The Sound of Silence-A A +A
Monday, October 28, 2013
THE tune is certainly not the Simon and Garfunkel song, The Sound of Silence. “The issue on non-revenue water and expansion project to be undertaken by Miya is a struggle that involves the rights and interests of about 45,000 Baciwa consumers,” Water Watch chorused a few months ago.
Now during the closing days of October 2013, we hear nothing from Water Watch or from the Baciwa Employees Union, for that matter. The sound of silence.
Why are the BEU and Water Water silent on the non-delivery of water over week-ends? Do they even show a modicum of respect when that public utility monopoly deprives us of water, without any explanation?
Oops, correction, please. I was wrong. Partly, that is. Here’s how BACIWA explained the non-water on its website: “BACIWA Announcement October 25, 2013. NO WATER IN WHOLE AREA OF EAST HOME 2 TODAY DUE TO EMERGENCY REPAIR OF WELL IN EAST HOMES.”
Then it tells the online reader to “Read more.” Except there is nothing to read on an empty space.
Would it be too much to ask in the spirit of government transparency what the “emergency repair” was all about? And where were the affected barangays in the “whole area of East Home?”
Sometime ago, reader Mr. Ronald F. Manlapao, SCJP commented on an earlier column: “good day! read your article about baciwa. here in brgy villamonte we do not have a 24/7 water supply service. been trying to reach baciwa regarding this but no luck. hope you can help us inform them about this. thank you.”
I responded: “The public utility is trying to ignore the local dailies’ criticism of its inability to address service delivery failures to its consumers.”
To which I emailed back: “Unfortunately, Water Watch is helping Baciwa conceal these issues by focusing on the Miya deal instead of compelling BACIWA to solve and overcome its poor performance.”
To which Mr. Manlapao replied: “maybe water watch is not pro-consumer.”
I so agree. Water Watch is so tied up on ideological debates on public versus private ownership of Baciwa that it glosses over the plain and simple truth: that the 45,000 paying consumers are getting shortchanged on the deal.
Whose side are they really on, anyway? The consumers? Or the incompetents within Baciwa?
I would love to hear Water Watch break their sound of silence and challenge the Baciwa board, the executives, and the labor union explain to us their plans to tackle non-water revenues, and simply the non-water.
And to Baciwa, and most specially, to General Manager Juliana B. Carbon, proved to us your competence that you can solve non-water and the delivery of “safe and potable water” that you’re mandated to provide us.
Otherwise, don’t expect the consuming public to be on your side.
Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 28, 2013.