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HomeOpinionVote wisely my fellow Tagoloanons

Vote wisely my fellow Tagoloanons

Charlotte, North Carolina—I told myself not to get involved with local politics in my hometown of Tagoloan in Misamis Oriental province because the residents somehow never chose the right leaders to govern them.

It is frustrating to read about Facebook posts on the problems on water shortage, waste disposal, peace and order months after the election ended. The story always end up the same for years.

But I guessed I could not assume an apathetic, “I don’t care” attitude because I love my hometown.  It is where I learned my civic mindset which is still instilled in me long after I left the country.

Hence, I could not just let this year's election pass without sharing my opinion based on facts in this very important exercise this May 13. Maybe, someone out there would be enlightened.

There are a lot of unresolved issues than need fixing. Real fixing and not palliative answers which usually come when the elections are near. My nephew Tiburcio Ricafort posted his thoughts on Tagoloan's problems like water suopply.

I have no idea why this water supply problem could not be solved considering that we have the Tagoloan river as a potential water source.  A stable water supply is the right of every Filipino.

I read one Facebook post which said that a number of Tagoloanons would wake up early morning just to collect water. What a disservice to them and a major pain on their part. 

What happened to the incumbent's promise three years ago that he would distribute water pumps to every resident? Did he do it and if not, why not?

There is a lot to be fixed in Tagoloan and band aid solutions won't do. In fact it starts with electing the best leaders who have vision, zero self interest and political will to do what needs to be done. 

I don’t live In Tagoloan anymore so I cannot make any daily observations of what is happening there. Instead I'll post the observations made by my nephew Tiburcio Ricafort: 

1. Waste disposal – The local government lacks intuitive alternatives in addressing this dreadful issue as I need not mention the amount of filthy rubbish that we see in our streets. No need for debate, you see it, I see it as well as the others do, what are we doing so far? Will it hurt the pocket of the LGU to put large garbage bins around Poblacion, Plaza and other populated areas? Where do we dump our garbage? Are we in line with proper waste disposal that will hurt less our environment? Campaigns and sanitation drives are not felt for it is always passed on the concerned barangays to manage, look at our public market for instance.

2. Water – Yes, since time immemorial insufficient,dirty and expensive water supply has always been our woe. Far flung areas are still not reached by a sustainable water source, Sta.Ana and areas of Natomolan still don't have a clear source of sustainable water and residents are forced to get service from the ever expensive Mactan Rock who provides INTERMITTENT water supply. How safe is our tap water provided by our local water district? It changes color from time to time.

3. Street lights – Drive along the Casinglot strip and the Tagoloan Elementary School and other risky areas that don't have enough lighting. Who is to blame? The local government? Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)? The concerned barangay? The local government with its mandate has the power to ask large corporations to donate/sponsor street lights if we cannot afford it, blame it all on the barangay? Yes knowingly the barangays don't have enough funding and are always dependent on our elected officials.

4. Traffic Management – Am I the only one who cringes at our current poor traffic management? It is very chaotic if I need to describe it. The number of disorganized public transport i.e motorsikads, habal-habal motorcycles and similar vehicles are unevenly scattered along our streets causing traffic. Uneducated customers park their single motorcycles along the street in front of Tagoloan Elementary School to buy from food stalls in the area. The only living person I’ve seen from before and up until now is the same one who manages the traffic in our public market. The rise of minors who roam around town driving single motorcycles without helmets whom I doubt are issued driver's license.  

These problems have not been addressed and a lot of Tagoloanons want them resolved but are afraid to speak out for fear of reprisal from the powers that be.

At the start of this column, I mentioned the kind of mayor I want for Tagoloan and Tiburcio validated this by echoing my sentiments.  Tagoloanons need a mayor who is accessible and can be expected to act immediately and decisively on any problem they may have. 

Tiburcio said he wants local officials to be sensitive and responsive to the complaints and sentiments of constituents and are readily available to help people in need. 

Right now, methinks Tagoloan needs change and it should start by electing visionary leaders who don't belong to any entrenched political clan or party that only makes their living off the support of weary constituents who deserve far better than what they have right now. 

For once, can we have real change and I appeal to my fellow Tagoloanons to vote Enan Sabio for mayor.  His track record in Barangay Natumolan speaks for itself and he solved his barangay's garbage disposal problem by securing support from Rep. Juliette Uy of Misamis Oriental's second district. 

I close my notes by paraphrasing Tiburcio Ricafort: “Encouraging the public to vote wisely. Let us think of our future, our children’s future, our security, our livelihood among others.”

So to my fellow Tagoloanons I say go out and vote. Don’t be scared. If you did receive money, never mind and vote for Enan Sabio anyway. Otherwise you will regret it and will be doomed to suffer the same apathy, neglect and indifference from the incumbent for the next three years.

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