ANOTHER FIRST FROM MAYOR BELEN – The newly inaugurated three-storey evacuation/rescue center in Barangay Salapingao, an initiative of Mayor Belen Fernandez, is no doubt another first in the history of the city, coming at a time when Dagupan is about to celebrate its 70th platinum year as a city.
At three floors with a concrete roof top that could be used for social occasions on starry nights, it is now the tallest building in Salapingao, actually taller than the newly-built three-storey building of the Salapingao National High School, an edifice also put up by Mayor Belen.
The new edifice where the people of Salapingao can seek refuge in times of storm surge (and tsunami) was accomplished with P13 million sourced from the Bottoms Up Budgeting program of the Department of Interior and Local Government and roughly P2 million counterpart from the city government.
The evacuation center replaced the aborted tsunami hill that the past city administration of then Mayor Benjamin Lim intended to build in Barangay Pugaro near the shore of the Lingayen Gulf and on the edge of the Calmay river.
To us, the evacuation center, which DILG Regional Director James Fadrinal said conformed with the standard and specifications for such a structure, is hundred times much better than the proposed Lim’s man-made tsunami hill initially funded by the savings from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund, a fund switching that’s questionable to this day.
Unlike the evacuation center built by Mayor Belen, the aborted tsunami hill did not merit a single centavo as assistance from the national government.
The Lim administration proceeded with the initial construction of the tsunami hill despite the advice of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology that the area chosen by them for the project may not hold since it was near the water, risking the very people it wants to protect from the tsunami.
Why should the people of Pugaro fleeing from wall of waves rush towards it instead?
I still remember one official of the City Planning and Development Office (of course, not Romy Rosario) lying through his teeth when he defended the proposed tsunami hill when this was put under scrutiny by the city council.
The project, naturally, was discontinued by Mayor Belen.
Why was the evacuation center built in Salapingao and not in Pugaro? we asked. This was because, as Mayor Belen said, Salapingao is an island village surrounded by water with no access to the mainland whatsoever, while Pugaro is connected by a small bridge to the town of Binmaley. where the residents can run to escape from the whiplash of a storm surge.
One time, Prof. Nic Melecio proposed that the center of the concreted circular base of the aborted tsunami hill be planted with fruit trees to make it a tree park soon.
Some suggest the center of that stricture should be filled with water from the sea so the people of Pugaro can raise bangus or tilapia. – Leonardo Micua
FROM BROWN TO WHITE – We have guys who are vain and Dagupan City Hall employees are abuzz with talks about their fondness of whitening tablets.
Rightfully, these men, honorable councilors of Dagupan City can now be models of glutathione that is known to have miraculous whitening power for skin color.
In one coffee talk, one of the councilors reportedly revealed how glutathione has become the most sought-after by his fellow councilors who desperately want to have fair complexion.
Daig pa nila ang mga babae ngayon, the source commented.
A woman from the barangay regularly supplies them their glutathione needs.
From black or tan, they all want to become mestizos.
“But what about Councilor (name deleted) who is really dark-skinned?” I asked.
“Double the dosage,” the source replied laughingly.
Meanwhile, on a serious note, it was known by this corner that Dagupan councilors intentionally change, without prior notice to the public, their schedule for their sessions.
The sessions nowadays can he held on a Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday. At times, they also change their venue.
Want to know the reason why?
They purposely evade “solicitors” who attend during their sessions just to solicit financial help of any sort, like for medicine (kuno) of a sick family member, wedding, baptism, funeral, tuition fee, house renovation, to buy rice, basketball uniforms, school activities, and many more.
Kaawaaan nyo naman ang mga public officials natin. Don’t be surprised if they end up being corrupt. The solicitors are partly to be blamed for that.—Tita Roces