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At Close Range
Thursday, October 24, 2013
CBD. Central business district. Cause for building development.
In due time, people of Mabalacat, neighboring areas and Central Luzon will witness the rise of a central business district in the northern part of the new Mabalacat City.
Give it to Mayor Marino "Boking" Morales to announce to the world this great happening, a huge transformational development that could help the new city become competitive and very viable. Mayor Boking cannot settle for less than national publication. In its October 22, 2013 issue of Manila Bulletin -Luzon News section, correspondent Mark Anthony N. Manuel reported on the world-class CBD and touched on the mayor's plan to adopt the World Bank's City Development Strategies (CDS) starting January next year. I am not aware of local media pronouncements regarding this development. After all, local media practitioners are on Mayor Boking's hand and command. So...
As stated in Manuel's report, the CDS is part of the five-year plan to make the city the new center of development and investments in the whole Central Luzon. Per Mayor Boking's plan, he hopes to replicate that of the Dau business district.
Now, how would the hardworking mayor start the gargantuan project? Ah, but the very resourceful local chief executive has the superb technical expertise and experience (and connections) to initiate the project. He is an AIM masters degree holder after all. Plus his charisma to attract donors who do not seem to have donor fatigue despite previous and repeated solicitations!
The project reportedly requires P3 billion construction fund. Talagang dakal ken. I just hope that many qualified contractors be invited to participate and not just a few, favored and privileged ones.
If this huge project finally gets off the ground and truly materialize, it will give the Mayor a big leap in stature, magnitude and scope and it will be the best legacy he can leave behind, first for the former town and now the city of Mabalacat he spent most of his valuable waking hours for.
I only hope that the current circle of people forming his inner group or cordon sanitaire will be changed, replaced or revamped so as to allow progress to move freely and not be stifled by their individual selfish motives.
What Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Conrado Quiros wrote in his column of October 22, 2013 would be relevant here: The hardest to see is not what's far, it's what's near. The biggest enemy is not outside, it is inside. Fall or rise? Maybe. But it's hard to rise when there's deadweight pulling you down.
It's hard to float when your feet are tied to a hollow block.
In the case of Boking, some observers say, he tends to be forgetful of people who have sincerely helped in his advocacies and strongly befriends those who criticize him. He tries to befriend and gets them over to his camp at all costs. Meanwhile, his loyal supporters are pushed aside and taken for granted. Hit him with a diatribe and he will cozy up to you, some say. But once he knows you're on his side, then, that's when his mental lapses begin. Well...
It's election time on Monday for the village officials. Let us choose and vote wisely. Only the deserving should be elected. Those who rely mainly on political patronage should be disregarded. Better if we elect the independent-minded but who turn out to be the best officials we will have. Elect the good professionals, not the laggards and the lazy bones. Ilako tala deng manintunan mu. I pwestu tala deng mayap a parasan para keng siyudad tamu at memalen na.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on October 25, 2013.