June 21, 2024

As the country awaits the assumption of a new leadership after the May 9elections, a local official reminded while the results of the political exercise is a basis for everyone to move forward, issues facing the country should not be forgotten or set aside.

Councilor Arthur Allad-iw, who is among the members of the Baguio City council who were reelected, said issues including those that were debated on during the campaign period “should be an agenda that should be forwarded to be addressed by the next administration.”

Allad-iw said the city’s administration should take up the issues surrounding the amended Baguio City charter which lapsed into law on April 11, such as the expanded land area of the city which was not defined in the new charter, how to settle ancestral land issues, and the need for the city to stress the 19 conditions in relation to the Camp John Hay reservation that is under the control of Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

Another would be issues needed to be addressed to accomplish the current administration’s campaign on good local governance, particularly those involving environment preservation and how to improve the water quality of rivers traversing the city and flowing to tributaries of other local government units.

At the national level, Allad-iw said there is a need to address the country’s outstanding debts, both foreign and state loans, which under the outgoing Duterte administration is pegged at P12.68 trillion.

Before the Edsa Revolution, the administration of then Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. incurred a debt of $26 billion, which Allad-iw reminded the country is still paying until 2025.

Among other issues, Allad-iw added something to ask of the next administration is its stand and action on the Arbitral Tribunal ruling, which is in favor of the Philippines on most of its positions against China in relation to the country’s maritime claims on the West Philippine Sea.

“We need to move on but moving on as part of the democratic exercise is to raise issues which are for the nation’s betterment. Substantial electoral issues of the nation should not be set aside. Let us not have amnesia on issues that we have been encountering, as these must be answered by the freshly elected officials as raised by the people in what we believe as ingredients of social change for the betterment of our nation,” Allad-iw said during the regular flag raising rites at City Hall last week. – Hanna C. Lacsamana