EDITORIAL: Some Concerns After Elections
Emerging victorious after an election is not that all and be all. It is just a prelude to heavy responsibilities. This reminder would have been unnecessary if only they know how serious are the problems they have to contend with. We can start with mapping out fresh ideas on how to combat the sub-variants of Omicron, the variant of Covid 19 virus which is widely foreseen to spread again.
On the part of Camarines Sur, honest- to- goodness efforts are urgently needed to put in place a less controversial capitol complex that has one stop shop facilities available to the citizenry’s needs. As the situation stands, focus seems to be of excessive emphasis on tourism.
Much is left to be desired in terms of providing services to the ordinary people, particularly those engaged in small ventures --agriculture for example, given the reported resurgence of the African Swine Fever (ASF), aside from a very high cost of farm inputs. Seeking assistance in securing pertinent documents is very complicated and time consuming, aside from being expensive in terms of transportation.
Very urgent is the need for the offices of the Provincial Treasurer, Provincial Assessor, Provincial Prosecutor and Register of Deeds to be strategically situated. The present sites of the offices of the Provincial Prosecutor and the Provincial Register of Deeds are most cumbersome. They are found in Naga City which is not even under the supervision of Camarines Sur, politically and administratively.
Also awaiting occupancy is the long neglected Hall of Justice found inside the capitol grounds that has virtually become a white elephant. What is causing its non-occupancy? Who should take the initiative in order to render it functional as originally designed?
Lack or absence of transparency is one of the outgoing Sanggunian Panlalawigan (SP) failures. It is hoped that the incoming SP to be headed by a very young presiding officer, will prove equal to his parents, particularly his father, who aside from being a congressional representative for several terms, held also the post of a vice governor. Being a former media practitioner, Sal Fortuno Sr. enjoys a very high regard from among his former peers.
As to Naga City, the long standing controversy regarding the genuineness of the deed of donation by the Mariano family involving the vast parcel of land now occupied by several government offices has to be dealt with pragmatically. It may be true that those who ran the affairs of the city decades ago should have attended to this matter a long time ago. But the predicament has now to be met frontally.
One of the burdens of incumbent leadership is to accept the fact that one so situated must accept the fact that the buck ends right on his/her lap. No finger pointing. After all he/she applied for the position democratically.
More significantly, incoming local officials should be ready to have a firm grasp of the Supreme Court ruling in the Mandanas -Garcia case, thereby granting expanded autonomy to the local government units (LGUs) particularly their share derived from the internal revenue allotment and consequently defining more vividly the interplay between the central government and the local governments.
Some words of caution though about the Mandanas ruling. For the genuine servant leaders, they could make use of it for the purpose of introducing development to their respective constituencies. Entrusted to the corrupt and abusive, it could open the floodgates for irregularities.
Most concerning is the prospect of LGUs securing loans on the pretext of introducing progress using future generations as collateral, with parts of the proceeds landing into private pockets.