EDITORIAL: Long Lasting Legacy



The seeds of Team Naga’s ideals have been planted by Ex-City Mayors Cho Roco and the late Jesse M. Robredo, and eventually nurtured by Former Mayor John Bongat, ably assisted by then Vice Mayor (now Mayor) Nelson Legacion. They deserve nothing but praises for relentlessly pursuing a no nonsense flood mitigation project.

The city constituents are now benefiting from the unquestionable positive impact of the project. Super Typhoon Rolly dealt a very serious blow to the entire Bicol Region but it must have been providential that most of the villages of the usually flood prone areas did not suffer the very damaging long lasting floods.

This could be credited primarily to the flood mitigation project that saw its realization during the three straight terms of John Bongat. Notwithstanding the very heavy rainfall that accompanied Super Typhoon Rolly most of the city was spared from neck deep flood.

As everybody knows, Naga repeatedly suffered from heavy floodings that even swept the old commercial center of the City. This time, to the people’s respite there was no such tragic sight.

As to the current city officials, fairness demands that any assessment of their performance be put on hold, given that it is barely fifteen months old more or less. The honeymoon period needs to be extended because of the circumstances attendant to local governance, with particular emphasis on the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the actions and decisions of the local officials have been influenced by outside forces. Neither can the local officials expect to be praised. They have overlooked the fact that Naga is the home of freedom loving and privacy vigilant people. They value so much due process and privacy.

That is why the city officials should not have at all come-up with pieces of legislation that may tend to curtail basic rights and privileges. More importantly the city councilors in particular should be more circumspect in the passage of ordinances tending to derogate basic rights and privileges.

So far, at least three ordinances have been tainted with eager beaverness. No matter how noble may their purposes be the principle that the end does not justify the means, still holds true. No hit and miss.

Ordinance no. 2018-018, otherwise known as “The towing ordinance and expanded wheel clamp ordinance of Naga City etc.,” was hastily approved. As a consequence some sectors lobbied for a review of vague provisions particularly about loading and unloading areas as well as parking spaces. True, the appeal merited reconsideration but it left a very poor impression that the city council is too fast on the draw, thereby overlooking the details attendant to the ordinance.

Another is Ordinance No. 2020-046, otherwise known as “ an ordinance instituting measures to promote public health, safety and protection against the continuing threat of Covid-19, etc.,” . Because some of its contents had penal provisions, some sectors questioned it. Yes, implementation is hanging. But just the same eyebrows had been raised.

Ordinance No. 2020-086, otherwise known as “Digital Contact Tracing System Ordinance of Naga City” being sub judice cannot be taken up off-court. Be that as it may the city council is already seeking a compromise by introducing amendments before the controversy could reach judicial intervention.

Overall it would be for the good of the city government to observe basic requirements on publication of ordinances to give way to enforcement.

Be that as it may it cannot be denied that the flood mitigation project which took almost three terms to complete is a monumental achievement. A long lasting legacy.