Random Thoughts

DUMP THE LAZY AND THE CORRUPT — The appeal of Provincial Elections Officer Marino Salas on television for voters to use their right of suffrage this coming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to elect the candidates who they think can institute change in their localities is both relevant as well as timely and inspiring.

He means that if people again commit the mistake of putting into office do-nothing kapitans and kagawads, their villages will continue to stagnate and wallow in the rot and will have no more time to do a catch-up with the faster tempo of the times.

We know that barangay officials who did not do well during their term and even during their few years of an extended term are the ones afraid of the elections and as much as possible prayed for postponement of the polls so their term can be extended further without need for any mandate from the barangays.

These “kapalmuks” (thick skinned) or “ang kapal” as described by one partylist congressman during a hearing on a proposed measure in the House Committee on Suffrage, referring to barangay captains who clamor for another postponement, are actually the ones getting edgy as they cannot show tangible projects or things that they have done in office that could make earn them another term.

My take is that voters are wiser now and will reelect those who performed better and well in accordance with the expectation of their people and dump the lazy and corrupt.

The achievers can rest easy in this election because they know well that their performance in office can speak for them.

Except this barangay kapitan that I know who has the temerity to say he is still good for another term even knowing that his constituents are talking behind his back, calling him a “do-nothing barangay head”. He, who is rarely seen going out to serve his people.  To put it mildly, his constituents continue to refer him as one peg in a round hole.

My friend from the village thinks this official can attempt to save face, and chose to retire and support a young blood to take over the affairs of the barangay.

(My friend asked whatever happened to the case filed before the Ombudsman against this guy. The case was a serious one. Was it already dismissed?).

Our barangays need leaders who are honest with no baggage that could tarnish his image. We need a leader who has the caliber for instance of Carlito Dion (who is incidentally staging a comeback in Bued, Calasiao) who instituted a system of collecting wastes from homes that once became a model not only throughout Calasiao, Dagupan but also in the entire also Pangasinan.

Like my friend Carlito, a barangay captain must be in tune with the times and who must put all his best to make his people proud and contented.


What of my friend’s village? Are they proud of their present kapitan?


We need to bring back Marcelino Fernandez, kapitan of Lucao and Dagupan City’s president of Liga ng mga Barangay, for having proven his mettle that he can run the city fiesta and Bangus Festival efficiently with just minimum of resources and with not a single cent coming from the city coffer.


There are many other good kapitans who made good who deserve to be brought back to office, Filipina delos Santos of Malued, like Brian Cua of Pogo Chico, Julieta Perez of Pantal and Helen Fermill of Tebeng. — Leonardo Micua



STRICT ENFORCMENT OF LAW WILL SAVE LINGAYEN GULF — After President Duterte described Boracay Island as cesspool and investigations quickly ensued on what happened that resulted in the abuse of this God-given gift, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 1 has been wary about the status of coastal areas frequented by tourists under its jurisdiction.


Mukhang natauhan na rin sila, finally. Mabuti naman kung ganun.


Last Thursday, they held a coastal management summit in La Union where Pangasinan Second District Leopoldo Bataoil was among the invited speakers. Then Bataoil told newsmen over a morning talk on Friday that he supports DENR’s initiative to clear all illegal structures along Lingayen Gulf, particularly, in the coastal areas of Lingayen and Binmaley.


Bataoil recalled his disgust when he saw some used baby diapers dumped along the shorelines while walking along the beach one day. There were also cow’s manure scattered in the area. Ever wonder where human wastes in these illegal structures go?


Some businessmen build their illegal structures near the shoreline to be used as cottages or picnic sheds for a fee. The wanton disregard of laws went on for years, decades even.


Now, authorities want to draw lessons from the Boracay experience.


Hurray for that.


Last Wednesday, some members of women of Pangasinan media went to Tondaligan Beach in Dagupan for simple celebration of Women’s Month. Part of the early morning activity was a coastal clean-up.


There was hardly litter found in the area.  Malinis na ang beach area. Wala na rin yung mga illegal structures dun.


A snappy salute to Mayor Belen Fernandez and her team for ridding the area of illegal structures. It was not easy but the Fernandez team did what seemed like impossible to do.


The same happened in the coastal area of Barangays Pangapisan and Maniboc in Lingayen where unsightly sheds were built by enterprising businessmen until they woke up one day to see a bulldozer about to demolish their structures.


Bataoil has his baywalk project along Binmaley to Lingayen and he was part in the clearing of the area. There was no shortcut. It was done with due process. Threats were hurled against the demolition team. But they were not intimidated. They stood their ground.


Now the Lingayen experience became the template of DENR in implementing the clearing of coastal areas in Region 1 of illegal structures.


The problem of some coastal areas in Pangasinan is similar to La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte. May mga taong matitigas ang ulo.


But you know what? If only barangay and municipal officials, as well as the DENR can muster the political will to do what’s right – to enforce the law without fear or favor –  no illegal structures would rise anywhere.


Sa umpisa pa lang na mag-attempt itong mga magpapatayo, dapat pigilan na agad-agad. Ngayon, aligaga ang DENR dahil nasa kanila ang bunton ng sisi.


Timing naman na ang Boracay at ang Bohol are the centers of attention now.


While Pangasinan is not even close to the problems they have in other areas, kailangan talaga this early, gibain na ang mga illegal structures along our coastal areas.


Remember that, as the congressman said, Lingayen Gulf is the catch basin of water from inland, floodwater from the mountains, water from mining sites in Benguet that flows to the Agno River and exits in Lingayen Gulf.


Wake up. Act now. Save the Lingayen Gulf. — Eva Visperas

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