During our recent months-long vacation in Cagayan de Oro City, my husband Ronnie and I had frequent road trips to my birthplace of Tagoloan town, Misamis Oriental.
So whenever I tell Ronnie that our schedule for the day is visiting Natumolan, Tagoloan, his face would contort to a grimace indicating that he isn't happy at all.
At first I thought it was because it was a long drive and like any American, he hates that and traffic. It turned out that he hates the road leading to the house in Elmundo.
“Very bumpy ,uneven and full of mud paddles," he said. Between us, it hastens his need to go to the bathroom. As the designated driver, he wants to speed up but can't due to the awful road condition.
Yes this road to Elmundo is the worst road since I can remember it. Maybe in the late 70s and early 80s it was better because there were fewer vehicles back then. It was a dirt road actually.
My complaints about this road dated back to more than 20 years and it speaks of the incompetence and apathy of the local leaders. My granddaughter Arianne calls it a “rocky road."
The road is supposed to be privately owned but i find it BS and insulting to me and to the taxpayers and motorists who endure its dismal condition.
That road existed during my elementary years and it served as an alternate road going to Napocor and the Philippine Packing Corp. plantation of papaya and cucumbers before.
While the road may be privately owned it is used by the public for so long and public use is paramount over an individual claimant.
And our officials are incompetent, inutile and insensitive to the complaints of students and workers who are greatly inconvenienced by the mud, dust and craters filled with rainwater.
And I don’t buy the excuses of these officials that they are helpless to do anything about it. The government can expropriate land for public use and pay the claimant for the land.
How can these officials be so ignorant about expropriation? Maybe they're a bunch of ignoramuses or just plain "tapulan" or lazy. Again, that road can no longer be considered private because it is used by the public.
I could not understand why the local officials didn't resort to expropriation since the owner can still be paid. That road had been a source of pain and frustration to many for so many years.
As if that wasn't enough I heard that a warehouse was built across our home and it cannot be used because of the road conditions. The owner is willing to pay the costs of improving the road but the claimant is now charging fees to every truck that passes by the area.
Now that is yet another reason for local officials to employ police power and expropriate that road. As it is, the road claimant is making money out of the collective misery of the riding public and businesses as well.
I can only pray that this time the mayor and other local officials snap out of their self-inflicted stupor and fix the Elmundo road through expropriation.