Friday, October 4, 2013

The mayor & the congressman

The new mayor of Olongapo City hit the ground running trying to get a bankrupt municipality back on track. He was not on holiday when the floods struck but in Virginia Beach negotiating contracts with the US Navy. Deputy mayor Ceresos was left as active mayor. Rolan Paulino cut his US visit short to return to his damaged city. Since that time trucks and other vehicles have been moving equipment, food and clothes to victims.

You may have seen the trucks with his and newly elected Congressman Jeffrey Khongun names on the front. What makes this so extraordinary is that these two officials are working together. For over forty years the Gordons ran the city while the Magsaysays controlled Zambales province. Rather than work for the people they worked only to benefit  their clans.

Expats, foreigners and other visitors do not see some of the  horrific conditions of the poor buried deep and unseen in barangays and barrios. These are the people who were hit hardest and the people who are benefiting most from government help.

90% of Olongapo City flooded. Hopefully these two officials will use 'pork' and other resources to combat the wholly solvable problem of flooding in the area. Re-election and bigger and better things await politicans that do so.  

1 comment:

  1. I would agree that the election of a new mayor should be a ray of hope for the people of Olongapo, a city left essentially bankrupt by its previous politicians. But many things this article states do not seem legit here...

    August is typically the worst month of the year for storms, floods and the resultant disasters that occur here. Why would a mayor intent on helping his city go to the other side of the world to "personally" negotiate contracts, especially during the most disaster prone period of every year?

    Secondly, the U.S. Navy Contracting Office for this region is actually located in Manila, Philippines with headquarters in Singapore and a satelite office in the Freeport. Because of exercises and and ship visits, USN contracting personnel are almost always here, working directly with SBMA officials. Why would the mayor need to be "personally" negotiating contracts in Virginia Beach?

    Third, U.S. Navy ships and personnel that visit here come from Japan, Hawaii and the West coast of the United States, not Virginia Beach, Virginia which is on the Atlantic coast.

    Fourth, what type of contracts would he even be responsible for negotiating? SBMA would be the contract authority with the U.S. Navy here, not the mayor of Olongapo.

    Fifth, why so much secrecy? Where is an official press statement that could address the facts and easily clear the air concerning the mayor's absence from office during the Olongapo flood? The people of Olongapo have the right to know...

    This article seems to be written by someone associated with the mayor trying to appease the public with nice fluff, but it generates more questions than answers.


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