IS SOMETHING that the new Bacolod City officials needs to enhance and strengthen in their three years term and beyond, if given another term.
Bacolodnon and visitors would easily notice that the city has lots of projects going on and still more in the pipeline, mostly infrastructures, so I was informed. Most of these are road repairs and expansion, additional streetlights, anti-flood system, museum and esplanade, and other entertainment hubs.
So from the looks of it Bacolod is being groomed to become a more livable and “investable” city, something that would make it attractive to more investments, more events, more fun.
But if that is all that the city leadership could offer, then I doubt if it would be truly livable and its growth sustainable. That is a “projectivity” mindset, one that is obsessed mainly if not only with creating the amenities and grandeur of living in an era where the digital wave is overshadowed by recurring “tiempo muerto” (dead season) in sugarlandia and the deafening emptiness and agony of more than 50 percent poor, odd jobbers, low paid professionals and homeless in the city.
Last month, I was shocked to hear that e-jeeps or buses are being introduced in the city by some business groups or so. Their spokespersons even boasted that this some sort of transport modernization move will improve the safety, convenience and economics of the commuters. Oh my God, these guys don’t know what they are talking about except that they will probably get more profit from this venture. How can this so called modernization plan improve the quality of life of people, and contribute to building local economy when people’s most basic problems are jobs, income, food, education, health and housing? What kind of logic and equation do they have?
So the same with improving the Bredco port, not city port; more convenience, but more expense for the commuters and travelers who are mostly from the marginalized sectors. Now, the travelers have to pay not only the P10 entrance fee, but also the terminal fee, and whatever fees they have out there.
It’s all the same trash concept of modernization, great infrastructures, better convenience and amenities, but the welfare and wellbeing of the people remain on the thin red line. Ego tripping, ego boasting, and profit making and racketeering are all there is.
What the city needs are officials who have a great sense of humanity, and just little amount of their ego. Officials who can see people, people in need of jobs, stable income, education, housing and medical care, and safety from addicts, criminals and crooks.
We need less of officials who can only see land spaces for new commercial buildings, broken pavements, drainage and bridges for new construction budget, business groups for more investments. We need little of that mindset who can only see aesthetics to boast their ego.
Sense of humanity, not projectivity, is what direly needed in Bacolod City, and so in many other cities in the country. This is the only way to gain inclusive and sustainable development that makes our people more humane, not consumerist, ego-tripper, and worse, predator to his/her fellows.
I challenge the city officials especially the returning ones to review the city’s sense of life, and then its development framework.
Better still, or least you don’t forget, involve the citizenry in setting your new comprehensive development plan and sectoral plans; their right to be part of governance is guaranteed in the Local Government Code however with limitations, and in recent memorandum circulars of the DILG.
I appreciate your “productivity” mindset, it helps. But enhance your sense of humanity, and you will make a world of difference in today and future generations. God bless you, guys.