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Osmeña wants to know if wire tappers are to blame

By: Futch Anthony Inso and Morexette Marie B. Erram June 21,2018 - 10:09 PM


Shocked by the over half a million worth of unpaid electricity bills incurred by the Cebu City National Science High School (CCNSHS), the Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd–7) will be launching a probe into the school’s high electric consumption.

This developed as Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña also urged investigators to look into the possibility that CCNSHS could be serving as host to illegal wire tappers.

In a press conference yesterday, DepEd–7 Information Officer Amaryllis Villarmia said their office was shocked to know that CCNSHS has incurred P544,000 in electric bills for the last five months.

“How is that possible? We have a proper computation of the MOOE (maintenance and other operating expenses),” asked Villarmia.

CCNSHS has until June 29 to settle its account, otherwise, the Visayan Electric Company (Veco) will be forced to disconnect their power supply.

The school has over 1,000 students both in the junior and senior high levels.

Not enough

CCNSHS has a monthly allocation of P94,000 for their MOOE which also covers their water, internet, and telephone bills as well as fees needed for teachers’ seminars.

But Evelyn Pielago, CCNSHS principal, said in an earlier interview that the amount is not enough since their average electricity bill has reached P110,000 per month since 2017.

Pielago cited the growing number of electronic gadgets in their specialized facilities such as computer laboratories as a possible factor for their high electric bill.

However, Villarmia said there could be other reasons.

“They have to explore on why their electric bill has ballooned that much. Maybe, they can retrieve their bills from the previous years and make a comparison and what are the possible factors affecting it. Did they even bother to conduct an investigation on it with officials from Veco? Did they try to inquire or clarify?” she said.

Illegal connections

Meanwhile, Osmeña has brought up the possibility that the school has served as host to illegal wire tappers.

“How come their electricity is high even during summer, when there are no classes? Maybe there are illegal connections,” he added.

The mayor also said the city government is willing to help out if the Commission on Audit (COA) will allow it.

It can be recalled that state auditors in 2017, disallowed the city’s financial assistance to public schools in 2015 and 2016 including CCNSHS.

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