[by Danilo P. Cruz]
Valenzuela City, Nasugbu Barangayan Flashpoints
MISGUIDED EXPECTATION of barangay officials nationwide in a “forever gravy days” which blinded them to the coming December elections explains half of the disappointment that is causing the apparent slowdown in their public service program to the people.
The other half is their failure to craft a policy that could have led them into some kind of fortification to insulate themselves against any and all threats to their 9-year-holdover tenure.
This hindsight on the coming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections is now prevalent among these officials in Brgy. Gen. T. de Leon in Valenzuela City, Metro Manila and Brgy. Bucana in Nasugbu, Batangas. This also completely transforms the question from “What wrong has these officials done?” into “What wrong has they NOT done?” (Please see Chart #1). Brgy. Gen. T. in Valenzuela, as is known familiarly, has Alfren S. Caiña as its incumbent punong barangay (PB) while Brgy. Bucana in Nasugbu had former chairperson Leon Esguerra.
Today, some barangays are major source of problems since they do not perform, or worse, their officials engage in illicit activities, from illegal drugs (9,000 barangays nationwide are said to be in Duterte’s drug list), illegal numbers game (jueteng), illegal cockfighting (tupada), video karera and lots more.
No matter how optimistic the rhetoric of some council members (kagawads) of the aforementioned barangays may sound, most people at Gen. T. de Leon and Brgy. Bucana know that things are not going well. Disturbing is the word, and this is perhaps an understatement.
The prestigious journal “OpinYon” has recently come up with an eye-shocker on these barangays’ “pegboard” problems, saying that “topmost was the zoning and land use which can be made effective if they do not allow commercial-cum-industrial establishments in purely residential areas.” (Please see photo below).
Moreover, the paper said, crimes especially drug-related can be prevented if they seriously do the “barangay watch,” traffic could be eased if they go out and assist during rush hours thus making good use of productive “man-hours,” and garbage can be efficiently managed if they ensure that trash is not thrown just anywhere, especially in esteros and tributaries.
The reality, however, as the “OpinYon” article reminds us once again, is something else. Yet do we collectively feel revulsed? Surely, there must be additional flashpoints here.
One, Gen. T de Leon with a total land area of 366.9 hectares has streets that can be cleared of illegally-parked vehicles if it ensures that car owners do not just park anywhere in total disregard of the rights of neighbors, thereby affecting their ingress and egress.
And, last, but not the least, even children of informal settlers need to be reined in because they become pranksters and troublemakers without much guidance from parents since they roam around the streets in gangster fashion, shouting and throwing things and trashing pavements and gates.
Come December, these barangay wannabes will again be promenading in the neighborhood. Perhaps it is about time that these people start coining come-ons that would not only make them win, but would implant their image in our mind as local leaders worth our lasting gratitude and remembrance.** — Sign of the Cruz/Penpower Pilipinas