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Gun in the holster

Bencyrus Ellorin

BIG business contribute big time to political candidacies. Some even resort to hedging or in bulangan parlance, pusta sa pula og puti.

In my last column, I had wrote that putting forward the COWD-Metro Pacific deal is a smokescreen to the 2005 Rio Verde-COWD sweatheart deal — and to make Mayor Oscar Moreno look bad.

I hope the City Council investigating the water mess has not been blindsided by the apparent wicked punch the Rio Verde consortium has been preparing. It was apparent that when Rio Verde appeared in the City Council, they were prepared. It was obvious then that money is the root of the water woes faced by residents of the city’s western part. It was obvious that despite finishing the repairs of the broken Rio Verde pipeline, the water problem would not be solved as they would only supply 40 thousand cubic meters per day instead of the 60 thousand cubic meters a day which the actual demand.

In attacking the Metropac deal, Councilor Gan threatened to go to court saying the people would be burdened as they claimed the rate under the deal is P16 per cubic meter. The City Council seconded — it wanted the Commission on Audit to review the deal. I have no problem with both. Consumer rights should be protected.

The water problem of the city cannot be solved by traditional approach. “Cooperativizing” the COWD is an out-of-the-box solution that could solve the problem. The cooperatives in the city are all too ready to take over. Capital-wise, billionaire CDO-based cooperatives like the First Community Cooperative (Ficco) and Oro Integrated  Cooperative (OIC) are just waiting in the wings.

We cannot anymore allow big business to hold the consumers hostage.

Now that the cat is out of the bag: Rio Verde would only supply 60,000 cubic meters a day if the price is raised to P16 per cubic meter. Whatever happened to the principle that bulk buying brings down cost. But sad to say, these utilities hold the consumers literally at the mercy of their hands.

Now, my challenge to Councilor Gan: Would you hail to court Rio Verde for the P16-per-cubic-meter-or-no-60,000-cubic-meters-a-day “blackmail”? Please do. Otherwise, you are a bluff and a gun in the holster beholden to interest other than the public.

***

I am going “mojo” or “mobile journ.” I had to park under a tree somewhere to write this column on smartphone. I almost forgot Herbie Gomez gave me a deadline.

I am actually on my way to Agusan del Norte to attend the wake of a cousin who died on Saturday after a motorcycle accident. Goodbye and may you rest in peace gaw Jezer Joe Danuco Gerona.

To all motorists, stay safe. Bikers wear your helmets when on the road.

 

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