Clearing the air

-A A +A

By Peter Rey Bautista

All In Good Time

Friday, June 13, 2014


THERE are just some things that may set me on a polar path. That is when some Juan will remark about the city. Meaning, when some aleck would say some things about this city we love. Seemingly a lot of them come up to this city and impress on every Juan about Baguio. They will usually brag to the whole world on social network about how excited they are about going up to this city above the clouds. Then return back home and ride along with whatever issue was present and rant their thoughts once more. It was as if they spent a lifetime up where we are.

Much has been said about Baguio's air quality coming from an old report. Taking the perspective of the 90% they will agree to agree with this report. The rest will do some analyzing or research further from what was reported in the news. Unfortunate, too, are the reactions from those who have not spent in this place. A weekend tourist who just so happens to come up for the weekend or those attending some seminar. The comments are all varied but all in the negative. Sadly enough is the timing of such reports.

Baguio, it is true, has been left behind in ways we can never imagine.

Advertisement

We were the tourist destination of choice. We were also the convention destination. And weddings. Nowadays, several provinces will claim to be the new Summer Capital and I can’t help but take offense.

There is only one, Baguio! Yesterday some Juan asked me how is temperature in the city. I replied by saying, “The coldest you get here is actually our warmest, not hottest.” Some though noticed Baguio was just too warm. There are reasons for this. Noontime will always be the warmest, being up in the clouds is also being like a greenhouse and cloud cover just holds on to warm air. Experiencing cold temperatures obviously will come in during dusk and will last until dawn. Some even think that our temperature is "edited" as it is not the case for them. Bring them to Atok or Mt. Pulag.

Warm temperature is also an effect of vehicle emission. Did you know only in Baguio will Juan find FX taxis? Yes all the FX found in the Metro was all dumped here. Only Baguio was given an exemption to continue its use. For unbelievable reasons it was granted by DOTC. While it is also true that NO franchises will be given for Baguio, others did one better and got them in Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos and as far as Pampanga LTOs. Wow! Awan met taxi da ijay! Napan da amin ditoy. No joke.

Now comes this WHO report on air quality. Who can say this is false? Of course it is all true, but I'm just glad it was only done in three cities. Metro Cebu and Manila, included. So, Juan will say impossible, as we all know it could not be.

I am partly to be blamed. I will admit this. I asked for Baguio to be part of this limited study on clean air. My purpose was to get real facts not "sabi-sabi". I had the machine located in the worst part of the city. Confident enough to show and get results. Unknowingly, the two other Metros took a different path. Their equipment was placed in an area to showcase an end result featuring positive figures. That's the story, end of story.

But let us not end there and lambast or shun such a report.

It was actually done upon MY request so as to showcase a worst scenario and that WE SHOULD ALL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. This was also the time when I wanted pedestrianization for Session Rd. The main reason why I had the machine situated down below this iconic thoroughfare.

It was for me to wake up every Juan to the reality the CBD must adopt some changes. During my term I was glad the Council supported my ban on tricycles! Yes I think it's only us which imposed this ban. I was put into controversy involving a motorcycle association as they thought I banned all motorcycles.

Did you know two stroke motorcycles are ten times worse than a dark smoke emitting FX? Funny how others showcase their own places as clean air when all Juan sees are tricycles? That is absurd. We have clean air I will assure every Juan. The choice was in fact for the machine to be placed in CJH in the forest but it would not have served its purpose. I am a scholar of two clean air conventions. I am a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol. Please look it up. Thus I knew what I was doing. Also bad air does not go up, it stays down, another reason as to why the machine stayed below the foot of Session Rd.

Now that the report is once more an issue, continue to let it be. Talk of pedestrianization is back, too. Funny but the Council banned bicycles in the CBD. That is just weird. I had to order bike racks at one time in Session Rd. Well I guess we just can't have it all.

The way every juan reacted to such report only goes to show how ignorant Juan can be. While this may come as a surprise to many, it was not for me. Let us use this report to our advantage. Appeal for some actions to be made, push for a better plan. No more complaining, I gave you the real issue to the story, use it to your advantage, seize the moment and continue with your plans for pedestrians taking over our streets.

Oh I took part in the first and only bike through in the CBD. Let us do it again. I jumped a few staircases with my bike, yes again! Paging Jp and Imam. Aren't you glad I convinced CJH to allow bikes along its streets?

Thank you very much.

Let me leave you with this, it is in the developed countries where the RICH take public transport, walk or bike.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 14, 2014.

Opinion

DISCLAIMER: Sun.Star website welcomes friendly debate, but comments posted on this site do not necessary reflect the views of the Sun.Star management and its affiliates. Sun.Star reserves the right to delete, reproduce or modify comments posted here without notice. Posts that are inappropriate will automatically be deleted.

Forum rules: Do not use obscenity. Some words have been banned. Stick to the topic. Do not veer away from the discussion. Be coherent and respectful. Do not shout or use CAPITAL LETTERS!

Today's front page

Sun.Star Baguio's front page for November 28, 2014

Other front pages

Sun.Star Jobs
  • Filipino Abroad
  • Obituary
  • Philippine Polls
  • Sinulog
  • Sunstar Multimedia
  • Calamity Report
  • goodearth
  • ePaper
  • Sun.Star Zup!
  • Technology
  • Habemus Papam
  • Festivals
  • tell it to sunstar
  • Pacman blog
  • Pnoy
  • SunStar Celebrity