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Thursday, February 2, 2023
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Shared concern for Tagoloan

I love Tagoloan town in Misamis Oriental located in northern Mindanao, Philippines.

I was born and raised in Tagoloan town years ago. Today, we talk about my neighbor and a schoolmate from elementary to high school who achieved more in this life and still carried the desire to share his God given and acquired talents to the town we love. 

Over the weekend I met Gregorio “Gerry” Paduganan, the son of Iyo Dodoy and Iya Denie Gaccion- Paduganan.

Gerry, a retired general of the Philippine Air Force and a graduate of Philippine Military Academy's class of '78 is one of the best produced by Tagoloan town. He could have graduated in '76 but due to some circumstances he completed his studies two years later. 

In our meeting, we dispensed with the preliminaries and talked about the state of Tagoloan town that he said had become messy and disorganized and I support his observation. It is dirty. 

May I caution readers not to read too much on this. There is nothing political here, only two old Tagoloanon natives who want to help the old hometown. Gerry has no political ambition and he told me he would rather enjoy life with his family here and in the US. 

He created a Facebook group page for Tagoloan natives where members can air their grievances on how the town is run by the local elected officials or maybe congratulate them on a job well done. 

The FB group page of which I am a member also recounted the fond experiences and memories of those who lived and continue to live in Tagoloan. I read the posts of many members and most were complaints on garbage, vandaism, inadequate water, pothole roads and so on.

I saw Gerry's open letter to the town mayor stating the observations of members with the goal of helping the local government address this.  Whether the mayor paid heed I don't know but he should if he considers himself the father of Tagoloan town. 

If I am the mayor or the vice-mayor I should find time to know the grievances of the public. We listen to them since it is part of their work. Not doing so is a sign of not caring, of apathy that is dangerous to public welfare.

At this time local officials should be more sensitive to the needs and demands of their constituents and they can do this by reading their social media posts. 

As I said those the mayor should not take this the wrong way. I assume that you love Tagoloan that is why you are the mayor. I hope no one is dictating on you and that you are sensitive to the needs of your constituents. 

There are so many ways you can manage the town and maybe you can ask help from the community, local leaders, church, non-government organizations (NGOs) and even each family.

They are willing to help in improving Tagoloan. Any community is willing to share responsibility for building their town, city and province. 

A simple case in point are the shanties or stalls across Tagoloan Central School which had become an eyesore. Surely even you cannot ignore their presence which had disturbed the teachers and students there. 

The vendors and the settlers can stay so long as they help clean their area. And Gerry and I hope that the municipal council will do their share to enact ordinances that mandate constituents to keep their areas clean and habitable for themselves and their neighbors.

It's so simple really if everyone works for it. There is nothing wrong in asking for everyone's help and cooperation, the good general opined.

Well, I hope one Tagoloanon can read this and show it to the mayor. We mean well and it's nothing personal, just for the love of our hometown.

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