Erratic energy supply

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MANILA–I was born and raised in the picturesque City of Dumaguete, known as the City of Gentle People, and the capital of Negros Oriental.

While I’ve ventured away to Manila for work, I still make occasional visits back home. However, it’s not just these visits that keep me connected to the community. Through both my family and my friends, I remain attuned to the pulse of Dumaguete.

Recently, there’s been a storm brewing back home. The folks in Dumaguete, and across Negros Oriental, are grappling with a persistent issue: the erratic energy supply. Their collective frustration, and sense of helplessness resonate deeply with me, as if I’m right there experiencing it alongside them.

The intolerable unreliability of the electricity in Negros Oriental is simply unacceptable.

I’m sure the residents pay their bills diligently, yet, they are subjected to multiple power outages almost daily, sometimes stretching for extended periods.

This isn’t just an inconvenience; it’s a massive burden that disrupts the people’s lives in a multitude of ways.

Despite countless complaints to NORECO, the Province’s power provider, and appeals to both City and Provincial officials, the situation stubbornly refuses to improve. It’s as if the  people’s desperate pleas fall upon ears deliberately deafened by indifference.

This stagnant inertia amounts to a profound betrayal of trust. The very citizens they are duty-bound to serve and protect are left to endure the repercussions of their failure to enact meaningful change.

Their inertia in the face of widespread suffering and hardship is not just negligence; it’s a gross abandonment of their sworn responsibilities as public servants.

Their complacency renders them complicit in perpetuating the suffering of the very people who entrusted them with the power, and whom they vowed to serve faithfully!

The injustice of it all is infuriating. The people pay for a service that isn’t being delivered.

The consequences of this non-delivery of paid-for service extends far beyond mere inconvenience. Businesses struggle to operate effectively, students are hindered in their studies, and essential services such as healthcare and public safety are compromised.

The sweltering heat becomes unbearable without fans or air conditioning, and the constant on-off cycle of the power supply puts people’s appliances at risk.

It’s a financial strain the people simply don’t need.

Beyond the immediate inconveniences, this lack of reliable electricity has the potential to be hazardous, especially during this nationwide heatwave with temperatures hovering in the high 30s. The elderly and infants are most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses without proper cooling.

What is happening there in Dumaguete goes beyond just the creature comforts of electricity.

The situation in Negros Oriental raises concerns regarding potential violations of the Universal Bill of Rights. Access to reliable electricity is integral to upholding various human rights, including the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to health, the right to education, and the right to work.

Failure to provide consistent and reliable electricity undermines these fundamental rights, and constitutes a probable violation of international human rights standards.

The residents of Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental deserve better. The people deserve a power supply that is dependable, consistent, and reflects the fees that the people pay for.

It’s time for NORECO and our government officials to listen to the people’s cries for help. Take action. Resolve this crisis. Uphold your obligations to the people you serve.

Anything less is a betrayal of trust, and a grave injustice to all.

_________________

Gasparito G. Umbac

 

 

 

 

 

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