Giving Ifugao folks reason to be victorious
By Anthony A. Araos
Ifugao celebrated Victory Day on September 2 to commemorate the historic event of the surrender of General Tomoyuki Yamashita in Kiangan on this day 75 years ago. Yamashita’s surrender ended WWII in the Asia Pacific region which in other words, marks the victory of the Allied Forces. On this day, tribute is paid to all who bravely fought in World War II. All who died during the war are also remembered. This day is a special non-working holiday for the province of Ifugao.
World War II was fought and won. But at present, Ifugao is waging another war. It is the war against poverty. Many people are living in poverty. The travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 crisis has aggravated the situation. At the Lagawe flea market, nearly 90 percent of the vendors have closed shop. Seeing these people jobless, their families unable to have three meals a day and their children getting hungry, breaks my heart.
There is no place for impoverishment of the people in a civilized society and must not be allowed to persist.
Towards the solution of the problem, I wrote Governor Jerry Dalipog suggesting a few “innovative” steps. I pointed out the need to fast-track the creation of the Provincial Assessment and Evaluation Committee (PAEC) to identify and develop idle land for big-ticket projects. In part, I wrote: “Changing the province’s fortunes by attracting investors to put up their businesses and high-impact facilities at idle and other lands is the reason why I am strongly endorsing this proposal. In life, the improvement of the people’s lives rank high up in the priority list of any public servant. Investment ventures offered by first developing these unproductive land properties are effective means of building wealth and achieving our life goals. The paradigm should be used to stimulate investments in the province. The fast growth and development of Ifugao from this strategy shall result from a sense of mission that such expansion has to happen. I strongly believe that it is never too late to move into that direction. Provinces are not made equal. Many are more developed than others. One example: Nueva Vizcaya and Ifugao. It is high time to catch up with our neighboring province. It is never too early to develop timely measures to improve the province’s competitiveness. The Dalipog administration can finally give the impoverished people what they long deserved- through job and income generation, by way of creating the PAEC, for short, societal goals such as inclusive growth and poverty reduction are achieved,”
“To my mind, the creation of the PAEC, through an Executive Order, will set to play a crucial role in spurring growth and development in the province,” I added. The development of idle land shall be the Dalipog administration’s crown jewel. It lays the foundation for economic growth.
In her book “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” Mary Trump, sister of U.S. President Donald Trump, pointed out: “He has no principles.” I paused, feeling a big relief the task of undoing the Trump mess is set this November.
Finally, here is a thought for our dear readers: “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.” former American president Barack Obama.