AN ACT OF INCONSISTENT CONCERN

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Concern for the environment is supposed to be everyone’s obligation to help in sustaining efforts to preserve and protect Mother Earth from further deterioration so that the present and future generations of inhabitants will be able to enjoy the benefits of having a good state of the environment. Baguio city is just one of the luckiest places in the country for having been blessed with a good climate which is its natural pull for foreign and domestic visitors to frequent the city even for a day or two for them to be able to have a break from the extreme heat in the lowland communities.

The city’s local legislative body was able to enact good legislations over the past several years that seek to preserve and protect the environment which the same august body seem to skirt around from time to time to advance their own individual and collective interest. One of the landmark legislations crafted by the local legislative body was the city’s Environment Code which has been used from time to time to approve or turn down proposals.

The provisions of the Environment Code was in full force and effect when the members of the local legislative body approved the conduct of amusement rides within a portion of the children’s playground last year which was the subject of controversy because of numerous safety and environment issues that were raised before, during and after its operation. Why did not the council junk the operation of the amusement rides from the start because it is not actually allowed under the code where was the concern for the environment then?

Early this year, the same local legislative body approved the supposed conduct of the amusement rides in the same area where it was conducted to purportedly provide added recreational activities for the public. Again, the question to be raised to the honourable members of the local legislative body is where is against the concern for the environment? Luckily, the local chief executive and concerned offices of the local government outright rejected the planned amusement ride operations because of the failure of the same operator to restore the damage to the park caused during the earlier operation of the amusement rides.

Suddenly, the local legislative body made a turn around and denied the conduct of the Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition at the Burnham Park skating rink because of their overwhelming concern to the environment. The claim of local legislators that the conduct of the fair is not allowed under the various ordinances of the city, the same is debatable.

Obviously, the various conflicting actions of the members of the local legislative body is an evidence of their individual and collective acts of inconsistent concern because their actions vary on the effects of the proposals to their individual and collective interests. Since the local government partnered with the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. to jointly administer the government-led and community supported festival, the Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition has been held at the skating rink before it was transferred to the Burnham Lake Drive.

We appreciate the efforts of the local legislative body in not allowing the closure of the Burnham Lake Drive to traffic to pave the way for the conduct of the annual market encounter as part of the Panagbenga. However, observers see it in a different way the latest action of the local legislative body..For the first time in the history of the flower festival, the local legislative body did not agree to the conduct of the market encounter because of their supposed concern for the environment.

The people of Baguio were not born yesterday to buy your praise release on the matter. Most members of the local legislative body decided to vote against the conduct of the market encounter at the skating rink because of their concern for the environment. We do hope that this is the main reason and not just to ride on the matter to make it appear that they are pro-environment to be able to win the votes of the residents for their political ambitions.

Certainly, the junking of the conduct of the Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition at the skating rink and approving an amusement operation is  a questionable show of concern by our honourable to the environment. The political season is just around the corner. The city’s electorate are surely not that dumb as perceived by some of our city officials who seem to simply ride on issues just to gain publicity for their own interests. Let us not be hoodwinked into falling into the trap of these unscrupulous officials who pretend to be servants but not as good as the one we know as per our standards of good leaders. Consistency on the part of our public officials on matters of public interest is a must. The beauty of politics is true public service.

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