La Trinidad should lead the way to Benguet’s development
Benguet’s capital town must lead the way in the province’s development. The other towns are looking up to it for guidance, as an example.
Development as we know it, however, comes with other bad things like congestion, pollution, traffic, criminality, low quality of life, etc. While this is a given, the bad things need not be so bad. Otherwise, the town would decay.
The traffic perhaps could be solved with investments to open up more roads and widen existing ones. How to achieve this might be to have more creative ways of getting a bigger share from the DPWH’s budget. Last year, it was revealed that not even half of that was disbursed or spent. In short, the right key to that resource should now be preoccupying the minds of those in-charge of infrastructure at the municipal hall.
More importantly, alternative transportation modes should be explored and doggedly chased or pursued with the City of Baguio and other stakeholders. There was the proposed train system over the Balili River which was studied and found feasible through the initiative of a group and with the backing of then Baguio City Mayor Domogan.
Another is the cable car transport system which is now being considered by the Department of Transportation (DOTr). While this was long overdue, at least the idea is now being entertained by the national government. For local governments cannot, on their own, undertake such very big and expensive projects. But such are what we need for traffic has pushed us into an extraordinarily problematic situation.
Another thing is the usual congestion caused by development. While only remedial measures can be undertaken in those already congested parts of the town, a lot more can be done to prevent the establishment of more congested areas. The proper implementation of land use plans and zoning ordinances should take care of this..
Pollution is another urgent problem. Throwing money into the problem by having more cleanup drives can only go so far. The more important part of the solution is to come up with laws with teeth that will discipline constituents to observe cleaner attitudes and to adopt ways that are more environment friendly.
We are quite sure that La Trinidad shares our national sickness which is having a lot of laws but with a poor record of enforcement. Strict enforcement of laws can make the town cleaner and safer due to lower crime rates.
Like anywhere else, these can be achieved only with the cooperation of constituents and citizens in transitu.**