Tuesday, 24 January 2012

    Tourist hazard …! This is the left wing of “Boardwalk”, popular hang-around 
      spot at the breakwater just behind the JP town hall. Funding constraints have prevented 
      the town government to fix it despite its being touted as a “tourist spot”. Notice too, the 
      color of the bay water to the left of the picture – brown – which should not be the case, 
      but because of continuing pollution caused by red mud being dumped into the Mambulao 
      Bay by gold operators on the outskirts of the poblacion, the quality of the bay water has 
      deteriorated over the last few years. This picture was taken a few days ago. – Text by AP 

    Mud pond … Children enjoy their swim despite of the water. Photo taken at the 
      breakwater just next to the “Boardwalk” that sits behind the JP town hall. Onlookers 
      would not be able to see the sandy surface beneath the water because it’s been covered 
      by red mud dumped into Mambulao Bay by gold operators nearby. The bay is helpless  
      and choking to death. -  Text by AP Hernandez and MWBuzzpic by ARNEL P 

In this Edition

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Volume 1 No 6








1) To view stories in the 5th edition, please click here
2) To view stories in the 4th edition, please click here
3) To view stories in the 3rd edition, please click here
4) To see stories in the 2nd edition, please click here
5) To see stories in the 1st edition, please click here  

Monday, 23 January 2012


      A portion of the cemented Larap road passing in front of the JPNHS campus. Notice  
      (to the right) the paved portion leading to the campus gate. -- MWBuzzpic by ARNEL P 

‘Bayanihan’ for Mayor Dong’s road rehab project

IN ANY country, be it in Asia, Africa or South America, good road has become the key to the progress of the community.

Many remote places came to life as soon as vehicles rolled down the paved road that bisected the heart of community.

But while this is a glowing truth that should be seen immediately in the dark by any sensible government and the leader running it, this has not always been the case.

The reasons are varied – some are justifiable, some are not.

But in any case, millions of people across the globe are suffering from the lack of decent roads. 

The absence of accessible roads especially in remote areas has prevented the delivery of goods and services to the people.

Likewise, the coming of development in the form of financial investment has also been frustrated. 

No investor worth his salt would sink his money in an area which could not be reached by transportation that would bring his goods, facilities and people.

Such had been the case in our very own community – our beloved Mambulao.

For decades, this place that happened to sit at the end of the world had been overlooked by politicians who sat in the provincial and congressional offices.

It was only during the recent time that a paved road – courtesy of the higher government --finally penetrated the municipal perimeter.

Cemented road that stretches from Mambulao all the way down south of Camarines Norte to the Bicol region has improved the flow of commerce -- to and from the community; travel both ways has been hastened.

However, within the municipality itself, the story was different. Until a couple of years ago, the prospect of seeing a cemented road in a remote baranggay was unthinkable.

It seemed that road improvement was not in the immediate agenda of the former mayor William Lim.

If it were, Mayor Dong Padilla would not have a hard time putting the roads on the road, so to speak.

With only 14 million pesos in its coffers as annual development funding allocation from the national government, how could he rebuild or rehabilitate a baranggay road that could cost 5 million pesos per kilometer?

Just consider the fact that over the past many decades, the 80 kilometers of town and baranggay roads had been left to deteriorate; this anomaly has prejudiced development and progress and harmed the riding public.

This is the same length of road that Padilla is now trying to deal with.

When he assumed office in June 2010, he agonized over the 14 million peso-development funds sitting in the coffers.

There’s just no way to do a massive rehabilitation work with that paltry sum.

But some imagination could work and this what Padilla did: He appealed to Mambulaoans, laid down the cards on the table and told them the truth: We can’t build our roads with only 14 million pesos.

Humbling himself, he approached his schoolmates at the Jose Panganiban National High School – the Batch 81 graduates to which he belonged: Please help me push this.

And so the campaign for cement donation that came to be known as “A bag of cement for a cause" took off, alongside the public appeal for pledges for a donation of a bag of cement from those who have extra to spare.

All this despite skepticism from many who had asked: How do we know the cement would go to the road project?

As of May last year, Mayor Dong had about 3,000 bags of cement in pledges; 1,000 of this would come from Batch ’81.

At the same time, he was in talks with some investors who would like to put a stake in the iron ore deposits in Larap; they were potential donors towards the project.

To date, all the road-building materials from donations shall have been used up.

But there are proofs to show – all in concrete.

In just 12 months, Mambulaoans have seen what used to be a trail in the baranggay becoming a paved road – cemented at that.

In Parang, the biggest of the 27 baranggays, a nicely-done cement roads has made tricycle drivers the new “motorcycle daredevils”. But somehow, everyone in Parang was happy as mobility has become their second skin.

Also concreted is that stretch of the Mambulao-Larap road on the outskirts of the poblacion called “biglang-liko/kurbada” up to that portion in front of the Ramon Adea property in Parang.

Now, what is left in this massive job is the 5km stretched towards Larap proper.

This stretch has become the frustration of every Larap resident. Those who are overseas, on their Facebook accounts, castigated the municipal government for being deaf to the mobility needs of the people of Larap.

Indeed, this stretch has become a pain in the neck as far as Dong Padilla is concerned.

But he is determined to finish what he has begun before his term is up by June 2013.

And such resolve would be tested by the 5km stretch of rough roads, which everybody in Larap said has been the cause of their daily misery and the reason why their community does not progress - both socially and economically.

The good news is that with the coming of the dry season, road building will resume and this road – a concrete one – will end up right there at the heart of Larap.

Mambulaoans should not make the shortage of funding a hurdle to finishing the road to Larap.

Everyone can help towards this endeavor.

Mambulaoans should  - for the nth time - strive to make the spirit of  “bayanihan” a functioning engine again.

A network of good roads is a decent legacy that Mayor Dong Padilla could leave to his constituents should he decide to quit politics next year.

But then, Mambulaoans would not mind if he waves his hand for a second term

-- AP Hernandez

Padilla to deal with Parang beach pollution

       A squatter shanty at Parang beach, one of the culprits that make the shoreline dirty. –   


MAMBULAO Mayor Dong Padilla will soon deal with the worsening waste pollution that plagues the beach of Parang, a sitio next to the poblacion.

This was disclosed by a source close to the mayor’s office.

The source said Padilla is “taking note of all the suggestions” on how to rehabilitate the beach, which has been inundated by rubbish dumped by shanties squatting along the shore and households nearby.

Mayor Dong Padilla ... time to do it
Padilla is considering a regular collection of rubbish along the beach, at least “three to four times a week” and putting marshals to check on those dumping wastes onto the beach.

If available funds would allow, a regular “cleaner” or somebody who would rake the beach sand up on a regular basis would be hired, according to the source.

The source has also revealed that a number of citizens have signified intent to work as volunteers in the “beach clean-up exercise”, which is now being coordinated with the local government unit.

Councilor Bebot de Guzman has been requested to enlist the Parents-Teacher Association (PTA) of Jose Panganiban National High School as well as that of the Parang Elementary School in the beach clean-up project.

A concerned citizen, Aldrin Toribio who heads the Unland Panganiban Movement (UPM), told MWBuzz he has sent letters to some known politicians in the province seeking assistance in the construction of some three to four public toilets along the 1.5km stretch of beach for use of squatter families in the area.

The worsening waste pollution of Parang beach has become one of the major environmental issues bugging the municipal government.

Padilla’s government is facing funding constraint to effectively deal with pollution issues in the community.

Padilla’s government is also trying to deal with equally-troubling situation of the Mambulao Bay which, over the past few years, has become polluted with gold mine tailings and mud wastes from gold panning operations.

The only operating medium-sized gold miner – Johson Gold Mining Corp – has reportedly ceased operations pending the issuance of an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). 

Such issuance, according to Padilla, could take sometimes, as Johson has yet to get a renewal of its mining claims certificate from DENR, a pre-requisite before the municipal government could endorse its application for an ECC.

At the same time, Johson would not be able to get such endorsement until the miner has improved its tailings ponds at its mine camp at San Mauricio mountain to contain its cyanide-laden mining wastes.
Padilla, in recent communication with MWBuzz, had indicated that his government does not feel confident as yet on the “integrity” or adequacy of Johson’s tailing ponds in containing its toxic mine wastes.

The mayor expressed concern that an inadequate mine tailings containment pond could break and spill the cyanide-laden wastes into nearby tributaries and creeks that end up at the Mambulao Bay.

Road concreting in Parang done

      The Larap road-Parang road junction just next to the JP National High School campus 
      gate. – MWBuzzpic by ARNEL P HERNANDEZ 

     A portion of the cemented road leading to the JPNHS campus and connecting to the 
     paved portion of the road to Larap. -- MWBuzzpic by ARNEL P HERNANDEZ


THE road cementing project in baranggay Parang has been completed.

This was learned from a Balikbayan who came to visit their family home in Parang recently.

“The major road at the baranggay leading to the national high school campus are all concreted,” observed Arnel P Hernandez, who is based in Yokosuka, Japan and works as a civilian employee at the US naval facility stationed there. He belonged to the Batch 73 graduates of Jose Panganiban High School.

“This is really good for Parang residents,” Hernandez said, noting that the road in front of their old home leading up to the high school has been “nicely cemented”.

The road concreting in Parang, which is the biggest among Mambulao’s 27 baranggays with a population of more than 5,000, was completed towards the end of 2011.

The municipal government of Mayor Ricarte Padilla had embarked into project in early 2011 despite the meager funds it had in its coffers.

Padilla said the municipal government has to rehabilitate a total of 80km of roads  -- both in the poblacion and at the 27 baranggays.

However, funding constraints have slowed down the project, the mayor said.

“A kilometer of concrete road would cost about Php5 million against an annual development funds of only Php14 million that the municipal government would receive from the national government,” Padilla said in a message posted on a Facebook account which serves as forum for Batch 81 graduates of JPNHS to which the mayor belongs.