Dry Sison

Credit to Author: Tempo Desk| Date: Fri, 05 Apr 2019 16:20:12 +0000


jullie yap daza - medium rare

THAT’S not a typo, it was the nickname we gave President Cory Aquino’s MWSS (or was it Nawasa) general manager. His real name, Luis Sison, gave us reason to call him Dry because those were the years when we were plagued with water shortages and Nawasa (as in “nawasak,” or destroyed) became the most unpopular agency. In a perennially long season of dry spells, he was, as I remember him now, a cheerful public figure who took criticisms on the chin and did not need to smirk or sneer at our questions and complaints (unlike that MWSS lawyer, one of many, whom you felt like punching on the face for the supercilious way he replied to questions put to him by senators at a formal hearing).

He could have learned a few lessons from Dry Sison. At one press conference toward the end of Mr. Sison’s term, he gamely got hold of a glass of drinking water and toasted us, “Here’s to the end of water shortages!” Few of us took him seriously, but he was such a jolly good fellow that we allowed him to entertain us with the good news that “by Christmas” we would “have water flowing abundantly” into our taps. Even better news, he showed us pictures of humongous culvert pipes waiting to be put to use for Laiban dam.

Well, Laiban dam is all water under the bridge now. Whatever became of it remains a mystery, for with the money spent on those culverts alone, who knows where else the budget ended up?

The story of Dry Sison and his Laiban dream is timely for its seasonality. In Quezon City, we continue to experience water interruptions from Manila No Water. Water comes and goes, erratically, for which we’re nevertheless thankful, yes, but as my housemates keep griping, “Is this the new normal?” Other than praying for rain to fall and fearing that one of these days Maynilad could stop sharing their water, does anyone dare to think about next month, next year?

The MWSS manager’s reassurances of improved services are all wet, the words of a “promising” candidate. They’re meant to reach the ears of the President and stop him from threatening again to “go personally to the offices of those responsible.”