by Fernan A. Gianan
sane development plans
on-line community’s response to the Catanduanes Tribune’s website at http://catanduanestribune.tripod.com
has been very encouraging.
of presstime, more than 700 hits have been recorded on the site, with
readers requesting that the site be updated as soon as possible.
Tribune management has been hamstrung by lack of funds and technical
personnel to operate the new venture. It is not as wealthy as people
think; a tabloid these days, much more in Catanduanes where there are now
five, would be lucky to break even at the end of the year.
Tribune is not optimistic that some money may be made out of its website.
On the contrary, the management started it as an e-mail service to friends
and uprooted residents of this island who are now in Manila and in the US.
Other than the acquisition of a scanner and the installation of new
software, the management has not spent a cent for the services of its
technical personnel, especially Web Master Richard Tayo Revelar without
whom the Tribune could not have constructed its site on the Internet.
The management is gratified only by the warm response of on-line readers, who consider the website as the best thing that happened to local journalism. It aims to continue this service, for as long as support for it comes from its beneficiaries.
Serafin Sarmiento was right in demanding that several school fencing
projects allocated for his town under the Annual Investment Plan of the
province for the year 2001 be removed.
projects do not contribute to the economic gains of this island. The
extent of perimeter fencing in local schools do not measure a local
government’s seriousness in creating economic activity. It is the
construction and improvement of roads, as well as the rehabilitation of
existing arteries, that are included in the economic indicators.
such projects should be left to the discretion of local school boards,
which have allocations from the Special Education Fund.
too long, government administrators have ignored the recommendations of
planning officers as well as village leaders and instead opted to spend
development funds according to their political agenda. There is a tendency
to concentrate on “concrete” projects instead of “soft” projects
such as those intended to spur agricultural activity and those intended to
enhance the delivery of basic services.
the nation’s planning bodies should do is to issue guidelines on the use
of the 20% Economic Development Fund, banning all pork barrel outlays such
as the province’s “Executive/SP Outreach Program” and the “LGU
Infrastructure Assistance.” A sane development plan would leave no room
for chief executives and legislators to line their pockets and at the same
time curry favor with barangay leaders and voters.
barangay captain William Tablizo of Cavinitan has a bone to pick with
local government units which do not coordinate with barangay councils
regarding the implementation of projects within the barangays.
says that the Local Government Code of 1991 requires all infrastructure
agencies, including LGUs, to have prior consultation with the barangays
before the implementation of projects.
is happening, Tablizo states, is that barangays learn only of such
projects through contractors who contact barangay captains on the day they
are starting the project. What should be done, he adds, is for mayors, the
governor, and agencies such as DPWH and PEO to officially inform barangay
councils in writing as to the details of the project, from the program of
work to the contract amount.
way, the barangay will have a chance to suggest where such a project would
better serve the residents, preventing wastage of public funds. He also
suggests that the barangay council be allowed to undertake projects
through pakyaw labor so as to save government money and ensure quality
William also minces no word about the performance of the current
Sangguniang Bayan, including the present ABC representative, which he says
has done little for the lot of barangays. He notes that not a single
municipal councilor has visited his barangay since the 1998 elections
(except for one who inquired about a contract) and that the mayor has not
shown his face to the people of Cavinitan since typhoon Loleng’s
TROUBLES. Two confirmed bachelors sat talking. Their conversation drifted
from politics to cooking. “I got a cookbook once,” said the first,
“but I could never do anything with it.”
much fancy cooking in it, eh?” asked the second.
said it. Every one of the recipes began the same way, `Take a clean dish