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EDITORIAL: Where’s Gota’s Milk?

Of all the by products of the coconut tree “gota” (coconut milk) is the most precious. As of this time a kilo of coconut milk already costs not less than eighty pesos. By a strange strike of fate Gota Beach of Caramoan, Camarines Sur has also become the most attractive come upon of the peninsula. For this reason the locals of the town in particular and of the province in general are entitled to partake at least a reasonable share from the income generated out of the popular tourist attraction.

No amount of boisterous claims can deny the fact that in fact Gota Beach was only “discovered” due to the tireless efforts of the Caramoan Residents of Naga and its Environs (CRaNE), given life primarily upon the initiative of the late Dominador C. Alarcon Jr., a committed advocate for the economic advancement of the Caramoan Peninsula.

It is therefore but fair that at least in his memory and his townmates be entitled to whatever income that may be drawn from the Gota Beach.

That is why the announcement that the beach would soon be open for the enjoyment of the locals, only to be withdrawn later on is very painful.

It would have been understandable if the town and its surroundings are given a share from the revenue. That is not the case however, it seems.

Until now the provincial government has not rendered an honest- to- goodness accounting of the Gota Beach income and expenditure. A practice which over these years has been the trademark of the provincial government. It has not even made public time and time again the annual report for income and expenditures.

Something that creates an air of suspicion. Just recently 3rd district provincial board member Nelson Julia earned the ire of the provincial administration for his questioning the propriety of securing a huge sum of loans allegedly to be spent in rehabilitating the Gota beach cabanas.

A very valid criticism. Indeed, where has been the income generated in the operation of the Gota Beach resort gone?

This is being asked in the light of the fact that there seems to be no transparency in the resort’s operation. In fairness to the locals they should be informed how much has already been generated from the Gota Beach resort, out of which the people of Caramoan are entitled to a fair share.

Where indeed has Gota’s milk gone or siphoned to? Failure to render an accounting adds insult to injury.

The locals are excluded from enjoying a natural resource in favor of foreigners, while being deprived of any share from its income. It is high time to be free from dynastic regimes, big or small. A nonstop chain of political leadership within one family results in numbness to public outcry.


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