As prophesied PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 10 January 2016 15:12

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Last summer, the Zamboanga City Water District prophesied that about this time of the year, there’s going to be (sh...t) water rationing because of the scarcity of rainfall.  Year after year, the water firm issues a bulletin about water rationing, asking the consumers to conserve water (there’s nothing to conserve if there ain’t wotah). This yearly warning first started in the 80s during the incumbency of  water district Chairman Teodoro “Doring” Araneta. He managed to strike a deal with the city government to use a portion of Pasonanca Park to build a water treatment plant. Though beyond the commerce of men, the water district was allowed to construct a filtration plant in the park after it secured a hefty loan from the World Bank that eventually led to the increase in water rates. Only one city councilor stood vehemently against the project — Abelardo “Tonggo” Climaco, Jr.

Presently, we have multiple companies developing our water system that thrives on gravity. No rainfall, no water. That’s why our watershed must be protected  at all cost all the time. Do we have enough forest guards to secure our forest from illegal loggers and saboteurs (terrorists)? With the introduction of new methods to produce potable water by private companies, water rates will have to be increased for the capitalists to get back their investments.

But the billing section of the water firm will justify that any increase in water rates in the very near future will be reasonable, fair and, above all, affordable. Aha, that’s a catch phrase. And because rates are determined by the board as a matter of policy, Mayor Climaco-Salazar must have a say to it. She is, after all, the appointing authority of the board members. (Incidentally, there will be two vacancies in the board this year...in case anyone’s interested.)

Because of these private-initiated projects — 50 million liters daily water filtration plant in Patalon of Prime Water, the pipe-laying project in the west coast of Ecosystems, the none-revenue water reduction project of Ayala’s Manila Water and the rehabilitation of the city’s main lines — Zamboanga will have more water to drink by the middle part of this year and will be known as the country’s “WATER WORLD”, starring LEONARDO “CHITO” VASQUEZ as AQUAMAN. Then, “Doring” did not die in vain.

I said last year that this coming election will boil down to two main issues: water and power. Peace, security, law and order remain just thoughts of concern unless law enforcers take a serious crack at them. Crimes occur everyday, anywhere — including Davao city. We can handle snakes, black mambas, scorpions, and rabied animals. But we can’t handle people — assassins, terrorists, etc. because they can kill from long range.

Daily, we read about drug dealers and users being caught and jailed. Our city jail and reformatory center must be crowded with them. Petty thieves, snatchers (they abound at KCC and Mindpro), pickpockets and traffic violators are collared even at night. The target of the police and LTO are motorcyclists without helmets and unregistered vehicles. Sometimes, when they are being watched, they apprehend drivers blatantly parking their vehicles on no-parking zones.

Forget about promises made by candidates to make our lives safe by day and night. That’s bull! Crimes become rampant as a result of development and progress. There’s no stopping the clandestine commission of crimes. There’s no technology yet, and never will be, that will allow the police to detect when a crime is about to be committed. That happens only in the movies. It’ll take more than Apple or Microsoft to develop a crime-detection gadget.

That’s why you don’t hear Mr. Celso Lobregat, Mrs. Lilia Nuno or the mayor for that matter boast about eliminating or minimizing crimes because it is an impossibility. We can only avoid falling victims to it.

By the way, in a recent gallup poll conducted by a local non-profit group, incumbent Congressman Lobregat is leading by a nail against former priest Monsi dela Cruz. But the latter claims that the former will have to “massively cheat” in order to get himself re-elected. The last time we met at a paid dinner, Monsi demonstrated extreme confidence that he’d beat Mr. Lobregat this time, after failing to do so twice in as many contests.

Amen, amen I say to you, Monsi, for someday, but not yet, you shall be with Celso in paradise.