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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Honeyman: An Independent View

THIS is a plea for transparency.

There is so much pointless argument and debate because the facts relating to the discussion are either not available or are distorted. Several times a month we read about Central Negros Electric Cooperative Inc. (Ceneco’s) systems losses. The numbers quote vary tremendously so they cannot all be correct. It is upsetting when people quote a figure as an incontrovertible, quantitative fact when it is merely pie in the sky.

Ceneco’s data should be public knowledge. It is not as though Ceneco is a private entity whose data, if revealed, would result in an advantage to a competitor.

In August 2015, Ceneco bought X kilowatt hours of electricity. Y kilowatt hours are paid for by its consumers. The systems loss in (X-Y) kilowatt hours. This is all we need to establish the systems loss in percentage terms. Is it too much to ask Ceneco to tell us what X and Y are?

Last week’s Sun.Star Bacolod informed us that Ceneco will be charging P0.2051 per kilowatt hour more in August 2015 compared to the previous month. To understand the monthly fluctuations we need to know how much we are purchasing from each of our suppliers and at what cost per kilowatt hour. This information should be made generally available so we can understand what is happening.

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The worst example of the government’s lack of transparency is the propaganda surrounding the 13-year compulsory education program. It is not true to say, as the Department of Education keeps telling us, that this brings us into line with other countries. No other country has a compulsory 13-year (one year kindergarten, six years elementary school, six years high school) program.

The whole K to 12 debate will be a hot topic prior to the 2016 presidential election. Mar Roxas has been put into a difficult position. He does not say much, if anything, about K to 12. If, however, he merely acquiesces to the present government’s position he will surely lose because so many parents (all of whom are voters) are coming to realize that K to 12 implementation is disadvantageous because no-one gains and many, especially the academically-oriented public school student, loses.

Voters are looking for leadership. Leaders are those who can think for themselves, then say what they think, then persuade us that their point of view is worthy of consideration. If PNoy does not give Roxas the chance for Roxas to speak for himself, then Roxas will surely lose because he will not have convinced the electorate that he has the leadership qualities necessary for election.

In June 2016, several hundred thousand academically-oriented public school students who graduated from four years of high school will find they have nowhere to go. This is because their local public school is unlikely to offer the academic track they are looking for. Private schools are unlikely to accept public school applicants for fifth year high school because most public school students cannot afford private school fees. The vouchers DepEd says that it will provide leaves a shortfall of P30,000 or more.

There needs to be public debate about the whole K to 12 issue. People are kept in the dark because all they hear is untruthful propaganda.

We need transparency.

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