Today's Punto
Today's Punto
By kindness (un)governed
By Bong Lacson

May 29, 2018

ONLY 30 percent of the Shophouse District at the Capital Town development in the City of San Fernando is still open for sale.

So, press released property titan Megaworld of its mega-project in the old site of the now memorialized azucarera of the Pampanga Sugar Development Company, better known as Pasudeco.

Ground has been broken at the site to start construction.

Cited as Megaworld’s first township development in Central and Northern Luzon, the Capital Town will host residential condominiums, mall and retail developments, office towers, amphitheater, open parks and gardens, and a museum…

The head spins at the magnitude of the development, magnified further by the compact space where it is sited, flood-prone at that, and with but a two-lane road for access. It does not take a prophet to foresee a traffic apocalypse there.

So, what has Mayor Edwin “EdSa” Santiago to say – no, we are not as yet even asking what the City of San Fernando local government will do – in view of this impending chaos?

Serious inquiry reduced to a rhetorical question, in all probability. As did one we raised when the initial plans for an SM mall where once stood Essel supermarket in Barangay Telabastagan were first publicized.

As indeed the silence of the LGU – translating to inaction – over the traffic issue was not lost – it played out – in the damning cries of the inconvenienced, aye, exasperated motorists and commuters trapped in the carmaggedon that was last week’s opening of SMTB.

Maganaca ya y Mayor EdSa.

That was the most audaciously incredible (ir)rationalization…okay, sweet-lemoning of the traffic disorder attendant to the mall’s debut. What has hizzoner’s kindness got to do with this all-too-real instance of failure in proper public administration?

Maganaca ya y Mayor EdSa.

It just hit me now: that was not the first time I heard such acclamation.

When I first ranted about the proliferation of beggars – primarily natives of southern Philippines – along the stretch of Jose Abad Santos Avenue in the vicinity of SM City Pampanga and Robinsons Starmills, that was what someone ejaculated.

Maganaca ya y Mayor EdSa.

Sounding now like some responsorial phrase in a litany of woes pervading the capital city…

Tricycles take to the highway not only in gross violation but in utter contempt of the Department of Interior and Local Government circular strictly prohibiting them from there…

Maganaca ya y Mayor EdSa.

Jeepneys stop and go at will in total disregard of traffic signals, load and offload passengers where explicitly forbidden, right in full sight of inutil traffic enforcers…

Maganaca ya y Mayor EdSa.

The downtown area descending to street anarchy past 6:30 p.m. daily…

Maganaca ya y Mayor EdSa.

The San Fernando River, rivulets, creeks, streams, and canals make open, stinking dumpsites and sewers… Maganaca ya y Mayor EdSa. A spike in crimes not-so-petty like snatching, bukas-kotse, akyat-bahay, motorcycle theft in the city…

Maganaca ya y Mayor EdSa.

Why, even when he comes in two-hours late to an event – as in that recent SM-sponsored farmers’ training program in Barangay Maimpis…

Maganaca ya y Mayor EdSa.

Unarguably, no other local chief executive hereabouts, gets as much reverential reference to kindness as Mayor Edwin Santiago.

Indeed, kindness has become him. And him, kindness. So, I can rave all I wish of the socio-economic and political ills besetting the city, rant all I want of the inertia endemic in the local government, still – Maganaca ya y Mayor EdSa.

The Fernandino just doesn’t care even if his city falls way short of its full potential for development and stagnate. Maganaca ya y Mayor EdSa is all that mattered.

That he ran unopposed in his re-election bid in 2016, and stands to be lone contender for the mayorship in 2019 anew speak as much of the political efficacy of Mayor Santiago’s vaunted kindness as of the Fernandino’s standards for leadership which, sadly, falls a third short of the Capampangan’s classic political profile of Anac yang maluca, mayap, at maganaca.

Mayap – good – awanting, still…So, shall I rant more.

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