Random Thoughts

ILLEGAL STRUCTURES VS. PENRO – I hope my good friend and kumpadre Second District Board Member Nestor “Nikki Boy” Reyes was only joking and was using a metaphor when he said “Engineer, I live a stone’s throw from the beach”.

BM Reyes was reacting to OIC PENRO (Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office) Raymundo Gayo during the Question Hour of  the last session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

My seatmate at the gallery, Davs Pasaoa and I almost broke into guffaws because his statement could be a tacit admission that he too could be squatting in the beach. But he was quick to amplify with his next statement, which was contradictory to the first: “But I do not own any piece of property on the beach.”

We cannot imagine how BM Nikki can throw a stone from where he lives to the beach water which I think may be more than 100 meters away. He was adopting the technical definition given by Gayo himself that the foreshore land encompasses an area from where the water is at low tide up to the highest point reached by water during normal high tide.

On the other hand, the salvage zone which, like the foreshore area, should be a no-no for squatters, begins at a point where the foreshore land ends and up to 20 meters inland.

Both the foreshore land and the salvage zone are owned by the state, so any structure inside these two can only be deemed as illegal and their owners dubbed as squatters.

I, too, live near the beach in Bonuan but I don’t say it is a stone’s throw from the beach or from the Mac Arthur Park because it is not.

The reason I raised this issue is because by the definition of foreshore land and the salvage zone by Gayo, all the establishments, including those owned by the government, inside Tondaligan Park are squatting on the property owned by the state and ought to be removed to save the environment.

Among the government structures located either in the salvage zone are: the Dagupan District jail and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that are so close to the water and may soon be eaten up by the water when water level rises as a result of the melting of ice in the Arctic Ocean if the global warming further intensifies.

By Gayo’s definition, even the Mayor’s Shed at Tondaligan and the PAGASA office are within the salvage zone.

Considering the unchecked illegal occupation of the beaches which the PENRO failed to check over the years, many doubt whether the clearing operations even in San Fabian alone, can take place as the PENRO is not showing any comprehensive plan for developing the beaches.

It may not even endure a long litigation that may come in case the moneyed occupants of the salvage zone go to court.

When Gayo was still CENRO of Dagupan, I remember him being invited by the Sangguniang Panlungsod whose presiding officer was still then Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez. The SP brought him to Bonuan Binloc where he saw for himself two beach resorts already extended up to the water. He knew these were illegal.

Well, the two beach resorts are still there and are still doing business in the area.Leonardo Micua


SHORT ENCOUNTER WITH MAYOR BONA – Many have been said about Mangaldan Mayor Bona Fe de Vera Parayno in local media, that is.

I heard she has her weekly media time, but her invitation, unfortunately, does not reach us. That’s okay. She doesn’t know me and I have not had any close encounter with her since she assumed as mayor in 2013.

Last June 5, a fellow newshen and I accidentally entered her office while we were looking for one male official of the town.

The mayor graciously greeted us. Medyo naiilang pa rin kami kasi first time naming makapasok sa office nya at first time din namin syang makausap na parang isang dati nang kaibigan.

I must say I was impressed by the ambience in her office. Halatang babae ang mayor dito, I said. No offense meant to the male population but please admit it that women are better at housekeeping.

Mayor Bona obviously has sad stories about some local newsmen as she began to engage us. I could sense that in her. Hindi ka nag-iisa, Mayor.

Just roll with the punches. Ang pikon ay talo!

She was telling us how disgusted she was with one broadcaster when we were interrupted by the sudden appearance of some town council members and their subsequent exchange of pleasantries.

During that quick encounter with her, she also mentioned in passing the ready implementation of their no plastic ordinance after her dialogue with vendors.

Sayang, parang ulan, pabugso bugso, hindi derecho ang usapan tungkol sa mga hinaing nya.

Back to the mayor’s bad vibes about one media practitioners, she is one who takes it as an exception than the rule. She thinks kindly of others. Di tulad ng iba na dinadamay pati mga inosente.

Marunong syang kumilatis, in fairness.

I hope to visit and interview you soon, Mayor Bona, and please share with us the success stories of Mangaldan under your stewardship. (Her staff, Rosalie, a cancer survivor whom I have met during the time yet of the late Mayor Hermie Romero, was equally gracious as her boss).

For a change ng ruta sa news gathering at bisita, di ba?— Eva Visperas


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