Atty… It was disallowed by COA but you did not refund. You know what even if you make a refund…. you already violated the law particularly Section 3(e) of RA 3019.

    Hi nako Atty Garcia. What happened to you….. Another thing, nagmalinis ka….. but look you accepted the designation as Chair of Local Finance committee of Valencia City but it was declared illegal by COA. Jesus Christ……

    “So young but so…..”

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