BEHIND THE LINES: Ebolisis PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 October 2014 11:22

BY BOB JALDON

 

Los Angeles, Ca. — Now that the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival is over, culminating as always with a procession leading up to Fort of Pilar, we can look forward to another solemn activity — All Saints’ Day. As usual, traffic will be re-routed, but there won’t be the American tradition of ‘trick or treat’ where good neighbors give out candies and chocolates to children knocking on their doors. Disneyland is one of the more exciting destinations because the whole fun park is turned into a Halloween mood from seven in the evening to midnight. Yep, Disneyland is an expensive treat, but fun-filled even for adults. You can do ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ or ‘Indiana Jones’ while waiting for the sun to die, or the more nail-biting, heart-attacking and nerve-wracking roller-coaster rides.

But two issues here continue to make raging headlines — the Ebola outbreak in West Africa that has reached the shores of the U.S, Germany and Spain and the ISIS advances in Syria and Iraq. I call it “Ebolisis”. The deadly virus is slowly spreading and has reached Dallas, Texas and probably Ohio, while ISIS is raising its black flags in some parts of Iraq.

In Zamboanga, do we fear for our future because of the Bangsamoro Basic Law? On November 14 (Dia de Cesar), some congressmen and members of the peace panel will discuss pertinent provisions of that law that will replace the organic act that created the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Reactions welcomed. There will surely be an open debate on the legality of some provisions. Those issues, presumably, will be presented by lawyers and frustrated lawyers trying to take center stage. You see, not everybody (5 percent?) in Zamboanga is against the new ARMM or whatever name the government wants to attach to it. Watch for the prominent presence of Rep. Celso Lobregat, Rep. Lilia Nuno and Atty. Vic Solis (of course) in the hearing or consultation (whatever they want to dub it).

Lastly, we are off and running. I’m referring to the power plant that will rise in San Ramon by 2018 that will provide Zamboanga with 100 megawatts of electricity. I said in a previous column that this will be Zamboanga’s “energy independence” because the plant will operate solely for Zamboanga. It means driving in locators (capitalists) into the city, particularly the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority and Freeport (Zamboecozone). Incidentally, there is a need for the city council to revisit the Investment Code of Zamboanga authored years ago by Atty. Ric Baban just to make sure there’s no conflict as far as giving incentives to investors is concerned.

The power plant is the gift we’ve long been wanting to have. Steady, cheap and continuous power are what we prayed for — and it’s coming. And if the new ARMM (or whatever name it bears) threatens to take over power in Mindanao and make it hard for electric cooperatives outside of its domain, then we have the answer to it — San Ramon Power, Inc. (SRPI). There’s no valid argument against it.