JUST recently, at around 8 in the evening, at 10th Street, two girls were walking going to Lacson Street.
Suddenly, men riding-in-tandem on a motorcycle passed by and declared a hold-up.
Caught by surprise and out of fear, one of the girls gave her bag to the back rider, who sped away in the direction of Capitol Shopping Center.
The other girl ran away for fear of her life.
The hold-up happened in the dark portion of 10th Street, which is a microcosm of the many streets of Bacolod – dark at night.
Yes, there are street lamp poles along 10th Street, which is one of the major streets from Lacson Street going to St. John’s Institute, and to the Capitol Shopping Center.
However, like in many streets in Bacolod, the street lamp poles are just standing there, with lamps which are not functioning.
Again, like in other streets in Bacolod, there are portions of 10th Street where the streetlights are functioning, followed by unlit portions along the way.
Now, 10th Street is a city road, located in the Poblacion or city center of Bacolod.
So, who or what department of the City of Bacolod is responsible for replacing the bulbs if it got busted, dead, or stopped working? Or is it the responsibility of the barangay – Barangay 7 where 10th Street is a part?
The importance of streetlights and well-lighted streets cannot be overemphasized.
Streetlights provide necessary and important benefits.
It can promote road safety and security. It also improves safety for pedestrians, drivers and passengers, as well as of the residents.
In fact, there are various studies done in other countries that show that better street lighting would improve the safety of road users, and result in fewer accidents on the roads.
More importantly, better lighting also improves safety and security.
Well-lighted streets and places also promote tourism, attract visitors, and give the impression that Bacolod, which prides itself as a top model city and a livable city, is administered by local executives and officials who are conscious of their duties and responsibilities as public servants working for the welfare and convenience of the people.
Visitors and tourists, both local and foreign, would always say that one of the indicators of a well-managed city is when the roads and streets are well-lighted.
For example, the most visited cities in Asia like Tokyo, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Hong Kong, have very well-lighted streets, from their airports to their city centers, and even in their secondary roads and streets.
No wonder these cities are very progressive and rich, and attract a lot of visitors and tourists every day and night, resulting in their huge income from tourism receipts.
Times are changing, and it’s now time for our public officials in Bacolod to plan and implement a program to make Bacolod City well-lighted, for the welfare and convenience of the residents, visitors, and motorists.
Eli Gatanela is a lawyer, licensed real estate consultant and urban planner. For comments and feedback, e-mail him at email@example.com.