A fire gutted a large portion of Barangay 21 in Piapi area four days ago. The houses are mostly those of informal settlers who occupied whatever remaining space after the local government of Davao City implemented a World Bank-funded housing project for informal settlers during the time of the late former Mayor Luis T. Santos.
The informal settlers affected by the fire were not beneficiaries of the housing project, and their houses were already encroaching the seashore way beyond the seawall that was supposed to be the boundary of the housing project and the sea.
As a result of the fire, so many families were rendered homeless and are now added to the number of people that the city has to look after for assistance in terms of temporary housing and even food requirements.
We used to live in that area when we were newly married since our parents-in-law had a comfortably-sized house there. When the large fire gutted Piapi in 1979, the suspicion was immediate. That is, it was burned intentionally because that was the only way that the area could be apportioned accordingly to family occupants under the Regional Cities Development Program (RCDP) housing project.
The same suspicion is again resurrected after the recent fire because, allegedly, eliminating the houses will pave the way for the new coastal road along the shoreline fronting the Piapi area will have acquired a more admirable view.
Whether there is a basis for such suspicion or it is just simply a product of the imagination of those residents affected by the fire, we have no idea. And if indeed the suspicion is correct, then all we can say is that the owners of the houses devoured by the fire are those among the so-called “sufferers” of development.
The incident was unfortunate, really, and we commiserate with the victims who, by now, may be in evacuation centers or are seeking refuge in the residence of their relatives.
May they be reached by the government’s assistance should it come.
We are glad to hear the recent announcement by Davao Light and Power Co. (DLPC) that electricity bills will be lesser for the month of February 2023 consumption. As of this writing, though, we have yet to receive our own bill, which could help us confirm the announcement.
But of course, the information dished out by the power company spokesman himself is undoubtedly welcome news to Davao City’s people and consumers in the City of Panabo and the Municipalities of Carmen, Braulio Dujali and Santo Tomas and three barangays in Kapalong, Davao del Norte. These are under the franchise of the Davao City-based power firm.
We have no doubt that foremost in the minds of the consumers of DLPC is the hope that the lower power bills will go beyond February, although the electric distribution firm really has no handle as far as perpetuation the reduction of the bill is concerned.
There is, however, one thing certain. That is, the company will endeavor to ensure that its power rate will continue to be lower than that of its neighboring electric distribution utility, the Northern Davao Electric Cooperative or NORDECO. Why, because should DLPC’s per kilowatt hour rate exceeds that of the power coop, it might cost the company its long-dreamed franchise expansion in the remaining areas of that northern Davao Province. In other words, Davao Light has to walk its talk.
And talking of utility services, the other day’s announcement by the Davao City Water District (DCWD) over text blast that another water service interruption was to be done on consumers supplied by the Calinan Riverside Water System, including the barangay where we live for the time being, was the latest of those schedule of water service outage that did not happen.
For the month of February, we received similar announcements from the water concessionaire, but luckily or unluckily did not materialize. We have to thank DCWD that all those unfulfilled outages did not push through. Had it been pursued, our household water needs would have been badly affected, and we would have been inconvenienced to the maximum. So, we should manifest our thanks to the water firm.
On the other hand, we are also aghast at the unfulfilled schedules as these have unnecessarily added to our water consumption, thereby further increasing our bills. How come? Well, every time the DCWD sends an advisory on water interruption with enough time to prepare, we have to store water, so we have something to use during the duration of the service outage. But if the outage does not happen as scheduled, we have to dispose of the stored water as there is the likelihood that this will be contaminated.
So, usually, the stored water will be used for watering the plants even if the rain had fallen the day or night before. It is also seldom used for washing clothes as the water containers must be moved closer to the wash area. So the one in charge of laundry in the house would rather use the water flowing from the faucet installed in the wash area than add more work hauling the storage containers.
Frankly, though, we feel that it is in this area of coordination among the departments at the DCWD tasked with repairs and maintenance and communicating with the consumers that we believe is still wanting for improvement.
Don’t get us wrong JC. We’ve been there.
- REFLECTIONS | More evils: Cults, “possession,” pornography and child abuse
- MONDAYS WITH PATMEI | Before there was EDSA, there was Claveria
- ROUGH CUTS… | The other face of Davao City
- TIMESMAN | My life story
- EDITORIAL CARTOON
- Parents of kids with seizure episodes urged to seek medical checkup ASAP
- Davao Light honors scholars, board passers
- SMB’s 14th ‘Trees Brew Life’ regreens Panigan Watershed
- 337 NPA guerrillas neutralized from Jan to Sept: EastMinCom
- Floods, landslides in Region XI displace 10,000 people: RDRRMC