Rural light

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Monday, June 9, 2014


FOR the second time, I received a copy of a 20-page publication designed purely for communication and information in a rural community. But it is a well-done piece of work, truly suited for mass readers in a small town. Called “Ang Bag-ong Banwag” (“The New Light”), it is intended as an “LGU (Local Government Unit) Newsletter.”

The Banwag quarterly, by its masthead, has revealed that it has already served Barili town for well over five years. (The copy I have now is this year’s first quarter issue.) Through the head of this publication, one can easily glean what Banwag is all about.

Barili is in Cebu’s western side, along the Tañon Strait, but its villages are spread out to the interior. Thus its main concern is its “farm-to-market roads,” specifically to connect and facilitate the movement of its farm products to the market.

It seems that its focus this year is the construction of more rural roads. As the main feature of Banwag points out: “The services of roads are like blood vessels in the human body. Whether the road is in the city, town, or barangay through it the people’s life activities flow.”

This declaration points to the necessity of giving due recognition to the importance of “passageways for vehicles, public or private, to (grant) the people’s varied interest such as business, agro-industrial factories, tourism, the government machinery, and other activities.”

In Barili, it is said, most of the villages are accessible to transportation especially with motorcycles or “habal-habal.”

“The farm-to-market roads in Barili have been constructed through the years by different administrations. Under the present group of Mayor Teresito P. Mariñas, Vice Mayor Jose A. Nemeno and Sangguniang Bayan members, more infrastructure projects were undertaken, including opening of new roads, as well as improvement and surfacing of existing ones, on top of concreting of the roads in targeted barangays.” On the part of the people, the town expects them to help keep the peace and order.

Banwag, to me, is a good community tool for local governments. Through it, the constituents have a common ground through which to communicate and exchange views about common problems such as peace and order and the fight against criminality.

Banwag is edited by Teresita B. Carampatana, whom I may have met years ago when I was director of the now defunct Department of Public Information in Central Visayas, for which reason I recognize the editing competence and the coverage and handling of this quarterly.

There is truly a need for our local government units to device tools for reaching out to the constituents and other sectors of the native population, not only with the aim of harnessing them for work but also to assist in the effort for development and progress. For instance, Banwag reports that Barili has maintained a municipal library, as well as a ready data on crime.

The 20-page quarterly, indeed, sheds a better light as guide and information tool on Barili.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 10, 2014.

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