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Dry spell’s end and political intramurals

By: Stephen D. Capillas June 23,2016 - 10:37 PM

Manila — The last few days of rains have brought some relief to Metro Cebu residents after four months of heat aggravated by the El Niño dry spell caused many faucets to go bone dry.

April was particularly scorching with many households forced to ration water, so they can have enough to use for bathing, washing their clothes and kitchen wares.

To be sure the weather isn’t as cool as a lot of people want it to be, but based on readings from weather apps like Accu Weather Report, the temperature has so far ranged from as high as 36 degrees — actual heat index or the actual temperature as felt by the human body — to as low as 28 to 27 degrees.

Not much of course, but with the state weather bureau Pagasa saying that the La Niña will come earlier in July rather than August, Cebu residents only have to endure a few more weeks of waterless days and nights before the water supply returns to normal, or so the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) would like us to believe.

The dry spell had certainly caught the MCWD flatfooted since the agency likely underestimated the duration and intensity of the El Niño dry spell. Based on the calls I hear from irate residents — a lot of whom said they were billed higher even if not a drop of water came out of their faucets — to radio stations, I wonder what contingency measures they (MCWD) took, if any, to cushion its full effects on their customers aside from their usual reminders to conserve water.

Like everyone else, they had to pin their hopes to the rainy season, the full impact of which will be felt next month and especially near the end of the year. After that, what?

Considering the income they generate from our payments to their bills, I hope the MCWD would continually improve their existing water supply facilities, dams and whatnot.

Learning how their employees and officials receive fat bonuses and incentives that are still being questioned by the Commission on Audit and that top level management periodically go on all-expenses paid trips abroad — all funded by taxpayers’ money — just makes the blood boil.

* * *

If I heard it right, Tinago Barangay Chairman and incoming City Councilor Joel Garganera supposedly said that Cebu City Acting Mayor Margot Osmeña “should respect (respetuhan na lang ta ba were the words I think he said)” the decision of barangay officials not to return the sports utility vehicles issued to them by outgoing Mayor Michael Rama for inventory.

I’ve listened to commentaries from a lot of radio broadcasters who either questioned or supported the defiance of these barangay officials to the acting mayor’s recall order, and I tend to agree with the baseline assessment that the vehicles belong to the city, not to them.

But this tug-of-war and cat-and-mouse (i.e, Labangon Barangay Councilman Rodulfo Tabasa supposedly hiding the sports utility vehicle issued to him) games played by barangay officials still loyal to Rama with Osmeña will be reflective of the bigger stakes to be played between the now dominant opposition bloc in the council and the incoming mayor, who at this early stage, already ruled out any major projects in the next three years.

As if the (unfortunate) stalled Cebu City Medical Center project isn’t enough, the opposition Team Rama (will they still call themselves that now that Rama is out of the picture? I think the outgoing mayor said they changed their party name from Team Rama to a Team Pinaghiusa or something) bloc wants to probe deeper into allegations of a rubout involving slain suspected drug dealer Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz.

Question is, aside from Diaz’s supporters, will Cebu City residents support this inquiry? If they want to curry public favor, I think they will probably be better off questioning the suspension of the CCMC project than dwelling on Diaz — unless they can back up their position with incontrovertible proof.

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TAGS: dry, dry spell, El Niño, hot, humid, politics, rationing, warm, water, water supply, weather

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