A City Left to Rot

Travelling within Tagbilaran City is such a trouble and a great discomfort that I would rather stay at home than go somewhere else.  If I have a choice, I wouldn’t go to the city centre where the banks are located or report to my office at Step Up Consulting Services.  It would seem that as I drive, I can hear the shriek and the cry of the poor car coupled sometimes with my son’s loud “ouch” when I hit a pothole large enough to have his head banged against the windows.

Every person who lives in Tagbilaran City will understand when I say that Tagbilaran nowadays seems like a city left to rot.  I highlight three reasons below why I say so.

bad roadsPOINT 1Tagbilaran roads are outrageously bad, the streets within the city center are dirty caused by mud on rainy days or by dust when the sun is out.  If you live somewhere in Janssen Heights and would like to go to the St. Joseph Cathedral, you can never have a smooth ride except when you travel through the Dampas-Mansasa Road down to VP Inting St. and back to CPG East Avenue’s occasional potholes.

In the city government website in February 2010, an article appeared that was entitled “Mission Accomplished” . I quote the news item below:

“When Mayor Dan Neri Lim assumed office last 2004, only 15% of the roads in Tagbilaran City were in good working condition. Majority of the city roads were rocky and dilapidated.
According to City Engineer Pianicita Castolo, the city roads have been untouched for almost thirty years.
Thus the improvement and rehabilitation of these city roads started as soon as Mayor Dan Lim took office. Almost 68 million pesos were spent for the improvement, rehabilitation and maintenance of these city roads which started last 2004.”
Reading this article from history sounds like a joke, especially when you read it alongside a Bohol Chronicle article in April 2012 calling for the implementation of road projects.  According to the article, the city government appropriated Php282 million for road projects in the 2012 budget.  But you get to wonder where this money is spent. The only improvement I can see in the last week is the filling-up of potholes along B. Inting and G. Visarra Street with low-grade anapog that will get the streets muddy during heavy rains.
POINT 2Water is still a big problem. At our place in Dampas, water pressure is low at different parts of the day and there is intermittent service interruption. In other parts of the city, water service is not available as both Bohol Water Utilities Inc. and the City Rural Waterworks System are unable to increase service coverage.
In December 2011, Bohol Chronicle reports that:
“The Tagbilaran City Waterworks System is faced with limitations causing the deteriorating water service to its water subscribers in the city
Newly installed waterworks chief Engr. Servando Acedo admitted the increasing complaints on the water service is due to the limited pumping units amid financial constraints in putting up new water sources.
Acedo, who previously was assigned at the City Engineering’s Office, now heads the waterworks vice Engr. Wellington Pilongo who is reportedly on a “forced leave.”
Acedo said that as of now, the city waterworks has 19 pumping units with two out of service. However, he said that even if the 19 units will function, it is still no enough to satisfy the water consumers in the city.”
The 2010-2013 Executive Legislative Agenda admits this growing problem in the city and targets a 24/7 adequate supply of potable water in city households.  Its almost the end of term of our city government leaders and this target seems to be nothing but a wild dream.
dumpsitePoint 3.  Tagbilaran’s solid waste are still thrown in Dampas’ open dumpsite. Everytime the garbage truck passes through our house for the regular waste collection, I become intensely worried, as I know where the waste will go.  Back in 2008, UN Habitat reports that “The city generates about 92.6 tons (92,668 kgs.) of solid waste daily. Households are the biggest waste generators with 38.5 tons (41.46% of the total volume of waste). They are followed by general merchandise stores with 15.5 tons and the public markets with 14.6 tons per day.”  The figures are probably double now, as the projection for population is over 3% every year from 2008, besides the fact that tourism figures and business establishments have increased significantly since the 2008 study.
Back in October 2011, Bohol Chronicle reports that “The 2.6 has. garbage facility has been recommended closed due to large areas of exposed waste that could leak leachate into ground water and drainage systems aggravating the present health situation of surrounding communities.” This, amidst complaints from nearby towns like that of Barangay La Libertad, Baclayon whose residents complained after the nearest accessible road leading to the city was blocked by mountains of garbage reportedly strewn across the roads.”
What then is the future of Tagbilaran City?

It is alarming that these three problems, bad roads, water supply, and solid waste can very well kill the economic advantage that Tagbilaran holds as an entry point to Bohol’s tourism destinations.  But then, no one seems to be hearing. Despite how much has been written in Bohol newspapers, how loud the discussion gets in the radio, not one among our leaders has taken action.

This post is written by Michael P. Cañares.  This is also available at http://www.boholanalysis.com.

(photos taken from http://i.ytimg.com/vi/e_M_QEPkdrM/0.jpg and http://sin.stb.s-msn.com/i/26/68887DF64629626E59864479208.jpg)

Fire swallows houses in corner Tamblot and JA Clarin Street

A huge fire consumed a couple of houses at corner JA Clarin and Tamblot St., Tagbilaran City, on the eve of February 24. Initial reports say the incident was caused by faulty electrical wiring, but authorities still have to confirm. Three firetrucks rushed to the site after a couple of minutes to turn down the flames; however, more than half of the houses have already been burned. Electricity was cut for a few minutes to prevent the fire from spreading. There were no reported casualties. (photo by Gerald James Cabal)

League of Cities adopt Sustainability roadmap

HOW indeed do you assure sustainability of projects in a league that is churning off its members at
least every three years?

For the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), only a binding agreement to adopt a system to
assure that change of political leaders does not alter the league directions should work.

Now serious in further strengthening the league’s policy development and advocacy capacity, the LCS
has adopted a roadmap during its National Executive Board Meeting at the Peacock Garden resort
last week.

The roadmap now identifies the league’s priorities and program and crafts ways to get it done in
relation to the league’s mandates, explains San Fernando City Mayor and League President Oscar

At the recent National Executive Board Meeting hosted by LCP Visayas Vice President and City Mayor
Dan Neri Lim, the NEB has showed that unlike other government meetings masked as junkets, the
adoption of the roadmap shows the real intent of the league which has showed that governance is
running their cities like a business.

According to Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza, the roadmap serves as a proof that the LCP is
serious in its resolve to effectively lobby for the best interest of its members to enable the cities to
become effective engines of growth and significant contributors to nation building.

Part of the LCP adopted measures is systematizing an exchange of good practices among cities, said
Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin Lim in a prepared press material.

Not going far from the Aquino Administration’s agenda of improving quality of life, promoting
good governance and fostering unity, the LCP’s roadmap intends to rationalize performance-based
initiatives of the league, which has earlier eyed denting on the poverty incidence in the country’s
bottom 30%, the material stated.

On this, LCP President and San Fernando City in Pampanga Mayor Oscar Rodriguez has offered to
host the experience sharing in the adoption of the Performance Governance System (PGS) and the
Balanced Scorecard System he implemented in his city.

Rodriguez boasted that his PGS and the BSC system has allowed his city to read at least six national
and international recognitions in governance within the year.

He enumerated such accolades as PGS Hall of Fame handed by PGS program proponent Dr. Norton,
Future Governance Award, One of the country’s Best Business Friendly Cities, Konrad Adenauer
Medal of Excellence Award and the country’s Best Public Employment and Service Office Manager.

City council to pass law Regulating Nubain sale

ABUSE of a substance called Nubain, (Nalbuphine hydrochloride) which has lately been a choice of drug users
in Tagbilaran City has pushed the City Sanggunian to prepare for the enactment of an ordinance regulating the
sale and distribution of the analgesic.

According to a narcotic intelligence officer at the local Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the
province of Bohol, in fact through the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is eyeing the same move to considerably
lessen if not stop the abuse of the anesthetic that is not included in the banned substances under the
Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Since nubain is not in the list of illegal or prohibited substances, we have our hands tied in making operations
against the sale and possession of the injectable drug, the narcotic agent who guested the weekly Kapihan sa
PIA said.

One of the newer drugs which is classified as narcotic analgesic with less abuse potential, Nubain is a synthetic
opiate developed and approved for use as hydrochloride salt in injectable form of 10 to 20 mg ampules which
is not under the list of controlled or dangerous substance.

Nubain is used primarily for treating moderate to severe acute pains, the prescription drug can be easily
sourced out from crooked drug dealer and pharmaceutical agent or using a doctor’s forged prescription pad,
doctors shared.

At the radio forum aired live over DyTR, the narc agent who asked not to be named said the substance has
emerged he third most notoriously abused substance next to shabu and marijuana.

Sourced out basically from possible drug laboratory in Ozamis City in Mindanao and coursed usually through
Cebu, the metamphitamine hydrochloride gets to Bohol presumably through the ports of entry, PDEA
Intelligence Offficer Steven Valles at the peace and order council meeting said.

While shabu and marijuana have been in the list of dangerous abused drugs and users could easily be
apprehended, the case of nubain is different, the drug agent at the Kapihan said.

Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called the PDEA to confirm on the entry of nubain as another
abused substance in schools, during the peace council meeting Tuesday.

Valles, who spoke for the PDEA OIC who was on an operation during the meeting said the alternative way to
get to the users or pushers is to get a local ordinance passed so agents would have the legal backing when
they accost nubain users.

At the Kapihan, PDEA relayed that the city has gone to the point of holding a public hearing as a requisite for
the passing of the city ordinance against the substance.

Upon that same information and feeling helpless against the new substance, Governor Edgar Chatto promised
he would urge the provincial sanggunian to do the same and pass a provincial ordinance regulating nubain and
other dangerous substances not listed yet in the country’s banned drugs. (racPIABohol)

Set up EMS teams, Llorca urges LGUs

FOLLOW the lead provided by Maribojoc, and Tagbilaran City, urge Bohol Police Commander Pssupt. Rodolfo Llorca, during the recent Kapihan sa PIA on disaster awareness.

Bohol Maribojoc and Jagna have just institutionalized their municipal emergency medical service (EMS) teams to respond to disaster and accident victim recovery.

On the other hand, Tagbilaran has its Tagbilaran City Emergency Medical and Rescue Operations Team, which does the same function as the EMS.

Llorca raised the issue upon seeing that most towns here have not put up properly trained EMS responders that many motor vehicle accident survivors have died instead for improper handling by untrained rescue personnel.

He also added that the EMS team, which Maribojoc has, is given appropriate training and equipment support.

We may be able to save lives and avert more disaster casualties if we prepare, Llorca stressed. (PIABohol)