PAMPANGA

Guiao: Appeal for the BGZ Sports Gym

IN THE year 1986, a revolutionary government was established after the Marcos dictatorship was toppled by a massive Edsa People Power Demonstrationn, sparked by the murder of the late Senator Ninoy Aquino who was shot to death by a lone gunman at the ramp of Manila International Airport when he disembarked from his plane from abroad. The widow of the late Senator Corazon C. Aquino was sworn into office by the Late Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Claudio Teehankee at the Club Filipino. This paved the way for her to be installed as President of the Republic of the Philippines. To create a transitional government from dictatorship to democracy, she appointed various department secretaries to help her run the democratic government smoothly and incontrovertly. Among those she appointed was my elder brother, the late Governor Bren Z. Guiao as Acting Governor of the Province of Pampanga.

It was a public knowledge the late Governor Bren was that close to the Aquino's because like Ninoy he was also incarnated during the Martial Law Regime. He had an access to Cory's presidency. As such, he took advantage of the opportunities and shared the same for the benefit of his constituencies. President Cory's unequivocal love and concern to the Kapampangans, the fact that her husband Ninoy was also a Kapampangan, through the late Governor Bren, she allocated an immense budget intended for the development of the Province of Pampanga. Out of this allocation, he built farm to market roads, highways and school buildings.

He was able to improve the growth of the province's economy to its highest level. In January 18, 1988 local election for governors, congressmen, mayors, councilors and other elective positions was held. The late Governor Bren was opposed by Robin Nepomuceno and Governor Bren won in that election. Having gained the mandate of his province mates and enjoyed the legitimacy of his position as governor, he poured more aid and assistance to the province. He put up Paskuhan Village, the first and only one in Pampanga. The Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center was constructed and is now a convenient place for various gatherings. The old and dilapidated road from the town of Mexico to the town of Concepcion, Tarlac was replenished and concreted which is now called Ninoy Aquino By-Way.

In his own town of Magalang where he was born and grew up, he did not forget to look back to his humble beginnings, unforgettable experiences, sufferings, sacrifices and hardship during his youthful days. He prioritized the concreting of roads connecting Barangay San Miguel to Sitio Pitabakan but did not reach Balitucan due to constraints in budget. But he promised to complete the concreting if he is re-elected governor in his last term. But unfortunately, he lost to Lito Lapid who is now a senator.

As a sports enthusiast, he ordered the construction of the B.Z. Guiao basketball court. First and foremost in his mind was to develop the mental and physical skills of the youth, discourage them from engaging in prohibited drugs and illegal activities. But, sorry to say, things have completely changed under the present local administration. Instead of sustaining the objectives and programs for the benefit of Magalang youth as initiated by the late governor and former mayors, it was opted to be used as storehouse for canned goods, fertilizers and hundreds of cavans of rice. And, what is more disturbing, through the initiative of the present leadership, the BGZ Sports Gym was converted into a quarantine facility.

This situation as created, is extremely impractical and brings fear and anxieties among the residents living within the proximity of the BGZ Sports Gym. More so, it is surrounded by a number of municipal offices like DSWD, General Services, MDRRMO, Senior Citizens' Office and Magalang Police Station. Let us not forget these offices are mostly frequented by individuals, especially senior citizens who are vulnerable to the Covid-19 Disease.

The reason given by the present leadership that the conversion of BGZ Gym is only temporary as a quarantine place does not hold water. What if in the near future there, are those who are found to have symptoms of Covid-19, where will the BZG Sports Gym be which was chosen as quarantine facility? The more than one hundred members of the T-TH-S Basketball Club together with their families and concerned Magalenos cautious with their health and safety are humbly appealing to the wisdom of the present leadership to reconsider the decision converting the BGZ Sports Gym as a quarantine site.

Bring it back to where it is intended for sports and social activities and the like. And, when the situation returns to normal, no more threat to Covid-19, school will open, classes will resume, as usual, the BGZ Sports Gym will be again a convenient venue for school affairs. I hope that the present leadership will take these matters given objectively and not misconstrue it as means of interfering in the present administration.


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