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ROUGH CUTS | For all they care

We had another bad day last Sunday. In fact we would consider it the worst. Yes, we were again unable to write our column for this paper’s Monday issue. Our place was hit by an 8-hour power interruption. Hence there was no electricity to run our computer where we encode our piece. Without power there was no internet; no Wi-Fi. We could not even use our mobile since our house in the rural area is located in a place where there is no signal for cellular phones. Ad we could not use our land line as well as our unit is dead when there is no power.

What was even more disastrous was our loss of opportunity for a whole day’s income from our micro business – a roadside cold snack srop-in nook catering not just to passing motorists but also to rural folks wanting to enjoy urban amenities without them having to go to the city’s downtown area.
Yes, all kitchen wares used in our small family enterprise are power driven. And one important item, the pre-mixed component of the Filipino’s favorite – Halo-Halo – melted, even as the ones concocted Saturday night did nor freeze since it was only a few hours from the time these were put inside the freezer up to the start of the power outage at 7 o’clock a.m. of Sunday, June 2. Having the mixtures back to frozen state requires another eight hours. So, when power came back at 3 in the afternoon our children who are running the small business, decided to just have the snack corner closed.

When power was on we immediately called our friend at Davao Light to inquire as to the circumstances of the long power loss. We were told that the electric company’s linemen were doing some lines upgrade that affected the source of power leading to our barangay and nearby areas. We were told further that it was a “scheduled interruption” and was amply announced through Facebook. We told our friend that we were unable to read it. Immediately after our conversation we scanned again our mobile phone to check. Yes indeed there was a notice posted. But we could not have seen the announcement that advised us of the inclusion of our barangay in the area of coverage of the outage?

What was mentioned in terms of areas for last Sunday’s shut-off was the franchise’s “South,” and “Citty’s South.” Under the “South” sector it listed as areas of coverage first barangay Kinamayan, Braulio Dujali which is part of Davao Light’s franchise in Davao del Norte. The next place mentioned was Bangkas, a barangay in Toril. The last was Barangay Biao Eskwela in Tugbok District – definitely not part of the Franchise or Davao City’s South sector. Biao Eskwela is another barangay a few kilometers away from our place. Had the posted notice included the simple words “and neighboring barangays” we could have prepared based on what was necessary.

Well, we feel that there is need for management of the company, specifically the Customer Services Department and the Reputation Management Unit to sit down and do some review in the processes. Maybe some little adjustments and correcting the location of certain barangays in the power firm’s franchise coverage. Say what are those that belong to the “South,” to the City’s “North,” to the “City’s South,” and to the City’s “North East” and “North West.”

We are sure that we are not the only consumer who is confused in understanding the mixing of areas belonging to the north and South as well as southwest or southeast in advising a scheduled outage in one supposed area of the franchise.

Of course we are only manifesting our layman’s observation. We know the men and women of the electric firm would be uncomfortable knowing there are others who believe they have ideas that may help improve the company’s service.


We could not help but be back again in this particular issue after a long lull. We are referring to our haranguing about the undistributed garbage bins delivered to remote barangays by the City Government of Davao before the 2019 local elections. In some recipient barangays specifically in the third district the bins are kept in certain section of the compounds of barangay halls less conspicuous to the prying eyes of the public. They have been there for about five years now.

We have no idea what is keeping the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO from distributing the bins to locations in the recipient barangays where they can easily be utilized by the residents or business establishments if there are any.

Lately though we learned that certain recipient barangay officials have negotiated with the CENRO to send dump trucks to collect the garbage once a week. But it was the responsibility of the barangay to distribute a few of the bins to strategic areas in the village.

In our barangay there are at least four or five of the bins distributed and it is the individual household that has to bring their refuse to where the bins are. Unfortunately the locations of the bins are only along the main road and none are distributed in the sitios or interior areas even if there are roads leading to the sites. Besides, the bins are so sparsely located roughly at almost or even over half a kilometer apart. Therefore, it becomes overly cumbersome for households located far from the bins to dispose of their garbage.

Of course if there is will there will always be ways to throw one’s household waste. But it is not the point we are driving at. It is the apparent waste of people’s money when the local government decided to procure the hundreds or perhaps even thousands of such bins but have the items laid idle for so long a time. Imagine five years and still counting!

Frankly, it really is easy to imagine why the local officials of the city during that time hastily purchased the garbage bins possibly at an exorbitant cost. First, it was “in aid of election or re-election.” And secondly, for the opportunity for some of making huge money in overprice or commission.

Meanwhile, people can now see a number of these bins slowly becoming the garbage itself. Perhaps, many of our local officials believe that the city is still among the cleanest in the whole of the country. So, there is no need of distributing the garbage bins to where these should be. After all, the evaluators normally visit areas within the urban center or those areas pre-designated by the city’s focal persons.
So, for all they care.


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