TUBA, Benguet – Municipal and barangay officials in the town urged public servants to first inform and consult with them if they want to use events happening in their jurisdiction to boost their image.
Some municipal and barangay officials, who requested anonymity during recent random interviews for personal reasons, claimed they were aware of the landslides along Kennon road at the height of the 13-day monsoon rains in the Northern Luzon area and the presence of concerned public works officials and personnel of private contractors who were in charge of clearing certain stretches of the road.
Further, they were also aware of prevailing protocols by the public works department that their personnel and the private contractors should refrain from doing clearing activities at the height of heavy downpour so as not to compromise their safety considering that huge boulders and mud from above suddenly fall on certain areas along the roadline, thus, it is important to prioritize their safety instead of being exposed to risky situations.
Concerned barangay officials along Kennon road disclosed they have seen Mayor Clarita Sal-ongan visit the landslide-prone areas of the road during the heavy rains and inquired from them on their needs and talked with the personnel of the public works department and the private contractor on what is being done to ensure the continuous passage of motor vehicles and avoid the frequent closure of critical portions of the road.
“We were surprised to witness some public servants coming from outside the municipality and the province visit the landslide-prone area of Kennon road, have their photographs taken by the media and projected themselves as the people behind the opening of the road when DPWH personnel and units of heavy equipment of the private contractor were already in the area doing clearing works,” barangay official stressed.
According to them, it will not hurt if public servants from other places outside the province and the municipality pay the appropriate respect and courtesy to the concerned local officials so that there will be a harmonious working relationship between them, especially if their purpose is simply for photo opportunities to boost their image, particularly in the social and mainstream media.
The concerned local officials disclosed that Mayor Sal-ongan herself have been frequenting the close-open Kennon road during the monsoon rains and was seen to have been picking up stones scattered in different parts of the road but she did not opt to have her photos take because she knew that it was part of her job to look after the welfare of her constituents without the need of being conscious about publicity.
If other public servants want to be given the respect they demand from their constituents, the concerned local officials asserted that they must also accord to their fellow public servants outside their jurisdiction the needed respect considering that respect begets respect.