War of the words-A A +A
Monday, August 19, 2013
POSITIVE results may still come out of the word war between Congressman Evelio Leonardia and Mayor Monico Puentevella. To prove that one is better as a public official than the other, this early it looks like they are trying to outdo each other in performance.
Less than two months in office, Congressman Leonardia has filed several bills in Congress intended to benefit Bacolod City, such as the opening of additional government agencies here so we don’t have to travel to Iloilo or Manila. His latest was to ask for the creation of additional city courts, which we sorely need.
Not to be outdone, Mayor Monico has beefed up the number of traffic enforcers, the better to regulate the movement of vehicles, and he has helped ease the issue of garbage collection. His administration is now talking of addressing the problem of illegal vendors, and he is bent on ending the unresolved issues of the City with Ceneco and Baciwa.
Both Mayor and Congressman have been pushing buttons in Manila to hurry up the actual operation of the airport as a destination for international flights and, in spite of the criticisms and counter-criticisms from both camps, have set the stage for the earliest opening of the access road leading to the Bacolod-Silay Airport.
Bacolodnons belonging to my generation may still recall a similar “competition” between then Congressman Romeo Guanzon and former Mayor Alfredo Montelibano Jr., both now deceased. There was mutual dislike between them too, but that did not stop them from working along parallel paths in terms of public service even though, as the poem goes, “ne-er their twain (did) meet”.
Those were the days when the race for public approval translated into who can cement more streets in Bacolod. The competition between them then was so fierce that a standing joke among coffee shop habitues was that each one offered a “finders-fee” to anyone who can find an un-cemented road for them to work on. The result? Until today we have some of the best roads and streets in the country.
Cong Bing and Mayor Newks may not be friends; they may hate each other’s guts and may not stop criticizing each other—okay lang. So long as their mutual dislike does not get in the way of their performance as district and city officials of Bacolod; so long as their work as public servants guides them along parallel though different paths; and for as long as we see the running of our city government and its services improve in spite of their mutual spite, we will continue to respect them. Why, they may even find themselves re-elected the next time around!!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 19, 2013.