Baguio at 113 is not veering away from its suicidal course

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Towards even more congestion of people, businesses, factories, buildings and other so-called infrastructures. Our laws, policies, mentality, viewpoints, business goals, even culture have made that destiny unavoidable.

          In this country, Baguio is the best place to settle in. It is not as congested as Metro Manila . . . . . . but we are getting there. Economic opportunities and professional advancement here are unequalled by any other place in the Cordillera.

          More so the layout of the city. Had we been able to stick to its original architecture, it could be a model the world over. But the good things about the city made it like flower nectar to honeybees or sugar to ants, attracting people of all sorts from all directions.

          So it has become a melting pot. Nothing bad about that but it is now bursting at the seams. It has reached far beyond its capacity in terms of everything and, like any other overpopulated city, it can only offer now unwholesome living. The crime rate is on the rise and has been rising for a long time already. Poverty also.  Pollution is at dangerous levels. Its air is not anymore invigorating and water in its creeks and rivers were long dead biologically, and are only good for Satan’s soup.

          Open spaces? Since long ago, we had run out of these. And through practice we have refined the technique of “iskwatting” to an art form. We don’t do it individually. It is a lot more effective and efficient if done in droves. A community of illegal occupiers could rise on a private land overnight, literally. Even parcels for public purposes, for the common good, have become favorite targets. We have been ruthless about this and has already reached the level of insanity.

          Aside from band-aid measures, nothing wholistic is being done to address these.

          The key word badly needed is decentralization. While the term has been around for ages, it only deserved lip service from the people who could make it happen.

          Had government resources been poured, not to the pockets of corrupt officials, but to developing outlying areas, there would be hope.

          Were Bontoc (Mtn. Province), Abatan (Buguias), Tabuk (Kalinga), Bambang (Nueva Vizcaya), and Pugo to Agoo up to Rosario were made into bustling cities, a lot of people with plans to migrate to Baguio City might stop right there, and stay there, for the jobs and other economic opportunities they would offer.

          That would, however, entail some national direction or redirection of resources.  But it would not happen. Local governments and local vested interests are too busy with the maintenance of their respective selfish directions to even think of broader public welfare, beyond the confines of their territorial jurisdictions.**


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