Home OPINION When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

By Herbert L. Vego

MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power), the power-distribution utility in Iloilo City, is all set to fully light up Jaro district as it celebrates its religious fiesta on Thursday (Feb. 2, 2023).

Thus, the company reiterates its appeal to customers to beware of “jumpers” or other devices that could overload the power lines and trigger destructive fire.

Meanwhile, the source of fire that levelled 284 houses to the ground in barangays West Habog-Habog and San Juan in Molo district Saturday morning has already been traced.

“It was electrical in nature,” Chief Inspector Vince Jojo Aldeguer of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFI) told the Daily Guardian. He traced the origin of fire to the house of John Robert Bantario at West Habog-Habog.

If that’s true, then MORE Power would know if that consumer was a paying customer. Otherwise, they must have either “jumped” or allowed a neighbor to attach.

If the number of power users were less than the burned houses, then delinquent power thieves could be identified. Bad ah.

Eh kasi they had lent no ear to the profuse appeals of Mayor Jerry Treñas and MORE Power President Roel Z. Castro to connect to the grid legally.

Aside from stealing electricity, they also “stole” the streets that got so narrow that firetrucks could not pass through.

Adding insult to injury, West Habog-Habog barangay chairman Lee Quimsing blamed the firemen for failure to penetrate the congested streets that doubled as “garage” for vehicles.

In response (BFP) 6 Director FCSupt. Jerry Candido rightly threw back the blame, saying, “Indi niya pagtudlo sa amon ang sala kay we did our best nga mapunggan ang kalayo. But because of physical impassibility, wala kami gid may mahimo.

Shouldn’t the barangay head have prevented the rich squatters from congesting the streets with cars and trucks?

Lesson learned: “Sa paghangad ng kagitna, isang salop ang nawala.”



WE wake up today to tear away the first page of the 2023 calendar as the love month of February begins. As a senior citizen, I am no longer fit to play the role of a lover courting a woman.  But I hope to speak as a father loving his children because, to quote our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, “The youth is the hope of the fatherland.”

My late father Juan had stood by the Bible as the guiding light on parenting. Whatever he did for us his children were in accordance with Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go; so that when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

What a short but far-reaching counsel it is! Ignore it and your boy or girl could end up in the most unlikely places. Sooner or later you would complain too late, “My child has failed me.”

It is never easy for parents to transform their hope for their kids into reality. There is no “standard” way to do it; children in one family tread diverse paths. Some are strong and determined while others are weak and susceptible to undesirable peer pressure.

Telling a child what to do differs from showing him how to do it. A chain smoker who counsels his kids never to take up smoking is a “contradiction.” He could arouse their curiosity to smoke when he is not looking. They would learn not from his counsel but from his example.

For most young Filipinos, the transition to adulthood inspires a mix of excitement and anxiety. There is excitement in taking steps to realize emerging dreams, aspirations and possibilities. Yet there is anxiety in making the right choices, seizing the opportunities and navigating the predictable crises of confidence that are an inevitable part of growing up.

Most of us parents have lived through those anxieties and spent time convincing our kids that they, too, will survive the same transition. For the well-educated youth of this country, things may end up well. They graduate, find employment, handle independence and make responsible decisions.

Nevertheless, the transition to adulthood is never an automatic or uncomplicated process. Kids need a set of basic connections to help them navigate to young adulthood. They need the guidance, the time and often the financial help of a stable, secure family.

Unfortunately, many young ones lack the resources and helping hands they need. Most children of the poor enroll in the grade school but very few enter and finish college, thus missing the skill, experience, education and confidence for successful transition to adulthood.

As posted online by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), “Among children 6 to 12 years old, 81.1 percent had reached or finished at most elementary education while 5.6 percent had no grade completed. More than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of the household population aged 13 to 16 years reached or completed at most high school. About 36.3 percent of the persons aged 17 to 24 years had post-secondary and college education.”

No wonder, the poor children’s chances of becoming decent adolescents grow smaller while that of turning to crime for survival, bigger. Moreover, they will have difficulty advancing beyond low-wage work.

They will likely continue living in high-poverty, low-resourced communities. Perhaps most discouraging, with diminished opportunity to build economic security, they will considerably be less likely to become stable providers for their own kids. These disconnected youth as a whole face a much greater likelihood of bad outcomes, now and in the future, than their in-school or at-work peers.

Gone are the days when a high school diploma was sufficient to obtain a job that could support a family. Today, high school completion is the minimum entry credential for employment as “gasoline boy” or gas-station attendant. It’s hard to imagine how two more years of high school under the newly-implemented K-12 program of the Department of Education could improve their chances of advancement, since even tertiary education is no guarantee for landing white-collar jobs. We know of degree holders ending up as housemaids or caregivers in foreign countries.

Incidentally, here’s an irony unknown to today’s generation: In the 1950s, a high school graduate could enroll for a two-year Elementary Teacher’s Certificate (ETC) and teach elementary grades thereafter. This was how my late mother Alicia kicked off her love for a lifetime teaching career.

Setting the right goal paves the way for success. Are our children choosing the right courses? Not the ones that we parents want for them?

Based on my personal observation, for example, most Journalism graduates who apply as news reporters are inept.

The clarion call of the moment is to ensure that our children acquire the skills, tools and opportunities to soar in their chosen profession or vocation.