Limlingan: Setting directions for San Fernando

CITY of San Fernando Mayor Edwin Santiago has set the city’s direction for 2018. Since every coming year may mean new hopes to many, Fernandinos and even Kapampangans in general have at least three major programs of the city to hope for.

We are not talking of 2019 yet but 2018 brings a lot to hope for the city since the setting of the directions by Mayor Santiago. At least he has his targets that many hope he would not miss and have at least the bull’s eye for the incoming year.

His primary target is on the improvement of roads, canals and other waterways. This is a tough task Santiago has to accomplish. The city is quite congested now in most of its urbanized barangays. While the number of vehicles entering, staying and exiting the city increases rapidly, the number of constructed roads does not.

Just like in any part of the country, vehicles greatly outnumber roads when put on a ratio. People can easily buy cars but the government cannot easily put up new roads. Canals and other waterways, just like road networks, can get easily clogged too and cause floods.

The city, despite the installation of several pumping stations intended to solve flooding, is perennially flooded. Rainy season is the rush hour of these waterways which sometimes overflow in many flood low-lying parts of the city. Mayor Santiago perhaps need magic to solve the city’s woes on worsening traffic and flooding too.

The second on the mayor’s agenda is focused on eco-tourism. Santiago might need to build an eco-park just like that in Sta. Rita town where people from other municipalities, particularly those who wanted to breathe fresh, cool and clean air visit and stay.

If I may suggest, the city might perhaps consider putting up a city zoo with lots of trees providing shade and comfort to visitors. Tourism is not just about malls, lantern festival, holy week traditions etc. since Mayor Santiago is bent up promoting eco-tourism, he can perhaps re-acquire and revive Paskuhan and make it into an eco-park far better than it was before.

Third on the mayor’s agenda is on peace and order. The city may have peace, but not much on order particularly in the heart of city after office hours where hundreds of vendors occupy sidewalks and streets along with three wheelers (pedicabs), tricycles, public utility jeepneys, pedestrians are in disarray.

If we are not used on seeing the site, there seems to be chaos on the city’s main downtown street especially after 5 p.m. until the late hours of the night. Sidewalk and ambulant vendors greatly contribute to the need for more order in the city.

In addition, the long stretch of the built-up areas of the San Fernando portion of the Mac Arthur Highway is a mess. Public utility vehicles whose drivers lack discipline, portray the lack the order on the city’s major thoroughfares. Perhaps, more policemen and not traffic aides need to man the streets.

Mayor Santiago at least, has set his targets for next year. Fernandinos meanwhile have to hope that these shall be attained as in bull’s eye.


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