Thursday, 24 November 2011

Editorial No. 2

Data base of Global Mambulaoans needed

IT IS certain that a number of Mambuloans leave home from time to time for work overseas, while may be a few would come home after their job contracts were done.

As of now, the most number of overseas Mambulaoans could be coming from Parang, then followed by Larap.

These two baranggays in Jose Panganiban have the most number of population, making them the biggest among the 27 baranggays in the municipality of 49,000 people. So it would be easy to assume that these two have the most number of overseas Mambulaoans.

Based on Facebook memberships of the Taga-Larap Ako (TLA) group, the account has more than 800, which could just be a portion of the actual number of overseas Mambulaoans from this place.

Job seekers take their chances at a recent jobs fair in Manila. More and more overseas jobs are becoming available for skilled and professional Filipino workers.

But of course, not all of them all are overseas workers, because others could be immigrants in the US, Europe, Asia and Pacific. But then, they are Overseas Mambulaoans. Some might be sending money to their relatives back home as financial support.

Others could have just stay put right in Mambulao or elsewhere in the country.

There's no definite figure with regards to Parang, whose 2007 census population was at 5,754 (against Larap's 4,470).

But looking at the number of new construction activities around this baranggay, one could easily deduce the owners of the "home improvement projects" are funded by either gold-panning money or overseas remittances.

Since the decline of sustainable livelihoods in Mambulao, like fishing, gold panning, farming, many had opted to find new source of livelihood and their best bet was to go overseas.

Around Jose Panganiban, specially on the outskirts of the town, many are engaged in gold-panning (pagkakabod), where money could be had by sundown, after a day-long toil with their pangkabod (panner), mercury and ball mills, buckets, shovels and picks, grinders and the most important of all - gold nuggets.

But one would be surprised to learn that aside from trying to eke out a living from the-now-elusive gold dust, the magkakabod is also trying to raise money for the ultimate purpose - money for recruitment fees.

This is one reason why there are clockwork gold-panning activities in the municipality.

Since the municipality of Jose Panganiban is said to be the third group to benefit from the overseas Mambulaoans' remittances in terms of hiked revenues from sales taxes arising from tripled household's food and material consumption, thus generating some money for its public works, would it not make sense for the administration of Mayor Ricarte Padilla to develop a data base of its overseas citizens?

This way, the town government would have an idea where the overseas Mambulaoans are based -- information which it could make handy in future.

This task would not actually require much energy.

All the municipal council has to do is direct the heads of the 27 baranggays to make a survey in their jurisdiction of those who may be working overseas.

The data and related information would be coordinated and collated by a special unit at the Office of the Mayor.

And since the baranggay captain is the most knowledgeable when it comes to “who is who” in his community, there's no reason he wouldn't be able to deliver the statistics pronto.

The office of the mayor is said to be the shepherd looking after the flock. Maybe, it's about time that the office learned where the town's overseas citizens are right now.

It is therefore a must for the town government to have the right data base information on the whereabouts of overseas Mambulaoans.
Who knows? One day they could help the municipal government raise funds for its future projects.

* By AP Hernandez

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