I’m just guessing as technically, I don’t know all that goes on behind the scenes but let’s give it a shot.
Utilities: We have Meralco the Electric supplier with its monopolistic grip on the Country. Just recently a new owner came in and said he wanted to raise all the prices. The Supreme Court said no, which by the way was a pleasant surprise. So Meralco said they will have many brown outs if it is not permitted to screw er cheat er raise the prices.
I have been waiting about two weeks now for them to change a light bulb in a street lamp. I call, get hung up on. Call again and the supervisor promises to call me back but never does. In two weeks I have been hung up on about a half of a dozen times and had four supervisors tell me they would check into it and call me back which they never did. One supervisor told me it was already changed. I told him I was looking out the window and could not see the street so his report was erroneous.
Meralco has blackouts galore and 1-2 second shutdowns as many as five per day at different intervals.
Maynilad: Our water supplier. We have water when and if they decide to supply it. Having a Church with maybe eighty people running around gives us a dire need to be able to flush a toilet. Their answer: Their responsibility is not to supply water. They only charge us when we receive it so if our service is interrupted, they don’t charge us. Have you ever heard of anything like that? The Government (which is supposed to be representative of the people) gives the Water Company the right to distribute water to the people and the Water Company distributes at its own convenience. They told us we had to pay a commercial rate because we were a house of worship. They did not say because we use more water than a normal residential residence (which we don’t) They did not say because we require special piping, valves, pumps or the like. (Because we don’t) They said because we worship God. Can you imagine someone saying that in the States? Lawsuit time!
Then we have the Telephone suppliers. As I write this I have no internet or telephone service once again. It is another Company that sends a bill every month and does not send enough service to go with the bill. Every time I turn around we don’t have service or the phone is very static. Then there is the time when it is just so slow. I mean you click a link, make a cup of coffee and then drink it as the page comes up. I am speaking of Bayantel but at home, Globe does the same thing. I have an outstanding complaint with Globe for over three months now.
That was the Utilities. How about police? The Jeepney rides along and comes to the main street to where a police officer is standing. You can hear the police asking for papers, and then you see the driver giving him money which he immediately slips into his pocket and waves the driver on.
Anywhere you go, a bribe is considered part of your operating expenses. I will never ever pay a bribe or contribute to the delinquency of this society.
How about the Government? I have asked Congressmen and councilmen to intervene with some of these problems but they ignore you. I have sent letters by hand to the palace only to be rejected by the guards. The President, of whom we all had high hopes, doesn’t even get our messages and quite frankly, I do not believe he has any idea where Payatas is.
You can not buy a chicken breast at McDonalds or any other place because the chickens here are sold so fast they don’t have time to develop breasts. Meat is atrocious. Chopped “sirloin” for hamburgers have 50% fat and a gallon of water added for weight. Supermarkets sell old meat. Many Filipinos have stomachs that can take the bacteria but many can not.
They say products are cheaper here. It’s true. You can buy a screwdriver for a few pesos. It won’t last you a day but they have them. If you did want to buy quality, you can find it but the prices are much higher than they are in the U.S.
Pollution is the worst that I have ever witnessed. If you come to Payatas in the wee hours of the morning, it will look like a city aflame. There are fires everywhere. The people have collected wire and are burning the insulation off to sell it for scrap. Sometime the wire is freshly stolen so when we arrive at the Church we do not have telephone service for want of wire.
Cars, Jeepney, truck, buses, and motorcycles all belch out black smoke and it seems that no one cares.
Babies walk around half naked (sometimes completely) walking in the streets as if no one is there to raise them. Older children carry bags to collect garbage to recycle. Many do not go to school so they can help their families.
The Philippines has a college in Laguna that grows many varieties of rice and is supposedly the foremost leader in the knowledge of growing rice. However less than 30% of rice is grown here. Why? Perhaps the kick backs are greater coming from other Countries.
I could go on and on but I am getting extremely tired. One thing I know is there is hope here at the Payatas Baptist Church and Payatas Mission Outreach. Our work is showing. We are putting out scholars and Musicians as well as good Godly citizens. If only we had more we could do more.
Take a look at our websites on the side of this blog. See if perhaps you might be part of changing this wretched place. We are praying that one day we will have changed this place by God’s hand into a City of God.
I don’t like to complain unless I can be part of the solution. I came to the Philippines to help. If you can’t come, please click the link and give.
Help Save The Payatas Kids