IT'S good to know, very heartening indeed, that almost all local government units in Pampanga are financially healthy. As described, good financial housekeeping became the common traits among them.
Recently, I had a conversation with my friend Juliet Quinsaat, Angeles city treasurer, and with her signature smile, she happily told me that the city's financial situation is very, very healthy. Angeles businessmen and the constituency are seemingly happy that the city's basic social services was upgraded. It is in all possibility that the Angelenos are in accord to Mayor Lazatin's plan to upgrade the Rafael Lazatin Memorial Hospital, a.k.a. Ospital ng Angeles, to the tertiary level and spend more money for City College of Angeles. She said it is unprecedented that in the first two weeks of January, a great number of taxpayers crowded the first floor corridor of the city hall building and waited patiently for their names to be called. A good percentage of businesses payments and applications were noted.
The same thing was reported on the cities of Mabalacat and San Fernando. Congratulations is in order and a firm handshake to mayors Carmelo "Pogi" Lazatin, Cris Garbo and Edwin Santiago. To know more of your mayors let me started with Mayor Lazatin.
Mayor Pogi as he is known by all and sundry is an early riser. He would visit each morning a designated barangay and visit the sick. He gives the needed medicine and few thousand pesos. Mayor Cris Garbo keeps playing Santa Claus to his constituents from the depressed areas particularly. He has been extending financial assistance to the elderly and to students. Mayor Santiago who is in his last term is described by friends as a very patient man and aside from extending monetary support to those who are qualified. He will give his standard pat on the shoulder of the happy recipient. He is not called Boy Tapik for nothing.
Let us set the record straight. The local mayors are not to be blamed if road infrastructures are most often than not are delayed. Haven't I said before that our country ranks low when we talk about road engineering. Case in point: That small culvert bridge on Friendship road near the Mitsubishi showroom in Angeles City started the construction for several months now. Very obvious there is a slippage. In the meanwhile, that particular section of the road is causing the traffic gridlock. Don't blame your mayor. Blame the engineering district of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The Angeles-San Fernando stretch of MacArthur Highway is in its worst condition. It needs to be repaired, maybe asphalt overlay. Maybe Deputy Speaker Aurelio 'Dong' Gonzales, Jr. can make representation inasmuch as the length of the highway is mostly San Fernando. Or if not asking too much, a portion of his countrywide development funds can set aside a budget for the overlay. Or maybe we can call the attention of the regional office of the Department of Public Works and Highways to consider this suggestion. Regional Director Dong Tolentino is a very reasonable man.
With our kababayans who are crew of the Diamond Princess which was held at Yokohama port in Japan are now housed and being monitored at the Athletes Village in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. Kudos to Dr. Montserrat Chichioco of Jose B. Lingad Regional Memorial Hospital. She and her staff are doing of what is expected of them. In return she gives her services more than what's expected of her. Monitoring and taking care of close to 500 persons, is by no means easy. Mabuhay ka doktora.