Going over today’s opinion pages, I came across a column of Neal H. Cruz about Pantabangan town having no electricity, literally and figuratively (trying to copy the URL so I can post it here, but failed… anyway just go to Inquirer.Net and search it from there under OPINION).
Well, the gist of the column was about the failure of Pantabangan officials to pay off their debt from the power-generating firm supplying electricity to the municipality, even as the end-users or customers — the people of Pantabangan — are paying their monthly bills religiously. Why Pantabangan officials? Well, the operator of the power distributing firm is the municipality, hence local officials are the ones running it!
The debt, which runs to hundreds of millions of pesos, dates back to 2008. Whew, malalim ang bulsa ng power-generating company! Perhaps, they were accommodating the huge debt of Pantabangan town in deference to its officials.
The columnist, Neal Cruz, went on to give a lot of facts about the financial position of the municipality — its annual income and some of its expenditures, most of which remain unexplained — based on Commission on Audit reports.
Well, the case of Pantabangan, having its electricity cut off is a classic example of how institutional corruption adversely affects the lives of people… Perhaps, the mayor and his vice-mayor son know that they are not the first to do this kind of crime and they are aware that many of those who preceded them in doing similar criminal acts were never punished.
Kawawa naman ang mga taga-Pantabangan. However, hindi ba sila rin ang nag-elect sa gumawa nito sa kanila?
Well, I could only nguyngoy at their fate…