What is a Liveable City?

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


LIVEABLE- Anything that is wrong in a town or a city, cursing is always directed towards to those in charge of governance, and in many cases the mayor gets most of the flak. In several occasions this is discussed most often among members of the Angeles City Council. Just like the other day, no other than Councilor Edu Pamintuan, the amiable son of Mayor Edpam sought approval of three measures raising issues about marking lanes, potholed streets etc. etc.

Majority members of the council, the likes of Jericho Aguas, Alex Indiongco, and Amos Rivera shared the sentiments of Councilor Pamintuan. And minority members Carmelo 'Pogi' Lazatin and Bryan Nepomuceno couldn't but agree more with Mona Lisa smile in their faces, since the measures tend to put extra weight on the many complaints of the constituency while propagandists of hizzoner keep milling stories that Angeles City is a potential winner as one of the more liveable cities in the country. Say that again?

DISTORTED VIEW -- Every Angeles residents should give a grade-A to Mayor Pamintuan for his effort to make really the city a liveable place to live in. I sincerely believe he wants to leave a legacy when he leaves office and bequeath such to son Edu.The trouble comes when everybody around him, including sycophants tend to agree that the city is really one of the best in the world. What was claimed suffers a flawed assessment of the real situation on the ground. I maybe raising a higher bar. I am used to presentation of what a place should become when I was a member of the board of the Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation. I had the privilege to participate in the discussions with the likes of Tony Aquino, president of Ayala Land Inc and his successor Bobby Dy. Seated in a room with them and joined by Fernando Zobel, Butch Campos, Arnel Casanova, Narciso Abaya, Rene Valencia and others is a total education for me on how to build a liveable place.

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GROWTH -- In a way, Mayor Ed Pamintuan has the bragging rights whenever he claims in his public speeches that under his watch the city achieved a remarkable growth in terms of number of business establishments which located in the city and the increased in the expenditure budget to P1.350 billion this year. But much is still desired. Say for example if how the money from the coffers are spent, if priorities are carefully evaluated etc. etc.

Dreaming is strictly none revenue, it is commonly said. How everybody wish it could come true. I am referring to an architect perspective of what Angeles City could become in years to come which was recently published in this paper some days ago. I can say nothing but, WOW! No, the people who saw it are not shaking their heads.

THE BASICS -- For more than a year now I asked repeatedly my friend City Engineer Don Dizon the sad state of San Joaquin road, a few meter stretch that connects Villa Angela, Villa Dolores and Palmera subdivision residents to the Land Transportation Office branch along the MacArthur highway. It seems there is no money for the potholes dotting almost all roads in the city. It would seem also no money to repair the traffic lights at the circumferential road near Porac-Angeles boundary. The traffic lights along MacArthur Highway intersected by Magalang Avenue are not working many months now.

By now principal and secondary roads should have been installed CCTV monitors and public buildings including schools, libraries and extension offices should have been wired with free internet connections. Those were the first measures I proposed on the first session of the city council which were readily approved but not yet implemented.

And the saddest part, the city councilors in session or in a committee meeting whenever they wanted to go to the john to relieve their kidneys will have to share the CR of Vice-Mayor Vicky Cabigting. It became a coed toilet. If you are talking about a liveable session hall, it is a potential loser.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 24, 2014.

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