BY MAE SINGUAY
BACOLOD City – Since February of this year, the Home for the Blind in Barangay Mansilingan is without electricity.
The Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) cut the shelter’s electricity connection for failing to pay its bills.
The arrears, which go way back to 1998, has reached nearly a million pesos – P858,000 to be exact.
City hall’s Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) head Pacita Tero said she has already informed Mayor Monico Puentevella about the Home for the Blind’s problem.
DSSD operates the Home for the Blind. It currently shelters 36 clients and their families, said Tero.
The center’s power consumption reaches between P30,000 to P36,000 every month, said added.
The Home for the Blind sits on a one-hectare lot.
Tero confirmed some of the arrears were incurred during the administration of then Mayor Evelio Leonardia, now congressman.
DSSD has assigned “house parents” to take care of the clients’ needs. Tesoro said they told her they always forward the bills to the city hall.
Tero did not discount the possibility that the Home for the Blind’s electricity supply is being illegally tapped.
There were “squatters” in the vicinity, said Tero.
Mayor Puentevella has not yet ordered that the Home for the Blind’s arrears with Ceneco should be paid, said Tero.
He wanted to be clarified about the arrears first, she said, and the monthly electricity consumption at the Home for the Blind./PN