Sanchez: Livable, unbelievable

“THE award proves that Bacolod is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Indeed, Bacolod is back on track,” says Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran back in May.

He was referring to Top Philippine Model City by The Manila Times in “The Philippine Model Cities” search for the most livable urban centers in the country.

Bacolod bested the cities of Batangas, Davao, General Santos, Laoag, Mandaluyong, Naga, Parañaque, Quezón, San Fernando, Sta. Rosa, Tagaytay, and Zamboanga.

Wow, Bacolod as the most livable? That’s unbelievable!

Living in a city that often experiences brownouts at the drop of a hat? I woke up early at 4 a.m. yesterday so I can finish before 8 a.m. Central Negros Electric Cooperative has informed the Bacoleños (and Talisaynons and Silaynons) that these cities will suffer a day-long power outage.

How can anyone talk of role model of urban living with situations like this? Is The Manila Times saying that Quezon, Parañaque, and the rest of the country’s cities should follow the Bacolod way of frequent brownouts? How is that a sign of progress?

Then there’s Baciwa, yes, the water utility that deprives many of its Bacolod consumers of water for long hours, too. In our case in Alijis, 13 hours. Water pails occupy prominent places in many homes. That’s a role model indicator in urban living?

Despite frequent rains (and floods), Baciwa rationalizes that brownouts cause its pumping stations to fail. Or with many new concessionaires, it has to extract more water from the aquifer.

Hello, it’s the rainy season. Floodwaters should have percolated down to our underground water table. Yet, we have this daily water crisis.

Now every Grade 1 pupil knows that human beings need water in order to live. Water is a critical component, making the processes of life possible.

Bacolod Water Consumers Watch Inc. asserts, “We will ensure consumer protection against water rate increases, unreasonable fees, and impositions of excessive, exorbitant charges and imposition of arbitrary and capricious policies that would violate consumer rights.”

How about ensuring Bacoleños of something more fundamental? Of providing Bacoleños of steady supply of freshwater?

And for that matter, assuring Metro Bacolod cities a regular, steady supply of electricity. Then I can believe that the City of Smiles is truly a role model of urban living.

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