Useless PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 January 2016 14:16

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Those expensive traffic lights are useless. Stupid, adamant, careless drivers still cross a red light in heavy intersections. I’ve witnessed this scenario twice — once at the intersection of Gov. Alvarez and Mayor Jaldon streets, and another at the junction of Baliwasan Moret and San Jose road. It is better to post a police traffic officer or a traffic enforcer in intersections to control the flow of traffic. Those traffic lights are USELESS.

What about the CCTVs? Another useless, expensive project. Madre Mia. No one violating traffic rules, a pickpocket, or a snatcher grabbing a woman’s purse has been arrested while caught on camera. The criminals know how to dodge the cameras by wearing a cap to conceal their faces to hide their identities.

Jaywalking and illegal parking? Same story. There are laws that prohibit these minor infractions, but seldom are they enforced. Littering and urinating in public are also offenses. Yet none has been collared doing these. In other words, Zamboanga city is one big dump site and toilet — a city that stinks and consistently polluted by carbon monoxide emission from dilapidated colorum tricycles, jeepneys and cargos trucks. Being a highly-urbanized city is a big joke. My uncle, Joaquin F. Enriquez, Jr. must be ‘dying’ in his grave.

How can Zamboanga even approximate, equal or surpass other big cities in Mindanao when it is retrogressing instead of advancing? We have not moved an inch the last 30 years. Parks, wild life and fountains are not signs of progress.

The city government neglected the basic requirements that make for a highly-urbanized, decent and genteel city. The city’s streets are littered with dirt, homeless people, beggars and street children. We had none of those when I was growing up, despite the policemen having only night sticks to enforce the law and to keep the streets and sidewalks clear of eyesores.  Yet, we like to be branded as “Independent Zamboanga”.

We are getting very little help from the national government. The construction of a new airport seems to be the state’s last priority. Why? Because we are not a swing-vote city. No one running for president gives a hoot about us. Now you know why the capital of Region 9 was transferred to Pagadian city.

So... what shall we do? I hate writing bad things about the city I truly love. I’ve seen the best of times and baddest of years working with some bright dudes in Malacanang for five years in the 70s and as a beat reporter with the old Zamboanga Times. Life was better and sweeter then.

Tomorrow, you will listen to our leaders enumerate what they did last year and what they intend to do this year and the coming years. One will speak on the BBL (Bring Back Lobregat), the other about her aggressive infrastructure projects to build back better (Bring Back Beng) and yet another about her efforts to purchase the properties of the ARMM in Cabatangan. And, we all clap hands together.