It’s been 28 days since Typhoon Odette (Rai) unleashed her strength in Cebu at about 9 o’clock in the evening of Dec. 16, 2021, destroying houses, establishments and agriculture. Worse, some lives were lost.
Most of the households in Metro Cebu and in the southern part of Cebu where the eye of the storm passed, celebrated Christmas and New Year in utter darkness and without potable water. Nevertheless, as Christians, we celebrated Christmas and New Year with glee that we’re still here, less the usual fanfare though.
The Visayan Electric Company that serves the areas in Metro Cebu and the Cebu Electric Cooperative (Cebeco) that distributes power to the towns and cities outside of Metro Cebu scampered and sought assistance from other power companies to immediately restore the power for hospitals and essential establishments.
Gladly, most areas in Metro Cebu already have lights after Typhoon Odette left untold worries on us and water from Metro Cebu Water District is now flowing in most parts of the city. But PLDT is yet to restore the internet lines of some of its subscribers even after power has been restored in the areas it served.
What is disturbing though is the claim by some, as Bobby Nalzaro wrote in his column in this paper, that bribery happened during the restoration of the power lines in some high-end subdivisions.
Bribery takes place between two persons, the briber and the bribed. As they say, “it takes two to tango.” This is not new though. No malice intended, but this usually happens when those who have the resources and who cannot bear the days in darkness and hot environment would want the immediate restoration of their power connection.
In fairness, especially to the linemen from the different regions in the country who assisted the Visayan Electric and Cebeco in restoring the power despite the unfavorable weather, I don’t think the initiative came from their end. The issue of bribery may be true or false, but as the saying goes, “when there is smoke, there is fire.” But let’s just consider what those linemen have received as a holiday present. Lol!
I would wish though that this talk of bribery is not happening among the linemen of the telecommunication companies who are doing their share of restoring the internet connection of their subscribers. It has been nearly a month since Typhoon Odette left, but our internet connection has yet to be restored even after I’ve made several requests to the top guns of PLDT. I sincerely thanked these officers for their immediate response to my request. But down the line nothing happened yet as of this writing. Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, I’ve been working at home most of the days.
The internet connection of my neighbors, who are served by the competitor of PLDT, has been restored days after the streets were cleared of the debris and the power was back. I wonder if PLDT, as consuelo to their subscribers, would waive the fees for the duration that the internet lines for their subscribers are not yet restored. Imagine that in good times these telcos would immediately cut your subscription if you miss to pay on the due date. That’s how strict these telcos are in collecting the monthly subscription fees.
Be that as it may, I would sincerely wish that PLDT’s linemen should be fair in restoring the connections of their subscribers to avoid the suspicions of bribery.
January 11, 2022
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