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Classroom backlog

Classroom backlog

THIS sticks out like a sore thumb: 165,000 classroom backlog at the close of 2022 affecting some four or five million children or 15 to 20 percent of our learners in public schools!

This sad and pressing reality prompted Education Undersecretary Epimaco Densing to practically beg for funding help from private groups and foreign governments.

Densing, as per report from PDI, explained that out of the 2023 P710-billion budget of DepEd, only P15.6 billion is allocated for the construction of new classrooms.

Meanwhile, the DepEd Secretary, Vice President Sarah Duterte, has a P150-million confidential fund intended, as advertised, against “sexual grooming” of students and “recruitment by terrorists”, PDI reported.

No wonder we are top one in learning poverty.

New substation

MORE power will inaugurate on March 22, 2023 its 30/36 MVA Megaworld Substation at the Iloilo Business Park. For lack of material data on this substation, I can only make a guess as regards its actual cost. But certainly, it’s multimillion.

MORE is trying to meet present demands for power in its jurisdiction. Better still, it answers demands in the immediate future while improving the distribution facilities in the city up to world standards.

Gearing up vs JV

THERE are sectors in Bacolod City rising up in arms against the proposed joint venture agreement between MORE Power and CENECO now pending before the concerned national government agency. These sectors primarily object to the 70-30 sharing in favor of MORE. Reports from Bacolod City say they will launch a citywide and provincewide campaign against the JV.

Before jumping to conclusions, the proposed JV must be studied thoroughly along three lines: is the JV necessary? Is it beneficial to the consumers and CENECO itself? And is it practicable or doable?

Without delving into these questions, right now we can only compare CENECO with MORE as regards the quality of service, the efficiency of operations, etc. but do not include rates because much of our power bill is dictated by the supply side of the industry. Distribution utilities, be they private companies or cooperatives, have fixed distribution charges set by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

Power supply tightening again

MEANWHILE, reports from the Department of Energy indicate the tightening of power supply this summer season and in the succeeding years. The BBM administration must take this seriously.

We recall that when President Cory Aquino left Malacañang in 1992 after a 6-year term, she left the country tormented by rolling power outages, prompting his anointed successor Fidel Ramos to adopt the take-or-pay policy to fast-track the construction or development of new generation plants. It was a bitter pill to swallow. The Ramos government was forced to grant sovereign guarantees to various power generation companies to arrest the humongous supply shortage that paralyzed businesses and staggered the economy. A few years later, consumers had to pay overpriced electricity rates despite the supply glut.

The Marcos Jr. administration must not let this happen again. BBM must prove PRRD wrong that he is a weak leader.

The housewife that was Cory may be an icon of democracy like her fallen husband Ninoy. But she didn’t disprove the notion that plain housewives don’t make a good president.

Probing loan sharks

FOUR persons of interest are reportedly being eyed by Iloilo City Hall investigators as the sharks feasting on loans of thousands of job order employees.

Investigators must not confine their investigation to the circle of four. They must remember that humans belong to the animal kingdom. And in the animal kingdom, there is a food chain. Better still, there are animals bigger than sharks, amphibians, and otherwise.

Assuming the investigators can establish the identities of these loan sharks and their moneymaking business at City Hall, what criminal charge will they file against them? Is biting more than one can chew a crime against poverty?


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