Tuesday, 27 December 2011


This half-lane cemented portion of the Parang-Larap road just across the JPNHS campus was undergoing curing last April. It is hoped that new funds would arrive to finish this baranggay road-cementing project of the municipal government. - MWBuzzpic by AP HERNANDEZ

Transparency in the Php202m devt funding

A RAFT of development funding for Mambulao worth Php202 million has been received by Mambulaoans with both optimism and skepticism.

This is the aggregate amount of several development funding outsourced from known money dams such as the ARCP (Agrarian Reform Community Projects) and more.

The breakdown of this development fund was first made public on the Facebook account of “Taga-Larap Ako”, a chat group composed of natives of Larap, a community that was abandoned in ruins by the Philippine Iron Mines, which exploited its rich iron ore resources for several decades until the end of 70s.

That the amount of Php202 million for Mambulao’s dreamed development is too good to be true. It was immediately considered as disinformation.

But then, whether it was true or not, it is something that the 75,000 citizens of Mambulao are looking forward to, as their respective baranggays truly hunger for much-needed development.

When it was first posted on TLA chat site, the figures cited were immediately received with skepticism, saying that it was just an early attempt at early politicking, the local elections just being round the corner.

Others commented that this is something they have been waiting for, noting that the development of Mambulaos has been in the doldrums for so long and that it is just about time a welcome news like this should break the boredom among Mambulaoans.

This is understandable; on the other hand, the people continued to be wary about it.

We have learned in the past that development money that was supposed to benefit the community, and therefore, the people, just went somewhere; big chunks had remained unaccounted for while the infrastructure that were put up had been considered “for a show only”.

But nevertheless, the case of Mambulao’s windfall of a massive funding has been finally revealed, something that has not been witnessed in a long while in a community like Mambulao.

Hopefully, there should be some truth to it.

Tricycle stop … tricycle operation is a common job for many in Mambulao, financed by someone who either struck gold at the gold-panning mine sites or who continuously worked overseas. Notice the end of the cemented road. This picture was taken last April. – MWBuzzpic by AP HERNANDEZ

Until now, our community has remained semi-urban.

Despite the riches it enjoyed during the boom time in Larap in terms of tax revenues, Mambulao has remained a nearly third-class community.

Very soon, the town of Sta Elena, which BLTB and other long-distance traveling buses used as a roadside comfort room and carinderia on their way to Manila and back to the hinterlands of Bicol region during the 1960s, will overtake Mambulao in terms of development.

And during those years, Larap was booming and so the tax-revenue rich coffers of Mambulao.

But Sta Elena is speeding up, powered by its own resources -- from coconut to other less-known agricultural produce. It could beat Mambulao to the finish line of real development one day.

When this happens, every Mambuloan would really be pissed off.

The first question would be: How come?

Your news tunnel, the MWBuzz, was able to confirm the existence of Php202 million from a source close to the Jose Panganiban Mayor, Dong Padilla.

And Mayor Padilla, in a message to MWBuzz, promised to discuss through your news tunnel the nature of this funding in due time.

This news outlet has been assured that the money would soon start trickling down to the coffers of the community. In fact, the first trance is expected to be received this month.

The good news is that a portion is now being used in a number of development projects that included the concreting of the road linking Parang and Larap.

A number of baranggays have already been issued their respective ambulance vehicle to be used in emergencies that usually involved life and death.

We hope to hear more good news in the New Year.

But before anything boils down to the classic affair of fund mismanagement and fund skimming, Mambulaoans should stay vigilant about how the Php202 million would be disbursed.

We don’t want to be told about the fade-out of funds by way of the so-called “system’s loss”, a lingo in the power generation industry wherein an amount of electricity disappears along the way before reaching the targeted household lighting bulbs.

And that power users should bleed some more in terms of additional pesos in their bills to cover the loss.

And we have been told that this is legitimate.

But as to the feared systematic loss of some millions from our community’s development funds, this is something Mabulaoans would not take for granted.

But anyway, a transparent New Year to every one!

-- By A P Hernandez

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