By Ermin Garcia Jr.
WITHOUT a doubt, the bangus and fish industry in Dagupan City is worth millions daily.
This is where the sad plight of the small ambulant fish vendors in Dagupan City today started and suddenly became an emotional issue. And, it is not because of the vendors’ doing but of the Lim administration’s insatiable greed.
The vendors were suddenly displaced from an area they have long occupied for the convenience of consumers and households… and that went as far as the days even before the city government referred to the area as Magsaysay Market. I did my time buying fresh fish, shrimps, clams, crabs, etc. in that area and I can’t see any reason for Mayor Brian Lim to remove and relocate the vendors today except for perhaps sanitary and health reasons, but that is not the case.
It could only be for guaranteed financial considerations offered by parties needing to earn bigger profits in the area. Add to these, the daily take for allowing Bulacan bangus to hold sway in Dagupan City, and the privilege to pass on their bangus in other markets as Dagupan bangus.
I can only surmise who in the city hall and how much they are pocketing daily.
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OPPRESSIVE RESTRICTIONS. The policy restricting presence and operations of ambulant fish vendors in a limited area for only 3 hours, from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m., is unmistakably aimed at garnering sales from the bulk of the marketgoers in favor of an interest group that provides the guaranteed income to city hall occupants.
The unconscionable threat to confiscate the vendors’ pails and other receptacles if caught selling in the area beyond 8 a.m. is an indication of how big the guaranteed income being pocketed is.
Did Mayor Brian also order confiscation of the smartphones of the vendors if they dare take video of abuses by his henchmen in the area? The market marshals said so.
Of course, we all know what that guaranteed payoff is meant for – to cover campaign expenses and to be pocketed.
Unfortunately for the vendors, they will have to suffer the insatiable greed of the Lim administration.
The vendors can only think of one payback – to convince their relatives and friends to junk all the candidates of the Brian Lim-Czarinna Lim ticket in their ballots.
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OFFSHORE MINING CAN BE STOPPED. There is no stopping the ongoing exploration by the Iron Ore and Vanadium Resources Philippines Inc. at the Lingayen Gulf. It already has the imprimatur of Malacañang.
But what the Vanadium does not have is the nod of the Supreme Court that it can proceed notwithstanding Presidential Proclamation No. 156 that declared the Lingayen Gulf as a critical environmental area.
So for Pangasinan, it’s not a lost cause. The livelihood of fishermen can still be saved and our communities can continue to be assured of regular supply of fish from the Lingayen Gulf on their dinner table BUT ONLY IF the provincial government and the fisherfolk file a petition before the Supreme Court for a restraining order against Vanadium invoking the provisions of Presidential Proclamation 156!
I hope former Gov. Oscar Orbos can lead the private sector to go to the Supreme Court to stop this serious threat to Pangasinenses’ environment while Second District Board Member Von Mark Mendoza and Fourth District Board Member Jeremy Agerico Rosario consider teaming up to file that petition.
To boost the resistance, our congressmen in the First, Second and Fourth Districts (Reps. Arnold Celeste, Jumel Espino and Toff De Venecia) should manifest their objection on the floor, at the very least, to the offshore mining because of its impact on their constituents’ environment.
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ACCOUNTABILITY. Was it possible that DENR was not aware of the Presidential Proclamation 156 when it advised Malacañang that there is no legal impediment for the signing of the Financial Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) like it did in the case of the offshore mining in Cagayan?
But Cagayan was not invoked in any presidential proclamation or decree or Republic Act as being a critical environmental area.
Know that Proclamation No. 156 specifically placed the Lingayen Gulf under a special management area that will be subjected to management regulations in accordance with the Lingayen Gulf Coastal Area Management Plan formulated by the Regional Development Council of Region 1, in coordination with the Regional Office of the National Economic and Development Authority, the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Resources Research and Development and several other agencies and local government units.
In this regard, if the provincial government does not act to file that petition knowing fully well of the protection that Presidential Proclamation 156 offers, then the Espino administration should be made to account for its negligence once the destruction of the Lingayen Gulf is consummated without any resistance from it.
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PRESIDENTIAL HORSE RACE. The political horse race towards New Normal is on. Place your bets, gentlemen and ladies!
Out there are formers: former boxer, former actor, former police general, son of former president, and wife of former DILG secretary.
Manny Pacquiao, an absentee senator, was always a boxer all his life. He’s the richest of them all.
Francisco Domagoso (Isko Moreno) newly elected mayor of Manila, was an actor in local erotic films, and served as councilor and vice mayor. He beat reelectionist Erap.
Ping Lacson served as PNP chief and senator for 3 terms, is the man most hated by jueteng lords and corrupt contractors.
Bongbong Marcos is heir apparent of President Marcos who served as vice governor, governor, congressman and senator post People Power ’86.
Leni Robredo, widow of former DILG Sec, Jesse Robredo, the only vice president who was most critical of the government being chairman of the Liberal Party.
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NEW NORMAL CAMPAIGN. The usual campaign activities will already be done via podcasts, TV, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, Zoom, radio broadcast, and print ads.
In lieu of catering for campaign staff meetings, food will be delivered by riders during Zoom meetings.
And vote-buying will be via GCash, PayPal, Pay Maya, Palawan Express, M.Lhuilier, Cebuana Lhuilier, Western Union, etc. and ATM!
The only thing that will not change will be printing and installation of posters and streamers in public areas, distribution of t-shirts and caps, motorcades.
No public rallies. No stage entertainment.
Watch out for face masks and shields, sim cards and loads, vaccines, burgers and chicken meals, drinks bearing the names of candidates. Stickers will be distributed via smartphones.
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