Table Talk: Vehicles never die, they just rust away PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 September 2011 14:18

BY Mike S Apostol

We’re not against the distribution of vehicles to the barangays, especially if they are for emergency and for important accessibilty for the barrio folks and barangay officials in doing their daily routine of public service. But, let me ask this: How many vehicles and pumpboats do our barangay have? Where are they now? Who is using them? Are they still in good condition? If we remember right, there are at least 3 vehicles (to include this recently approved Council budget for vehicles), one, given by the late Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat, a Suzuki open mini van, two, the L200 open van given by District 1 Representative Maria Isabel Climaco, with the words BENG on its sides and three, this SUVs to be given by the city government under Mayor Celso L. Lobregat. All in all 3 vehicles, these exclude the private vehicles of some affluent and rich barangay chairmen, like one of them a good friend of mine Honorable Gilbert Rivera Alvarez of Culianan, who has at least 3 more private vehicles in his garage or Honorable Aman Nuno of Taluksangay, who even own trucks. With this fleet of vehicles assigned to the barangays, we don’t see any reason why public service in their areas of responsibility will be stalled and the more there is no reason that the city proper will be informed of any untoward developemnts in the barangays since they can now travel and report to the city authorities anytime of the day and night. Provided that these vehicles are not exclusively used by the chairman for his extra-curricular activities or the chairman’s wife, son and daughter for their private activities.
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Since millions of pesos are budgeted for the purchase of these vehicles, logic dictates that millions more should be budgeted for the cost of repairs and spareparts of these vehicles. Barangays cannot use their funds in the repair and purchase of spareparts for these vehicles, since  No. 1, maybe they are not part of their annual budget, No.2. their budget might be too small to support for a vehicle repair, cost of spareparts and fuel,  No 3. the vehicle must be donated or given to the barangays as the property of the barangay before they can use funds of the barangays No. 4. sometimes vehicles become luxury instead of necessity. We believe that this idea of distributing too many vehicles has been fully studied because they say “ anything in excess is poison”.
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To comment against public service and the usage of its public funds is not the monopoly of opposition. They are public properties, any taxpayer can comment provided it is not personal. Government, local or national is a public trust and institution, from time to time it must be reminded that public service is their duty. Development as part of public service need not be debated because they are tangible. It can be seen, touched and felt. When someone comments they see the difference not necessarily are they opposition or just for the heck of going against an administration. It does not need a prophet to tell government where it is going because we are not after saving souls for heaven. What we are after is everbody must have a fair share of development, one that will benefit many and not only a few.