‘Magic Manny’ PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 11:20

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Upon earning the rank of major in the Philippine Air Force when he was one of the helicopter pilots of then President Ferdinand E. Marcos, MANUEL A. DALIPE joined politics, becoming the first Marcos loyalist to run with the opposition Concerned Citizens Aggrupation (CCA), a local party founded by local hero Cesar C. Climaco

CCC described Dalipe as Niño Bonito because of his outstanding classroom grades at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) that made him NÚMERO 7 upon graduation in 1967. Dalipe won hands down as vice mayor and eventually became mayor when CCC was murdered in cold blood 31 years ago as he was inspecting a fire scene in Camino Nuevo.

After that, he was appointed as chairman/administrator of the Zamboanga Special Economic Zone Authority and Freeport in 1995 by President Ramos on the recommendation of the late Maria Clara L. Lobregat and backed up by then presidential assistant for Mindanao Paul Dominguez.

Like Rep. Celso L. Lobregat and many other scholars, he went to the Asian Institute of Management. Unfortunately, with the ascendancy of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as president, he was replaced by a nurse at the Zamboecozone.

Dalipe can best handle and cure the illnesses of the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Zamcelco) because he is well-equipped, intellectually and morally. Zamcelco is nearing death. His only drawback is his age — 70. He can always be appointed as a management consultant. The other day he narrated to me a list of to-do things that will pull out Zamcelco from the quicksand. That list, he said, is concurred by his high school classmate, Engineer Ben Conti, who is a consultant of one of the power providers of Zamcelco.

“I can help cure Zamcelco that is why I’m offering my services to the member-consumers, the real owners of Zamcelco,” Dalipe said.

Dalipe is highly qualified based on his military background and civilian qualification. He should be seriously considered for a consultancy job by Zamcelco. We have tried ‘boullon mix’ and it didn’t taste good. Why not try ‘magic sarap’ this time?

I remember coming across an article that had Mayor Climaco-Salazar practically begging the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to help Zamboanga city cost-effectively source power because of the high and growing demand for electricity in the city. But this, she added, should not be premised on power providers’ financial gains. COSA? Holy smokes, Mayor. It is the ERC, not the power providers, that determines how much power should cost based on affordability, reliability and availability.

Very recently, the ERC granted a provisional authority to Alsons Power to operate its modular generating sets that will produce 14 megawatts of electricity. Because it is expensive to fire the modular gensets, Alsons decided to use it only for emergency purposes. Alsons, through its subsidiary plant, the Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC), is pushing for the approval of the Power Sales Agreement with Zamcelco for 50 megawatts to erase future blackouts. That power will be available by December 13. Because of stupid protestations by some quarters, including City Hall, ERC is sitting on it. I wonder why the city government refuses to realize that the 50 megawatts being offered by WMPC will solve our power woes. Que horror!

I’ve said before that fixing Zamcelco is beyond ordinary men. It will need people with heavy brains and vast experiential knowledge to put it back on financial course, otherwise this utility, sold by City Light and Water in the 60s and converted into a cooperative, will sink like a heavy rock and never to be netted out.

Dalipe, though briefly his stint was as mayor, brought water to the barangays. That is his legacy. He gave life to the ecozone seen by pessimists to fail. Nobody mentioned this before, but the crime rate during his incumbency as mayor was at an all-time low. Check it out.

Now is the time to resurrect a thinking man. Dalipe gave water to the barangays. Maybe he can deliver them power, too.