‘Pakabit’ system for water, power connection of informal settlers

March 12, 2022 People's Tonight 281 views

PARTIDO Reporma standard-bearer Ping Lacson and running mate Senate President Tito Sotto offered some plans to resolve the problem of some households in Metro Manila that are complaining about their high utilities expense because of improper connections to the service providers.

Lacson was made aware of this issue when he went around the cities of Pasig and Parañaque recently. He was told by some local government officials and residents there were people who have resorted to the so-called ‘pakabit’ or attachment system just so they could access water and electricity services.

Under this arrangement, a household with legal connection to water and power distributors is allowing its neighbors—mostly informal settlers—to connect with their system but they would have to pay triple the amount of the usual rates.

Lacson said this problem could have been avoided if the government was managing its public funds in ways that redound to the benefit of the larger population and not wasting them on misplaced priorities or, worse, corruption.

“Dapat ma-correct. Imagine kung mayroong P300-billion na hindi nagagamit at mayroon pang P700-billion na mali ang paggamit, isipin niyo isang trilyon. E baka kayang sagutin ‘yung mga hindi kayang magbayad ng kuryente, hindi [kayang] magbayad ng tubig, baka pwedeng hatian ng gobyerno ‘yung pambayad,” Lacson told Parañaque residents in their town hall meeting at Brgy. Baclaran last Thursday.

Speaking to residents in Castillejos, Zambales on Friday, Sotto also mentioned the possibility of making electricity free for families with annual income of P300,000 and below if the problem of corruption is totally eliminated.

“Pagka nasugpo natin ang isyu ng korapsyon, sa lahat po ng hindi kumikita ngP300,000 sa isang taon, pagka less than P300,000 ang income ninyo sa loob ng isang taon, pwede pong sagutin ng gobyerno ang inyong kuryente. Dapat libre ang kuryente,” Sotto said.

The high costs of utilities are among the reasons frequently cited by many Filipinos for their inability to get out of relative poverty, which Lacson and Sotto aim to resolve through budget reforms under their possible administration.