By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
THERE has been an outpour of support to the on-going baranggay road-cementing project of Jose Panganiban Mayor Ricarte Padilla, not only in words of praises but also in terms of bags-of-cement donations.
This is because the coming of cemented roads to the municipality’s 27 baranggays would be the only positive aspect of development that is being seen for the first time, especially by those who were born in this town more than 60 years ago.
The municipal government’s road cementing project began 19 months ago immediately after Padilla took over the helm of the municipal government after being sworn IN 2010 as the new mayor.
The inflows of material support – donations of bags of cement—could have been spurred by pictures of half-completed portion of baranggay roads undergoing concreting.
Some Mambulaoans based overseas have already pledged several bags of cement to help speed up the project before the onslaught of the rainy days resume sometime in the middle of the year.
Many donations are expected from the alumni of Jose Panganiban High school (JPHS), who have been based overseas for a length of time and are now wishing to see development that was missing when they were kids.
Words of praises that came with the pledge to deliver the needed building materials have been relayed through emails and postings on Facebook.
But the “dam of support” finally gave way as soon as pictures of completed and half-completed cement roads were posted on Facebooks, which later appeared on MWBuzz, accompanied by positive stories on Padilla’s effort to concretize baranggay roads during his short three-year term, which ends middle of 2013.
Responding to the many positive comments on the on-going road project posted on Facebook, Vice-Mayor Ariel Non said: “Konting tiis lang po, halos 19 months pa lang po nakaupo ang ating administrasyon subalit mahaba-haba na rin po ang nailalatag nating farm-to-market roads.
“Sana po ay inyong maunawaan na 27 bgys ang ating bayan at halos lahat ay nangangailangang maayos ang mga kalsada. Nahuli man po ang Larap sa nakalipas na administrasyon, sa Padilla-Non administration kasabay po ang Larap road sa mga priorities ng inyong municipyo lalo na po sa kalsada.”
It costs more than P10 million to build a kilometer of concrete road, according to Padilla, adding that there are several kilometers of baranggay roads that have to be built and rehabilitated to make them passable.
The municipality is generating only about P45 million a year in local revenues, and obviously it could not afford to spend all its money on a road-building project of this scale.
This is why the municipal government has appealed to financially-well off Mambulaoans to help continue what it has started, by chipping in with building materials such as cement, gravel and sand.
With many Mambulaons based overseas desiring to give back to their community, it would be safe to say now that this road project is good as done – unless Padilla and company screw up the project along the way, something that would surely turn off donors.
When the government grounds to a halt on this project due to funding lack, it is just sensible for our Kababayans to come to the rescue, but with equal measure of sense and utmost vigilance.