How is Hapsay?-A A +A
I have issues
Thursday, October 3, 2013
AS THE Cagayan de Oro City Hall dons a new bright white re-painting, we are reminded that it’s just been three months into the new Mayor’s term of reigning in the challenges of this glorious city, what seemed like a hero’s welcome after May, has now turned into suspicion, and speculation as to how much change has there really been after 13 long years of being under an Emano leadership.
Today the city stands, faced with new challenges, from the paramount to the trivial, from resurrecting our tourism market shackled by the Bistro Bombing, to the continuous tug of war for discipline in the city streets.
So how has Mayor Moreno done so far? Perhaps an evaluative question that doesn’t seem to fair to ask, considering he’s only been in power for roughly a few months, however much as the crowd that heralded his ascension was quick enough to thrust him into the salvation category, so must be we the people start asking potent questions about this city’s desires and hopes for change.
I interviewed Mayor Moreno a month before his inauguration, and he said something that struck me, he said that “Cagayan de Oro will be the best city in Mindanao.” Of course as politicians are there is no surprise for casting this enormous promise, I asked myself if he was really serious about it. Perhaps this was just a rhetorically charged statement, driven by much bravado caused by a historically changing victory, but much in my heart also hoped that he was right, and that he would deliver.
So fast-forward to operation Hapsay, a move that met with much controversy, and resistance. Mayor Moreno ordered the cleaning up of the streets, in the projects words, simply enforcing the rules of traffic and safety, so much to the displeasure of many side walk vendors, Divisoria was no longer a place where they could freely sell. I have to be honest, few days into it I was liking the order around the city, I liked that the streets weren’t as cluttered, but there was still traffic naturally, but a lot more of the road that was once occupied by vendors were now accessible.
But fast-forward now, and as my friend noted the enforcement seems to have waned a bit, what was once a shock-and-awe effect for Hapsay, has now been in my opinion the look of being resigned, resigned to the fact that they cannot sustain the initial order that it brought. Now the street vendors are back once again.
Though to me this spells two things, government failure and also our failure, while it can be said that Hapsay was supposed to enforce the rules, Hapsay also meant a reciprocal exchange of duty on our part as well, to obey the rules, not only amid the presence of authority, but even without it.
Maybe it masks apologetics for the new leadership, but I think the challenge has to be equal, to the city government I hope your re-painting is as good as your efforts to continue to clean up the city, to the people, this is your government, this is who you voted for, it’s time to own up and commit to order.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 03, 2013.