It will be useful and important to look back and maybe point the finger of blame to many past presidents of our country, particularly to those chief executives who were from Central and North Luzon on why our country didn’t progress as it should.
Should they not be accounted for their lapses? Maybe yes, maybe not. It will depend on how they performed and contributed in the snail progress of our nation. I was thinking all these things as I was traveling the NLEX, SCTEX and TIPLEX on my way for a four day vacation trip to Baguio City.
Past presidents coming from the north regions include Elpidio Quirino, Ramon Magsaysay, Diosdado Macapagal and daughter Gloria, Fidel Ramos, Corazon Aquino and son Noynoy and Ferdinand Marcos. The last among them, Marcos, the man from Batac, Ilocos Norte was at the helm for more than 20 years. All of them failed to upgrade the Philippine National Railway, and at the same time failed to expand within international standard the MacArthur Highway. What a pity? Where are the the think tanks? Their economic and infrastructure managers?
Up in Baguio City, I can still feel the breeze because I was lodged in one of those quarters inside John Hay and still marvel on the many age old pine trees there where they luckily remained untouched by commercial progress. But in the downtown area, it is a pitiful sight. Even the popular destination Burnham Park lost its glory. It was one playground in my youth where I learned how to skate and bike. Session Road, the iconic street where lowlanders loved to walk and stopped for breakfast lost also its mystery and beauty.
When someone goes up to Baguio City, one of his intentions is to escape the punishing heat being brought by summer. While snaking on the Kennon road I started feeling the cool mountain breeze. But once I reached the downtown area the smell of pollution pushed away the scent of the pine trees. And the traffic was terrible. EDSA has no match.
I had dinner with my long time friend Baguio born Cesar Fianza in one of those restaurants along the Kizad road near Burnham, and I pointed to him the terrible traffic confronting the city. All roads, primary and secondary, are clogged due to park vehicles on both sides. Him, being a friend of Mayor Mauricio Domogan, I suggested through him the possibility of puting up a mult-level parking on one side of the football field of Burnham. I explained that there is one mode of procurement which the city government can avail, and that’s the unsolicited proposal that will lead to what they term in business circle as Swiss challenge.
A letter proposal( not intent) that will detail the number of floors, the number of slots, the features like elevators, drivers’ lounge, the number of lease years, the sharing of incomes etc.etc. I hope some Baguio businessmen and the unbeaten Mayor Domogan may accidentally read this item.
Editor’s Note: Formerly newspaperman of Daily Inquirer and other major dailies; former TV and radio Broadcaster. Former Director of various corporations like Clark Development Co.; and a former City of Angeles Councillor. Now a regular columnist of Sun Star Pampanga.