Terrible twins

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Friday, May 23, 2014


WTF. Where’s The Fun? Certainly, not here in Bacolod. Not when our power and water utilities make our lives miserable.

From Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco), no power/From Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa), no water. Sure, it rhymes in more ways than in the poetical sense. Okay, the poem sucks. Call me trying hard. But so too the services of the two agencies.

According to Ceneco website, Tuesday, May 20, 2014 POSSIBLE LOAD SHEDDING/ROTATIONAL BROWNOUT TODAY as per National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP)’s advice due to generation deficiency.

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But on the 21st, Wednesday, there was still no power for most of the day, not to mention intermittent brownouts during the wee hours.

We had a meter reading last Wednesday. The inspector assured us there would be no problem with our meter reading. Power consumption will be less, and therefore we will be charged less for May 2014.

I got news from Ceneco, especially to its president, lawyer Arnel Lapore. When power comes back on, we can expect an electric surge that could blow the appliance out. That’s why we have to unplug the refrigerator and other appliances.

With refrigerators, consumers incur additional costs because of spoiled food. I wouldn’t mind the spoiled food if Mr. Lapore reimburses us for the food waste.

I must be delusional though if I think that would happen. But my sanity remains, but my anger is near boiling point.

And oh, the Ceneco also informs its consumers that the residential rate for May 2014 billing is P10.1442/kWh, with an increase of P0.2218/kWh from last month’s P9.9224/kWh. We consumers have to subsidize the utility for its inefficiency and ineptitude.

But where would power outages with the outrages when Baciwa deprives us of safe and potable water? The Terrible Twins.

I called Baciwa and got to talk to Mariecon de los Santos of its Customer Relations (CR). Ms. de los Santos explained that the low pressure came from persistent power tripping, or brownouts in plainspeak. The pumping station in Barangay Felisa’s Well 39 and its submersible motor is unable to pump water. Kaput.

Come to think of it, I heard this song-and-dance before. In fact, I have been writing about it for the past two years. I also call up CR when no water flows from the faucet.

Each time, I get the same reply. Well 39, brownouts, Barangay Felisa. Water turbidity. I can recite the excuses in my sleep.

Just for the record, I don’t blame the messenger. After all, Baciwa’s field engineers just relay the information to CR who has to face irate consumers.

No, let’s not blame the CR for the shitty situation. Instead, I would put to task the top Baciwa management and the board of directors whose idea of water generation is to rely—or pass the blame to its terrible twin, Ceneco.

Baciwa General Manager Juliana B. Carbon’s concept of management is handling the same crisis issues over and over. Once is never enough, twice is not even too much, and thrice is never poison.

WTF! And I’m not wondering where the fun is.

*****

(bqsanc@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 23, 2014.

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