PAMPANGA

Sangil: Use your coconut

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OMG. That was a childish and brainless instinct on whoever thought that drivers and operators of bus companies should plant trees before their franchises are renewed by the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). Is the LTFRB now an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources? If not, why is it usurping such function? As observed by many, it should be tree planting and growing. How many groups have we seen engaged in tree planting? Too many. But after the photo opportunities, nobody is there to take care of what was planted. There’s even danger in what LTRB wants to implement. First, it will be another source of graft. They may grease the palm of whoever is issuing the certification. They might be planting on the roadsides where it is nearer and will be obstacles in the coming years. An unsolicited advice to the bright boys kuno of LTFRB. Use your coconut.

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Are there still honest congressmen and senators? Maybe there are still some. I know a few. Are there still honest public officials in our country? I will answer my own question. Maybe there are some, even in the graft-ridden offices like the Bureau of Customs and Public Works. Very very few, as a matter of fact. It is in the House of Representatives where the National Expenditure Program (NEP) passes through. It is there where insertions happen. Items which runs to billions are widely known to be the biggest source of kickbacks. The executive budget is tackled first in the lower house and then goes up to the Senate where it is scrutinized. Many of the past and present-day solons got rich and fed their families with ill-gotten money. And they have no qualms about it. These lawmakers who abused their pork barrel funds are all smiles because they were able to seek refuge with their own lies and justifications.

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The reports saying that each congressman getting a share of P1 billion each is so mind-boggling. Some get ten, twenty or even thirty percent on projects dispensed to willing contractors. The percentage depends on how greedy he or she is. I know the greedy ones, but I am not telling because I don’t have any proof except the stories told to me by contractor friends. Sometimes I get the feeling that the citizenry is so unresponsive and seemingly don’t care to listen to legitimate issues and gripes. The election season will start early next year and I predict at this early we will be electing mostly the wrong leaders. Leaders who show and speak of ‘genuine public service’ while in the hustings. Labas sa ilong. This is true all over and not confined to one town, a province or a city. Another question can be asked. When will this end? All the good and qualified men in our country will not join elections until many of the voters will stop asking for money, donations, etc.

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I am a proud member of the Pampanga Press Club. The PPC which is one of the oldest press organizations in the country is now headed by Philippine Daily Inquirer reporter Tonette Orejas. There’s now a strict observance of responsible reporting. Any person or institution who or which has any complaints against any of its members will be properly investigated.

In the meanwhile, the general membership has nothing but praise to president Orejas for coming out with meaningful projects, particularly during this pandemic. To all members, Fyi. Christmas fellowship will be on December 15 lunchtime at Bale Balita. Health protocols will be observed.


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