SQUARE POINT: Beautiful, but hungry PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 November 2011 15:29

BY Jack Edward Enriquez

Most top city officials are probably more inclined to revenue collection rather than poverty alleviation, not even heritage preservation.

This is the striking point of many of our friends whenever we have the chance to mingle with them and carry on a casual conversation.

Anything put up by the government cannot be used by the people without paying a fee, somewhat excessive and unreasonable, such as the public toilet and parking area. The commercial stalls at the Fort Pilar and Jardin de Maria Clara seem to tee unaffordable to ordinary vendors for they don’t have big capital outlay. Only the big-time merchants can do business while the poor vendors are apparently deprived of earning a living.

The giving of doleouts, relief goods and small cash assistance are only band-aid remedies to the massive poverty problem here in our city. If the living condition in slums, squatter  areas and congested communities in the city proper is deplorable, it’s no less heart-rending in depressed villages, far flung barangays where public officials visit only during election time.

Some areas in the city proper have been developed and beautified for tourism, but consequently many poor vendors have been ignored discriminately.

What we need from the government, according to our friends, are livelihood initiatives, income generating projects and all-out support to farmers and fishermen. If the collection of revenues is magnified as what our city looks today, then for what is our income? Just for the bank or beautify Zamboanga as the Latin City of Asia? A woman may be so beautiful, but what’s vanity when she’s hungry? they commented mockingly,

We have many historical and religious landmarks which formed part of our colorful history as a prominent city in this southernmost portion of the archipelago. We have to preserve our rich culture if we love our history as Zamboangueños. Historical structures should not be tampered if we want to restore any worn-out appendages. But look at Plaza Pershing and other vintage souvenirs. They no longer look the same, they grunted.

Go to Dapitan City and look for yourselves how they preserve their Hispanic look and atmosphere to this day.

Believe it or not, our point is— a culture no matter how beautiful may be the least to transients and travellers.