December 8, 2023

And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:20-26)
These passages are commonly quoted for the unity of Christians. Ecumenical movements usually use this quote to emphasize unity and harmony among different Christian churches and church leaders. They are reminded to become active participants in the mission of the salvation of souls and not to win arguments against each other.
I wish to use these passages also to open our minds as leaders of the church and government in the education of the young and the proper way to treat work.
Gospel and cultural values underline the value of work and rest. The Holy Bible attests to this especially when it quotes the 10 Commandments, particularly the third. I reiterate the commandment of God in the Old Testament that fulfilled in the New Testament to address the alarming erosion of morality, especially the dignity of work and labor. “Any work that brings us away from God does not belong to the creation of God.”
Good governance is living out Christian and cultural values in the workplace. Do not steal. Do not cheat. Do not step on your colleague for promotion and wage. Do not despise the less privilege. Serve and promote peace through good governance.
In Mountain Province, we have the cultural lockdown called “tengaw,” “te-er,” or “ubaya.” They are all referring to rest. We stop from work and we rest. We stop from work to be with our family. We stop from work to be with the elders in the “dap-ay” or “ato” to listen, communicate, plan, and eat together. Dap-ay or ato is the gathering place of men, especially the elders in the villages, to discern for the good of the community and to declare penalties for cultural violators.
Now, we observe that Sundays are being abused by project contractors and government officials. There is no more rest for people and no more time to fulfill the commandment of God to make his day holy.
I am gravely disturbed whenever I see the rock netting activities along our roads and highways. Safety of workers, safety of the public, passersby are overlooked. We are not talking about thousands of money or millions of money in rock netting but billions of money.
It is a big temptation to become selfish, to be self-centered, dishonest, and cheat. I congratulate Mayor Benjie Magalong for his bravery to challenge institutions to examine their works. I humbly advise the Department of Public Works and Highways not to take the criticism against themselves but to make it an as eye-opener and an opportunity to examine the quality of work and service.
Rock netting is all over the Cordillera. By observation and common sense, the rock netting is not so far the needed technology for our mountains for the
It cannot be denied the rock netting project is not about millions. It is about billions of money.
There are already rock netting projects that collapsed and did not yet served its purpose.
Grasses will surely grow on the plastic nets. We are aware that mountain or forest fires are rampant on summer. The plastic nets are combustible.
Billions of money are spent for rock netting. I hope there was justice. We have many barangays in dire need of roads and bridges but seemingly, they are not the priority.
Seemingly, the provincial and municipal monitoring groups cannot dip a finger on the projects?
Is rock netting really necessary for our mountain slopes? Or it all the more weakens the integrity of the rocks and mountains?
I hope the DPWH will do something about this social issue.
What is in the rock netting project? Why is it so attractive to politicians and project contractors? I challenge the government officials and government agencies concerned with infrastructure projects to examine seriously the rock netting activities all over the Cordillera.
Reach me at [email protected].