Trading -- Angelenos’ Prime Industry-A A +A
By Ram Mercado
Sunday, September 1, 2013
LIKE the rest of the nation, Pampangos flared in quiet indignation with the pork barrel scam. But they are not opposing the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in practice.
If there was any abuse or thievery in the dispensation of PDAF projects in the province, it was the exception than the norm.
“SOPs” for lawmakers’ projects are no longer a talking point here. We have to hear of ghost projects like the construction of bridges to nowhere.
If there were suspicions of corruption by lawmakers from their PDAF, these were in the nature of commissions from overpriced and undocumented projects.
Pampangos have largely benefited from the lawmakers’ pork barrel programs. The people are still hopeful that the XVI Congress will allocate the same amount to fund our representatives’ priority projects.
This corner has been urging our lawmakers to provide the public a list of their pet projects, using the PDAF in whatever name it comes. They have the right to be informed.
I am certain that Representative Rimpy Bondoc has set certain goals for the 4th District. The same may be said of our hospital-detained Rep. Gloria M. Arroyo whose projects his loving and devoted son, former Rep. Mikey Arroyo has been implementing in the 2nd District.
We have not heard from Rep. Oscar Rodriguez concerning his proposed projects for the 3rd District. Fernandinos, most of all Engr. Dong Gonzales, are eager to know what these are as they anticipate the proven creativeness and high-impact enterprises of their former mayor.
Now, it is the mindset of the residents of Angeles City that their unprecedented support to his candidacy had put former Vice Gov. Yeng Guiao to Congress.
I am sure the Angeleños are expecting their new congressman to put a larger measure of his PDAF to their community.
Rep. Guiao should not forget that Angeles, since time immemorial, has been a trading city. Trading is the commerce of goods and services.
Angeles’ economic life has been built in traditional trading -- as in the buy-and-sell business. The native seldom gives something for free. US soldiers have taught our women, for instance, that even “free love” is not free.
Agriculture and industries, like manufacturing, do not comprise the strength of the local economy.
Merchandise from PX shops, motor vehicles from Clark, and even trafficked women were the commodities in the ancient buy and sell industry. The largest commodity of them all is political support.
If the Honorable Guiao wants a second term for certain, he should play politics with Angeles residents. He has virtually “bought” their votes through high financing and promises. Thus he was elected to office. They expect him -- their official trading partner -- to repay them through the PDAF or by whatever animal it’s called.
Does Rep. Yeng know that the city government has a plan to build a 30-bedroom modern hospital? The poor people here also deserve a city hospital which would house a cancer and trauma center as well as a coronary care unit. A large-scale road widening and improvement program has been undergoing. Sir Yeng can make his vaunted three-point shots in these areas.
“God teaches us to be brave when we’re frightened, to be strong when we are weak. But most of all, He teaches us to hold on to Him when things keep falling.”
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 02, 2013.