Sunday, January 2, 2011

Here we are today

I’ll leave New Year’s resolutions, inspiring messages, you know - the niceties, to the others, there’ll be lots of that from other columnists in the first days of the New Year.

So this is how it’s going down, it seems – get elected, mess up some, get re-elected, mess up some more, get replaced by an overwhelming majority, then whine about how the new guy seems to be taking forever to clean up the mess, then get re-elected – in the US of A, that is. Alas, poor Barrack, he’s just  not a miracle worker. Never mind that it took two Bush terms to create the mess, the whole world expects him to win the war against terror; restore order in Afghanistan and Iraq; lead the country (and the world with it) towards a 360-degree economic U-turn all in one term. Or he’s out. Miss Palin is already salivating, and if she does end up as the next White House resident, let’s not be surprised if she places all blame for the mess in Afghanistan, Iraq, the economy, etc. on Obama. So unless he any of the Herculean tasks above done, that’s probably how things will play out next year Stateside.

Well, that’s how it already played out in this tiny little overly-populated highly-urbanized city. The Centennial mayor assumed office with a looming garbage crisis. The deadline for an acceptable garbage management system was fast approaching, thanks to the inaction during the past several years before that, and the garbage did hit the fan soon after. None of the things he did or did not do mattered anymore since then – fact was, the streets of Baguio had piles of stinking, rotting uncollected garbage. He was not able to clean up the mess in his three years as chief executive, and so he was booted out. A new set of officials were elected. Let me correct that – an old set of officials were re-elected. The same people whom we quite overwhelmingly said no to just six years ago because, let me refresh your memory here: allegations of widespread corruption, lack of vision, for trying to ram a casino down our throats, and selling out to a on-street pay parking company, among others.

And here we are today. We still don’t have a solid waste management system in place and so stinking, rotting uncollected garbage still litter our streets, despite the promise to solve that problem in a mere couple of months. Perhaps last year’s election season exhausted the pundits, the media, the bloggers, and the online rabble-rousers that this thing’s going unnoticed these days. But seriously, we can’t really blame the “present administration” alone for this, in fairness to the present City Hall occupant, it just can’t be done overnight – and even if it can, things done overnight often turn out to be duds.  I put “present administration” in quotation marks, yes, and also the word “alone” after that, for “the present administration” is not the only one to blame for the crisis, but also the past ones. That crisis started in 2001 when the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act was passed in congress, and hardly anything concrete was done except for concrete flyovers and pine trees. Sure the Centennial Mayor should have probably focused more on that problem, so ok, let’s put him in the loop too.

Oh wait, before I get the flak for focusing on who’s to blame instead of on finding a solution, allow me to say that perhaps the best way to find that solution is to look at the root of it all. Besides, that’s why the people elected the present officials into office – because all of the city’s current woes were blamed on the previous administration. The people bought it, some of them were bought, and now…

…well, as I said, here we are today. 

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