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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mindanao

In what could be the biggest breakthrough to date, the Philippine government and the Muslim separatist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front have agreed to dropping the word "Freedom" in the draft that would pave the way for the long-stalled peace talks to resume.

In a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Esperon stated that the agreement will now read, "The recognition and peaceful resolution of the conflict must involve consultations with the Bangsamoro people free of any imposition in order to provide chances of success and open new formulas that permanently respond to the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people."

Imagine how a seven letter word, which stands for nothing but rethoric, be of great value to achieving peace in Mindanao. Or is it?

One could easily put the kindest and most afable word in the context of that accord and yet still stray away from peace. The content of the mind and the motive of the heart does not always follow the warmth of a smile. For hidden desires will always be a stumbling block that should make it more harder for the proponents of this issue.

Not all Filipinos on both sides of the fence are excited about this development. There are those who have invested greatly in this conflict and would not want it to rightfully end. Remember that during the time of Erap, there are allegations that rouge elements of the military are the ones who themselves supplying arms and munitions to these rebels. Personal vendetta on both sides will not easily be bented as long as scores are not avenged. Some politicians who will lose grip of their turf once the BangsaMoro region is established will wholeheartedly desire that peace process fail. Sabotage, false accusations, deceit and lies will certainly come in handy for the shadows behind.

For all the hard hopes that we are pinning on this huge development, we should never ever forget that the real enemy of a peaceful Mindanao is cunning and much more evil. For now that freedom is not into play, comes the beginning of a whole new ballgame.

Manila Water

My sister and I are renting an apartment here in Mandaluyong. We have been here since the year 2003.Our monthly consumption at that time runs between 60 to 100 pesos.

One to two years ago (I am not sure of the exact date), Manila water had a project of replacing all water meters in our street. Before they replaced the water meters for our compound, the one for my rented apartment is located 3rd from the right. After the replacement, the water meter for my apartment was placed 2nd from the right.

After this, my consumption immediately spiked to almost 700 pesos. I called the company call center and was subsequently told that it will be investigated and that I am going to be contacted. No one did. SO I went to the local office here in Mandaluyong. Again, I was told that an investigation will happen. For some reason, it seems that the call center and the local office are not communicating properly as they are telling me different reasons why my bill went up so drastically. I had to go back to the local office, just to be told that it was not Manila Waters fault why the reading went up. I informed them that this happened after the replacement of the water meters. I informed them that they may be reading the wrong meter (As I have said earlier, my water meter had been placed from third in the row to second in the row). I was just told to just pay for at leatst half of the 700 or so billing.

To avoid any further waste of time and trouble, I agreed.

So it went for many months, my water billing stayed well above the 100 peso maximum that I used to have. Sometimes it would even go up to more than 300 pesos. For two working persons, spending only 1/8th of their time at home and yet be able to consume that much water! We must be drowning already!

Just last month, our neighbors water service was cut by Manila Water!

Just last month, the local meter reader (his ID says Ronald is his name), informed me that he has been reading the wrong meter all along!!

And so again, I was told by the Manila Water call center that it is going to be investigated. And so again, I had to go to the local office because their call center kept on saying that they can't do anything about and that I have to wait from someone from the local office. And so again I was told by the local office that the issue is going to be investigated. And then, when they talked to my sister, they said that the billing will be adjusted.

LO AND BEHOLD!!! My bill for the month of July 2008 just showed up!!! And here is what it says:

"Mahal Naming Katubig:

Nais po naming ipaalam na ang inyong bayarin sa tubig para sa buwan ng Hulyo ay P1,322.32. Maaari po lamang na bayaran ito bago mag-Hulyo 19, 2008 upang maiwasang maputulan ng serbisyo ng tubig.

Maraming Salamat po! "


WAT DA!!!?!?!?! Anak ng tokwa!! E lumaki pa ah!!!

So I called the call center again. Call center agent told me that his name is "something". Then he told me that someone from the local office (territory manager) is going to call me in a few minutes. No one called. So I called back. I talked to Kim. Kim told me that the person I talked to earliers name is actually is Mel P. Heck he gave me another name earlier. The guys are giving me the run arounds (except for kim, she is not really helpful but quite sympathetic to the cause, I should say.)! And so I talked to an OIC (How come they always say that they do not have a manager around and that they are always on a meeting..), the OIC kept telling me that according to the records there is nothing wrong with the reading as it was an actual reading.

Man!!! Who said that that was not actual reading??? It was an actual reading alright! And actual reading of somebody else's consumption!!! Why should I pay for someone else's thirst quenching!!!???

Now, I am putting my fate again to the utter brilliance of these investigators from Manila Water. And guess what? I think that they will be brilliant enough once again to tell me that something is going to be done for the benefit of their beloved customer.

Please, I want this to be fully investigated. Starting before the time the meters were replaced. And I want my refund to be computed. It has become a headache already. I wish there are other water carriers...
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