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My Palm Notes
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
OVER a cup of coffee last week, Mabalacat City Mayor Marino Morales expressed his disappointment with how the local police and its enforcers ignore sand and gravel trucks, which are parked illegally on the outer lanes and shoulder of northern MacArthur Highway.
Mayor Morales had to call City Administrator Rosan Pacquia to ask him to draft a memo addressed to City Chief of Police, Superintendent Ferdinand Perez to effect the apprehension of drivers who illegally park their vehicles along MacArthur Highway, especially from Tabun to Mamatitang area.
I believe the memo was already served to Superintendent Perez as of this writing.
In particular, the mayor wants to see the newly expanded portion of MacArthur Highway cleared of sand and gravel trucks which made portions of this national road as parking lots.
And who would not want a clear, unobstructed road especially now as the national leadership wants every centavo in the infrastructure budget really worth it (given the pork barrel scam).
Allowing these trucks to park on portions of the highway is like letting them to destroy newly improved roads that were built with taxpayers' money.
There's no need telling how these trucks' tons of payload destroys the highway's pavement. That’s aside from the fact that they pose as traffic hazard and accident risks to other motorists and passengers.
Aside from this Memo, people want to see members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (the Vice Mayor and Councilors) to help in the enforcement of laws that would conserve these roads. People want to see them get down from their vehicles (on their way to and from City Hall in Tabun) and ask the drivers to park their trucks somewhere else.
Now, I know that these honorable men may complain again that it is not their job as they were elected to legislate local laws. They could be right, but I believe that orderliness, protection of government property, ensuring public safety is still well within their mandates. They need not wait for another formal letter asking them to do so, if they are really sensitive to public clamor and opinion. I am but disappointed too whenever I raise this issue to them and hear them say in return "that is enforcement and that is not my job."
People also want to see the establishment of a truck terminal that will ultimately solve this problem along MacArthur Highway. I have written City Officials (from Mayor Morales down to all City Councilors) and suggested this common truck bay which will also serve as an income-generating measure for city coffers.
Vice Mayor Christian Halili had actually and promptly responded within a few days after receiving my letter last month and has ordered Councilor Eddie Sotto, who chairs the SP Committee that has to do with public safety, to submit a report within 15 days.
In return, the SP had given me a copy of that report but nothing was ever mentioned about the proposed truck terminal. The report, signed by Sotto, Councilors Benny Jocson, Rox Pena, Gerald Gutrie Aquino and Carlo Nino Rivera, however, did mention some issues like duties and responsibilities of the City Traffic Enforcement Group (on monitoring of tricycles as school service and orderliness of traffic along MacArthur Highway) and that the committee will also call the attention of quarry operators to construct a paved road (from MacArthur Highway to quarry sites).
On the part of the Office of the Mayor, some staff has been ordered to look for an available property which could be used for such purpose. When finally established, the truck terminal will also address (I hope) collection issues. It may be noted that, aside from duly authorized fees from sand haulers, the nagging problem about illegal passway fees levied by some barangay councils will be addressed.
I believe Mayor Morales had also recently issued a separate memo to barangay councils to cease from collecting passway fees which was also ordered by the DILG several months ago.
Meantime, while the truck terminal is still being worked at, people want to see a concerted action where those whom they elected (those who have been given power) would at least take part in enforcement of laws.
I believe they need not wait for Mayor Morales to officially appoint a Czar or somebody else to lead this one ala Isko Moreno of Manila City.
Or do they?
RONRON CAPID. People at Barangay San Francisco, Mabalacat City are clamoring for a new leadership and the most logical and wisest alternative they see is the young Ronnel Canlas Capid.
Ronron has started young in public service at 29 years old, serving as Kagawad right after the death of his Dad – the late Councilor Ric Capid – who was an undefeated and three-termer member of the Sangguninag Bayan.
Now at 35 years old, Ronron is ripe enough to lead Barangay San Francisco as his experience, coupled by the public service blood that runs in his veins, could be considered as asset for any barangay leader.
Ronron does not only have the mold of an outstanding leader. He also has sensible plans for San Francisco to become one of the most productive among Mabalacat City’s 27 barangays, eyeing education, health, jobs, peace and order among his priorities.
He is highly respected by both the young and old of Barangay San Francisco who want some reforms in many areas.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 28, 2013.