AT least one good idea has emanated lately from the imposing but lonely Talisay City Hall structure. A councilor actually shares my concern about the sad state of the Mananga river.

City Councilor Bernard Odilao is talking about protecting the river and developing it as a nature park.

Whatever. The point is to give attention to Mananga, whose once mighty flow is now creek-like, thanks to the construction of a weir dam that blocks the water in its Jaclupan segment. I don’t care what plan for the area the City Government will eventually decide on for as long as the river will be protected from the spillover of urban blight.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

I like the idea of reinvigorating Task Force Mananga. I like the suggestion to create a Mananga Public Park. But will Mayor Socrates Fernandez be up to the task or support these moves?

***

This is one silence I now feel is turning out to be deafening.

But first off, have you noticed it already? I am referring to the lull in the verbal exchange between Capitol and Cebu City Hall.

I reckon Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City-south) is currently busy preparing his haven in Metro Manila where he will stay once Congress opens its session. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, on the other hand, is focusing on strengthening his hold on City Hall. Thus the silence.

But this lull will hopefully hold because the man at the helm of City Hall in the next three years is not as combative as his boss. Osmeña may still fire away at Capitol when he is around, but the frequency of the tirade will lessen once he focuses on his new job.

Besides, his being congressman means he will often bump into Rep. Pablo Garcia and his son, Rep. Pablo John. They will have to be civil to each other. Hopefully, that civility will lessen the bile in Osmeña’s anti-Gov. Gwen Garcia verbal assault.

The governor, for her part, will be busy protecting her turf, which now has an oppositionist vice governor, Gregorio Sanchez.

It would be difficult to battle two “enemies,” so she may have to ignore Osmeña’s tirades, if he still hurls them, to lessen the aggravation.

***

Yes, Virginia, there is such a body as the Regional Council for Road Safety. So Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 Regional Director Raul Aguilos was not joking when he said that he would convene the council in the wake of the recent deadly road mishaps in the province.

The council is composed of representatives not only of the LTO but also of the Department of Health, Department of Public Works and Highways, Citom, Highway Patrol Group, Tesda, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Environmental Management Bureau, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, PNP, bus and PUJ operators, drivers groups and other stakeholders.

The task of the council is to develop, well, road safety. This is supposed to be based on LTO’s “tripod of road safety” that involves the driver and his vehicle, law enforcers and the environment where the driver operates (roads, etc.).

The council is supposed to initiate trainings and seminars on traffic regulations and vehicle maintenance and conduct drives against habal-habals, colorum vehicles and smoke belchers.

Roadside inspections are supposed to be held and random drug tests conducted on drivers.

It looks like the council, as early as last year, already thought everything out on the matter of road safety. But is this another case of talk is cheap?

(khanwens@yahoo.com/ my blog: cebuano.wordpress.com)