MAYOR SAMMY’S AND CESAR’S LAMENT — Our lensman Cesar Ramirez is fuming mad at Central Pangasinan Electric Cooperative (Cenpelco), the electric cooperative serving Barangay Dulag, Lingayen. And his sentiment, that its service is below par is shared not only by countless residents in his town and also in adjacent Binmaley. Residents in both towns are reportedly groaning endlessly over Cenpelco’s poor services whether it is raining cats and dogs or not.
In our interview with Binmaley Mayor Simplicio Rosario, he confirmed that he wants his town to terminate its contract with Cenpelco so they can get better and more reliable power services for his constituents. (He and other distraught consumers are now looking at the Dagupan Electric Corp. (Decorp) as the answer to their prayers to have better services).
We learned that a petition, demanding better service from Cenpleco, addressed to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is already being circulated for signature by the affected residents. It also requests the ERC to exclude Binmaley from its list of franchise areas of Cenpelco if it continues to fail to deliver the improved services promised them.
In a sense, Cenpelco has a rebellion of its customers in its hands.
Definitely, Cenpelco will not give up its franchise area nor allow another public utility company to serve the town. For the complaining residents to demand their exclusion is, to me, practically asking for the moon.
However, Mayor Sammy said he was informed that Cenpelco’s franchise over Binmaley is not expiring until after two years. If true, he said, they may just as well wait it out. And when that time comes, Mayor Sammy said they will no longer allow Cenpelco to renew their franchise.
Mayor Sammy, one of the most vocal critics of Cenpelco over the latter’s poor service, said progress in Binmaley will be slow unless electricity from the service provider becomes efficient and stable. He cited the case of one investor who changed its mind after noting the fluctuating and unreliable electricity in his town.
He is confident that if his town is serviced by Decorp, investors will flock the town’s southern barangays (along the Binmaley-San Carlos City road), an area identified as industrial zone in the newly approved Municipal Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
He is certain that Decorp can readily extend its service lines to Binmaley, the same thing it did when he extended its services to Calasiao, Sta. Barbara, San Fabian, San Jacinto, Manaoag and Barangay Bolingit, San Carlos City.
My family eagerly awaits the result of this initiative because we, too, have a stake in Binmaley as my wife is from the town. With improved power service we may consider building our second house on a lot she inherited from her parents.
But Mayor Sammy was quick to add that the caveat to this initiative is, if Cenpelco improves its service and replaces its outdated service lines, “Hindi kami aalis sa inyo”.
Back to Cesar who often posts his frustration about Cenpelco’s alleged “on-and-off” electrical service on Facebook, our constant suggestion to him is for his family to pack up and make a home in Dagupan City where residents enjoy uninterrupted and stable electrical service 24/7.
We also advised Cesar to install a solar panel on the roof of his house to assure him of at least a light inside his house each time Cenpelco’s service goes out because he refuses to buy a new generator set to replace the last one he bought that conked out after only few days of use.
But we saw a gleam in his eyes when we told him that Filinvest is putting up 13 condominium buildings (200 units), in Lucao, Dagupan City.
So, Cesar. Hindi ka nag-iisa. — Leonardo Micua
THE FIGHT THAT NEVER WAS –Pinaghandaan. Ginalingan.
The election of municipal and city Liga ng Barangay officers was held simultaneously nationwide on July 16. And, there were towns placed closely watched by the Department of Interior and Local Government in Pangasinan, and by the police, too.
May mga lugar kasi na talagang mainit ang Liga election dahil ang mga tatakbo ay bata ni mayor o ni congressman o ng kanilang kalaban mismo.
In many instances and localities, barangay election is a proxy war. Hindi ako naniniwalang non-partisan ang eleksyon sa barangay.
Take the case of Binmaley where I was born and still live to this day. I heard news that the election of Liga officers will be hotly contested. In one corner, it was the son of Mayor Sammy Rosario, Kapitan Jonas Rosario of Nagpalangan, and in the opposite corner was former Vice Mayor now Kapitan Pete Merrera of Malindong.
The news about the mayor’s son being fully prepared to face his would-be opponent squarely was all over town.
Then came the deadline for the filing of candidacy for the Liga election. There was no Merrera and team that filed their candidacies.
All the candidates of Kapitan Jonas as officers of the Liga ended up unopposed.
National Liga ng Barangay executive director Carlos Abesamis who arrived to witness the election perceived to be hotly contested (Advance na silang mag-isip ngayon kaya inimbitahan na ng kampo ng Rosario ang national Liga mismo).
After all, Abesamis himself recalled that Binmaley was the town whose election of Liga officers in the past had resulted in a legal battle on question of technicalities.
He was relieved to see that everything proceeded orderly this time, there being no contest.
The proceedings were strictly complied with. Maski unopposed lahat, matagal pa rin ang proseso dahil talagang walang shortcut na ginawa. Rosario got 22 votes.
The young Rosario thanked his colleagues for their vote of confidence as he pointed out that the election proceeded smoothly and according to established rules even in the absence of his reported rival and his 10 other barangay captains in his team.
Sana, pagkatapos nitong eleksyon, move on na ha? Wag maging ampalaya!!- – Eva Visperas
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