Monday July 16, 2018

Talubut: Beginnings

CLARK'S Point-To-Point (P2P) bus service should succeed.

It is the only convenient, comfortable and fastest way between Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) and Clark International Airport (airport code: CRK) aboard a public transport vehicle like what is currently being provided by Genesis Transport Service (Genesis).

I have personally tried this service going to Trinoma in Quezon City one Sunday afternoon. That particular bus I took ran on time like clockwork precision. Prior to taking it, I asked somebody from the Genesis’ office through text what time would the bus arrive at Clark’s Main Gate area (one of its four pick-up and drop-off points).

I was advised to be at said pick up point (at SM Clark’s flagpole area to be exact) at 1:40 p.m. And voila, it indeed arrived on the dot. That bus leaves the Clark airport area at 1:30 p.m. and has stops at Nayong Pilipino and DOTr offices near Berthaphil along the way. So, it took only 10 minutes in total for the bus to go thru its Clark route which I estimate to be in a 10-kilometer stretch.

The Clark-Trinoma ride took exactly one hour and twenty minutes. I supposed that if it were a weekday, it could have gotten a little longer, depending on the time of day.

For a brief moment there, the bus’ on time arrival made me feel like I was taking a bus in New York City where the arrival times of buses are posted on lampposts on waiting areas (or could be accessed on MTA’s website). But unlike the New York buses, Genesis had drivers and conductors who are polite and they donned smiles (at least in the ones I saw).

I hope for this bus service to succeed. It has a market that needs to be tapped. Some family and friends abroad have already asked me for details about it. Simply because they also find this to be beneficial.

A sibling of mine in California who plans to come home in January with his wife is already telling us not to bother picking them up at Naia when they arrive. He sounds serious enough to take the P2P bus to Clark where I could pick them up. A friend in the East Coast who travels home frequently plans to do the same. Some relatives in other places are also asking about details of pick up points, fares and other stops, manifesting great interests on the service.


Monday, October 9, will mark the first 100 days of Crisostomo Cunanan Garbo as mayor of Mabalacat City who took over the helm by virtue of the disqualification case that gave former mayor Marino Pineda Morales the boot.

What could be cited as his accomplishment so far?

As one of the city’s quarter million residents, I could name two major things.

One is solving the traffic jam at the intersection of Macarthur Highway and Velasquez street at the Poblacion area. This is the bottleneck leading to NLEX and Clark’s Mabalacat Gate that was a huge headache for many many years. Something that now enables businessmen and residents to recover multimillion pesos that are wasted in traffic (for EDSA traffic, the estimate by JICA is P3 billion per day).

What solution did he apply? It was simple. Something that I have been writing and telling the local officials to do for so long now – truck ban during rush hours.

While I knew that Mayor Garbo was no rocket scientist like me, I did not know of his gutsy move that might have hurt the haulers of sand and quarry operators as a result of the ban. It took the will of a man who once told me of the plaints of barangay captains for writing about the passway fees they used to collect from these sand haulers.

A major contributor of traffic in the area (and also in Porac-Angeles road where a truck ban has ben in effect for years now) are these sand haulers, especially those that has long payloads.

Another major accomplishment, which should make Balaquenos happy, is the institutionalized health program and medical benefits.

There is now this so-called Central Pharmacy which dispenses medicines to needy persons and indigent residents. On top of the P15 million funds for medicines, the Garbo administration has also allotted additional P25 million for hospitalization and burial benefits.

Gone are the days when the city’s residents would go to the Provincial Capitol, braved the sun and rain and queue up for medical assistance being given by Governor Pineda. Gone are the days when residents would peddle medical prescriptions from one office to another just to be able to get relief from their illnesses. Gone are the days for begging and seeking alms for medical attention.

Take a bow Mayor Garbo.