It’s just half past the month of May, but given my experiences in the past weeks, I am ready to come to the conclusion that disasters do come in threes, as the old saying goes.
In this intense summer heat (Pagasa has recorded heat indexes of 44 degrees Celsius in some parts of the Philippines, and it could even go higher as we experience the full effects of the El Niño phenomenon), I have come to call three specific situations that I’ve recently experienced as the “Three Horsemen of the Summer Apocalypse”: walang tubig, walang kuryente, walang Internet.
For two straight days in a row, our offices in Laguna experienced sudden power interruptions that lasted for about 30 minutes (these were also the days, incidentally, when the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines issued warnings about our power supply due to some plants that have gone off-line). To add insult to injury, the power interruptions happened during the afternoon, when the heat was at its most intense.
It was a miracle, my co-workers later said, that the cold air generated by our air-conditioning units lasted the 30 minutes that we were out of power; other establishments around us were already opening their windows and doors or turning on their generation sets (lucky them!).
With the lack of power, of course, came the lack of Internet connection – a setback to a media outfit such as ours, who have come to rely on the Internet to do most of our work. Actually, it wasn’t just during the power interruptions; our Internet tends to be “spotty” or lose connection at times, which was a big turn-off for someone like me who had to follow deadlines. Ang laki kayang turn-off ng papatay-patay na Internet connection! Nakakawalang-ganang magtrabaho.
And to cap off one terrible week, our subdivision here in San Pedro experienced a sudden water interruption lasting almost a whole day – and again, it happened during the hottest periods of the day when water was at its peak demand.
Some netizens have been asking electric and water companies to do their preventive maintenance works – during which service interruptions are absolutely necessary – at nighttime, when demand was at its lowest.
But the fact that demand for electricity and water is highest during the summer should have been an enough cue not just for service providers but also for the government to enforce measures to ensure stable supplies.
Instead, all we hear all the time is “kailangan po nating magtipid sa tubig at kuryente ngayong summer season”! Or, when it comes to the Internet, “Huwag po tayong masyadong gumamit ng Internet sa ganitong oras”!
Why should we pass the burden of maintaining the stable supplies of basic necessities (yes, even the Internet is an absolute necessity nowadays) to the consumers? What are our concerned agencies even doing up there? Pointing fingers as to who’s the blame to maintain the appearance of doing something to resolve this crisis?