Saturday, September 20, 2014

Residents Planning to Boycott CUSA Payments

The Subic Bulletin has uncovered a plan by residents of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone to boycott payment of the Common Use Service Area tax to the Subic Bay Metropolitan authority due to a severe lack of services that were promised under the scheme.

"We were promised IMPROVED services under the CUSA scheme, but instead they have got considerably worse while Administrator Garcia is in the press talking about the profit SBMA has made while cutting expenses, but this profit is at our expense" said one SBFZ resident.

Residents are furious that two months after Typhoon Glenda rubbish and tree branches are still littering the streets providing excellent shelter for rats and even snakes, "Olongapo City did a far better job of cleaning up the city than SBMA and their residents are not charged a CUSA tax" said another resident.

Apart from the poor performance in picking up storm debris residents have complained that garbage collection had been sporadic at best with trash littering the streets while SBMA employees complain that they cannot perform their job with the minimal amount of equipment provided by SBMA.

Residents are also complaining that street lights are not being maintained resulting in blacked out areas which was a specific promise at the CUSA public meetings, a promise to residents that is being broken by the current administration.

Law and order has also come under question again with another significant burglary this week in Grouper Street, East Kalayaan. It has long been the opinion of residents that the burglaries are being performed by the Law Enforcement Officers themselves as items that are stolen like large flat screen TV's are often too big to be carried down through the bush and over fences, furthermore witnesses have described burglars caught in the act as wearing the black law enforcement style uniform with the badges removed.

Law Enforcement Division officers have also come under criticism by residents for failing to prevent unauthorized entry, including pass through and unauthorized use of residents only facilities like basketball courts.

"We are not getting the services we were promised when the CUSA was presented to residents and in fact the services provided in the residential areas are worse than ever. It seems our only option is to stop paying the CUSA because no one in SBMA is listening" said one resident.

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