I agree

October 22, 2018

I read an article of Mr. Ben Kritz about the need to also rehabilitate Baguio City, as President Duterte had done for Boracay.

Both places need attention and fixing. Rehabilitation is necessary that has no urban planning for at the end of the day, if left unattended, deterioration sets in.

For years, Boracay as one of the world’s most sought after resorts with white sand beaches only to be discovered that the beach was infected with Coliform draining into the beach from the open sewages conveniently draining out to the sea. For years in the past it has been reported that the Boracay beach was polluted, dirty and unsanitary and nobody had the temerity to do something about it. The officials did not care for as long as the tourists both local and foreign were coming in totally unmindful of the illnesses they could get as to what President Duterte called a cesspool. We will never know how many have contracted diseases from the beaches of Boracay. Beautiful but deadly at the time.

It took President Duterte and the DENR headed by now Secretary/former Ambassador General Roy Cimatu. The total closure was necessary to prevent epidemic from being acquired that can even cause illnesses on the local and foreign tourists.

After six/seven months of closure for general rehabilitation, Boracay will soon be known as a clean and healthy place to vacation in – as it should have been in the first place. But there is still much to be done for Boracay to be classified as one of the best resorts worldwide, free of contamination. People do not go to vacation in a place where they can pick-up diseases.

Mr. Ben Kritz in his column “Rough Trade” last October 18, 2018 in another newspaper included Baguio City as a place that nears rehabilitation as the sense of “free for all” is the name of the game. Urban planning must be implemented and organized immediately.

For one the traffic is worst than Edsa in the town proper, most especially during the summer. But even as things are, the city government must get involved in putting order most specially on the situation in the center of the city. It is choking, despite its color-coding.

Note that the mountains that used to be forested with pine trees with pleasant scent, houses have sprouted in very critical slopes – a perfect invitation to very serious disasters like landslides from mountains caving in because of strong rains and/or earthquakes that hit Baguio City in 1990. Many buildings, houses and roads suffered from that strong earthquake which also caused the Hyatt Hotel totally cave in and so many lives were lost.

A law must be passed by Congress making urban planning a must in all cities in the country. Open spaces must be provided in every city. The people must be provided of more parks and trees to serve as “lung” of a city to breathe. Like Central Park in New York and all big and small cities in Europe, North and South America; and Central America, Southeast Asia where the population grows so fast made it a must to have open spaces and parks with plenty of trees.

For a healthy community, residential areas must be protected from the invasion of commercialism; or as some call it, in the name of “progress.” Expand elsewhere and respect the oldtimers who wish to keep the comfort of their residences in a residential area for decades and decades that they have lived in.

Baguio has been a “second home” for me and my family since the 2nd world war. During the Japanese occupation after my late father was released from Fort Santiago by the Emperor of Japan for my father was incarcerated for being the closest friend of President Quezon who went to exile to America. President Quezon had told my father (who was then the First Mayor of Quezon City appointed by President Quezon in October 12, 1939) who was also in the Malinta Tunnel in Corregidor where Quezon and family were to be fetched by a U.S. submarine to the U.S. on exile through Perth, Australia. The President died in Saranak Lake of tuberculosis.

President Quezon had told my father, Tomas B. Morató, then Mayor of Quezon City to join him in the submarine with my family for, as he said: “If the Japanese don’t catch me, they will catch you.” Sure enough, what President Quezon had said, so did it happen. The two had been close since childhood in Quezon Province.

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I agree with the decision of the President, through Secretary Bebot Bello who announced the holding of the peace talks in the country and not elsewhere.

The problem has to be resolved here and not in any other country. It is best to talk and agree with those in the frontline who are here than talk to “leaders” who are maybe citizens already of another country.

It’s time that they hold a heart-to-heart talk and come to terms with those who are here who also have families here who deserve to have a better life with their respective families. Sila ang naghihirap. ‘Yong ibang nasa labas are having a good time abroad.

The problem is here to unite our people, not in the Netherlands where they are having fun and a good life. It’s time, ‘yong nandito na nagpapakahirap ay mabigyan ang kani-kanilang pamilya na sapat at masayang buhay for the sake of their respective families; wives, parents, children and other relatives.

For comments and suggestions email at mlmorato@yahoo.com