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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, December 5, 2017
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Like a phoenix -10


The contract for the collection of Bacolod's trash was granted to IPM. The first contract was discussed here earlier, rather lengthily with all its nebulous provisions and the resulting problems of enforcement. Despite this the contract was renewed almost in toto. The councilors must have probably considered all the elements of the contract, “regular” so that like Tangub's cock fight resolution, they just approved it.

I discussed the contents of the first contract; the second was almost the same so that it need not be taken up here again. However, certain questions arose from the State of the City Address of Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia last October 27. That address was excellent narration of the laudable achievements of the previous months, but the mayor cited what he called “challenges” that he left hanging and delegated them to a list of problems that irritate people on a daily basis.

One of these he thought was not necessary to report to the satisfaction or anticipation of the daily suffering citizens is garbage collection. These have been the main subjects of this series with the intent to bring to his attention that action must be done before concern turn to dissatisfaction and grow into anger. Not that he does not know, surely he does, but rather that he must understand from the view of the citizenry and not from his fawns who could be telling him Bacolod is clean as a whistle.

Well, it is not. There are areas where collection comes often, once in a while or none at all. I saw one a mound of uncollected garbage in an intersection that had been there for months. It's funny because IPM's truck often pass by this stack but probably they did not like the owners of the houses nearby.

There are several of these in the city, one of them being Villamonte. No, not in the main roads but the inner streets. The same thing in Mandalagan and Banago and probably elsewhere. Gatuslao and San Juan are also reeking with uncollected garbage though some times the piles are not there, but most often they are.

I am citing those of the streets we usually pass by. What of those that are not busy routes?

The fact that people continue to throw their trash into the creeks and rivers indicate that they do not trust or expect collection by IPM.

It is not the present intent to pinpoint every place in Bacolod where trash is not collected diligently as provided for in the IPM contract but rather to ask the SP: what provisions in the IPM contract insures compliance?

This defect is clear in the contract - there is none that can be considered reliable and ironclad.

The payment for IPM is on a monthly basis, not on the quantity of the trash it collected. This is onerous. IPM can be paid the same amount for collecting 100 tons daily as much as it collected 500 tons. I pointed this out from the onset, but despite this inherent defect the same contract was renewed. Another of those “regularity” excuse or much more?

Our readers will recall that there was a colatilla or condition attached to the first contract - a monthly report of collection. Is this in the new contract? Let me not answer that because if there is then there would have been a monthly report. Anyway this is an easy matter to resolve if an independent inquiry is done on the contract. That probably will come later.

Mayor Leonardia is proud, and rightly so, that he is the mayor who served the longest. On the other side of this gift of the people is that among all of the others he had the chance to make things right but he lost that opportunity. I can understand the need to strengthen his political hold first because he faced a shrewd and money-packed opponent. But now that threat has been reduced considerably to the point of political impotence.

He has over 22,000 margin which means a solid support to do what is right. He faces no serious threat. The phoenix is there waiting for him to strike. He can, however lose this full trust by inaction and invite or open the gates for opposition. Power abhors a vacuum. *



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