‘Pork’ and polls-A A +A
Monday, October 28, 2013
ONE significant point that came out in yesterday’s barangay elections is the absence of any clear indication that “pork” was used by candidates to assist them during the campaign and on election day. If there was any trace of this fund being used by anyone, this was not open and obvious.
In our town, until the polls closed in the afternoon yesterday, I had yet to hear of reports of untoward incidents in the voting for bets in the poblacion barangays that was held in the town’s central school.
Balamban has only 15 barangays in the first district, according to the school principal. The second district is based in the southern part of our town and has Barangay Buanoy, the industrial sector where the Tsuneishi, Metaphil, and Austal firms are located.
The municipality, which is some 49 kilometers west from Cebu City across the Trans-central high way, is famous for vehicular accidents involving less-careful drivers.
These have already claimed a good number of lives, including 17 Iranians two years ago.
And so, to veer away from this quite infamous and notorious reputation, there is strong effort on the part of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to cleanse itself.
Anyone now who would like to cross the east-west highway will note that work is steadily going on for kilometers at length to overcome the ill-repute and risky status of the road. This is perhaps one public works project that the “pork” issue should never be invoked.
Actually, I am not knowledgeable about where the money being used to fund the work on the highway came from, but the work has continued until last weekend regardless.
It is quite satisfying for me that the pork barrel problem has not affected the work on the Trans-central Highway. I am sure that the highway has been a recipient of pork barrel for some time now.
Early on, I was told that expenses for the lighting of the road from the moment you enter Gaas, the first barangay of Balamban from Cebu City, all the way down to the heart of town, was from a pork barrel grant of a senator.
The Trans-central Highway is lighted through the courtesy of Globe for the electric posts and the power installation on each post through the donation of Sen. Joker Arroyo that was obtained by his lady political coordinator in Cebu for Balamban.
The reason for Joker’s action was purely one of benevolence, and hardly political.
Globe’s communication line to Balamban had constantly been a victim of thieves, affecting our first private communication system.
Then Globe and the senator met and agreed that Globe would allow its post to be used for Joker to install electric lights on the post, and the problem of the stolen communications wire was solved.
So much for the barangay elections and the matter of the “pork,” which is all for the good of everyone, regardless of where the funds came from.
But the Trans-central issue is one where the “pork” and the polls did meet, and benefited each other.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 29, 2013.