Playing with Fire

Prospects of Sports Center in Pangasinan

By Gonzalo Duque

THE establishment of a Sports Training Center of the Philippines by virtue of  a law sponsored by Congressman Conrado Estrella III, and signed into law last week by President Rodrigo Duterte, is a big boon to the country’s sports and also a big boost to the province of Pangasinan where it will be located.

To be put up in Rosales, the project will no doubt put the province in the sporting map of the nation and of the world as this facility promises to be the training ground of our athletes before they are sent out to compete overseas, including in the Asian Games and the Olympics (where the Philippines has yet to earn its first gold against nations of the world).

This is a dream come true for all our athletes and aspiring athletes. This did not happen during any past administrations but it will soon be realized and will reach its fruition under the Duterte administration.

The multi-billion peso investment will not only enhance the competitive skills of our athletes but will also impact on the economy not only of the host province but the whole region. It will dramatically boost commerce and industry in the province and make it more attractive to investors from inside and outside of the country as well as enhance tourism in both eastern and western Pangasinan.

This is a signal that the big ticket projects under the Duterte administration are now moving up north starting with this project. Rosales, as you know, is the gateway to Pangasinan and to the rest of Region 1 and the Cordilleras.

This project was preceded only by the extension of the TPLEx (Tarlac-Pangasinan Expressway) up to Rosario, La Union, which is now on its final stage of completion on the Pangasinan side, before it crosess to La Union via a long bridge across the Bued River.

Expect more development projects to come to Pangasinan under the Build, Build, Build program of the Duterte administration.

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I am really amazed why some voters now accept the money being dangled by candidates who come to them weeks or even months before the campaign period.

Quoting a late national official (was he a former senator?) after winning the election, he told off some voters: “I owe you nothing anymore after you sold to me your votes”.

In modern day Philippines, this tale took a new twist. It’s not enough for one to sell his vote but the vote-buyer is also expected to give the voter a job when the candidate wins.

 But there are voters who will take the offered money but will still not vote for the candidate who pays more. Still, there are also voters who will take the money but will still use their sound judgment and voting for the candidate they think is the better and most deserving, the candidate who they think performed well in their official and private capacities.

This is what happens when candidates resort to a frenzy of vote-buying. Naturally, it’s the highest bidder who wins. Kaya, I implore candidates not to buy votes because  they are not certain whether yong pinagbilhan nila ng boto ay talagang iboboto sila.

But you know, I still sincerely hope that one day, our  people will be finally liberated from poverty so that they will not succumb to the vote buying spree of candidates. It  is poverty that drives the poor to sell their votes to candidates who are prepared to pay.

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