Ombion: Bacolod, an ocean city?


RECURRING floods during ordinary rains and monsoon downpours have kept Bacolod like an ocean city.

Friday and Saturday heavy rains have turned barangays Bata, Mandalagan, Lacson st, Banago, east bloc in Villamonte, Singcang, Libertad in Brgy 40, Tangub, Pahanocoy into a vast fishpond, but without fishes, only garbage wastes and human beings catching up with each other.

I'm wondering what happened to millions from people's treasury spent in long stretch of drainage and road in these areas.

Where's now the promise and repeated assurances of Bacolod Congressman that these projects rushed before 2016 elections would ease floods and improve traffic flows?

Where's now the good urban development plans and projects boasted by past officials of the city especially the head of urban development committee?

From any angle and perspective, the contrary is happening; floods, wastes and traffic conditions have become worse.

Bacolodnon, transients and guests are getting pissed by the unnecessary burden they bear caused by the destroy, destroy, destroy and repair, repair, repair projects (similar to build, build, build) of the city government and congressional office.

And to think this was not the first time these repairs were done, but several times just before past two or three elections, and have involved millions of taxpayers money is really irritating.

What's the real score in these plans and projects, supposed honorable guys? Obviously you haven't done right, well and good.

First, the concerned should have made their plans and projects transparent and involved citizens participation thru hearings and participative planning sessions in the framework of local development council processes.

Their practice have always been very elitist and secretive. Only them, DPWH, contractors, and their usual technical consultants have been involved in the whole process.

They should know that barangay citizens and sectoral organizations know best the roots of the infra problems, and they have enough pool of non- traditional leaders and technical experts who know better and cheaper ways to do it. They should have been involved.

Of course, these officials preferred not because they have to beat the deadlines they alone impose upon themselves.

Second, repairs, maintenance and improvements should be done in the framework of a comprehensive urban development plan. Absence or lack of such a road map has in the first place made them reactive than proactive, inclusive and with foresight.

Often too, political reason and purpose sets into their plans and projects so the result is not surgical, piecemeal and poor in quality.

There are other reasons too that only DPWH and the contractors know and could explain.

Is there a road map for Bacolod urban development? If there is, has this been presented and discussed thoroughly with the stakeholders including the marginalized sectors of the city?

If there is none, then it is high time for the city government and congressional office to call for a summit on Bacolod land use plan and urban development plan, involving all important sectors not just the usuals.

And I must repeat again and again, that urban development is not about steel, sand, cement, infras, investment and profit. It's about building a community that makes everyone more humane, with no one left out in the cold.

They should learn from other cities here and in Asia who made incredible breakthroughs in building smart and green urban habitat.

If these officials keep on doing what they have been doing, time would not be too far for this city to submerge in oblivion.


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