Saturday, September 22, 2018

Bautista: Cure in Quirino

All in Good Time

WHAT a blessing it was for us to be invited by the Vice Governor of Quirino Province. In 2014, this was a first. Never was there any reason to come over just for it. An impending super typhoon was also anticipated. Just recently we experienced some bad weather and even road conditions was to be questioned. Previously and as with advices, there were some road closures.

We still went for it. An invitation we can't refuse. In 2014, it was just a letter of invite which I was forced to attend. It is different this time as I am now head of the delegation. Apparently, I handle one of the biggest in terms of land area and coverage plus the largest number of scouts per region today. All of the Northeastern Region I take charge. As far as Batanes.

We opted to stay in our favorite place in Solano, Balai Gloria, good food and lodgings for four at least cost. A preferred client I already am. A spa also available, after a long drive, perfect. Two beds and two pull away beds, perfect for four.

Heading towards Quirino was light and easy. I wondered why. Just previously towards Cauayan, there were so many trucks. Maybe this is not the season, well I am very happy to have enjoyed the trip to Quirino. Just a little over an hour we reached the place.

The reason we opted to stay in Solano was because we would not be accorded accommodations. True enough. In fact, even for hot coffee we had none. A decent breakfast, none. Cheap cup soup was what was offered. Everything was closed. A holiday for Quirino on its founding.

Up until the governor and the vice governor arrive did things brighten up for us. We were their guests and true enough we suddenly were treated like royalty. The governor was gracious and humble, thankful we came. The Vice whom I've met previously and with the personal invite was very motherly to us. Perfect hosts.

We were hosted in a facility within the Provincial Capitol. Together with the Korean Ambassador as their guests, they guided us to their newest attraction, a Wakeboard Water Complex! I would never have thought. Not in Quirino. They were so proud to mention that it is not man made. Waters flowing from the river. It was fresh and clean. State of the art it was too. I would learn that it is the project of the Congressman, the young son of the Governor, that I thought so. Definitely not the governor nor the vice for sure.

I did share a few things with them. The governor understanding what I was sharing. We spoke about scouting, clean air and garbage, and hoped we could both be in Congress for next, to fix things from left off conversations from this as he says.

About Korea, I had many, many things to say. He was excited for many things. It will be an exchange of roles with his son for next. He, too, was a classmate of Uncle Gil. With the vice, she too had a listening ear and wanted for me to explain in further detail. I shared that for such a beautiful facility, maybe the tourism council, a private entity can take charge. Less problems than when it is with government. Audit would also be a hounding problem, I'm serious especially with COA.

The Panagbenga was during my time made to be handled by the private sector to avoid controversy to me or any other government official. It too would also be handled professionally, by experts. Donors would be a breeze for it too under a private entity. It's not nice for government to ask or look for donors, it may be construed differently.

Potential, too, was of a facility handled by professionals that will ensure and sustain its being. Another issue I raised which will determine its life or sustainability is the fees it would determine. For now, the Sanggunian through an Ordinance pegged it at P150 only for a whole hour. That's just too cheap. It would be difficult to maintain at such a cheap rate.

Under a private partnership, it would not be a problem as they can measure up a rate that can sustain the facility, no need for any Ordinance to be passed on first, second and on third and final reading which takes so much time. Even rates cannot be jacked up so high because it is assumed that it is owned by the people.

It was such a beautiful facility and something worth coming back for. The governor had even asked me to bring family. I think I will consider. An invite is next for me to teach and guide them about what to do. I'm happy I was listened to. They ask for more. I will.