March 2, 2024

What stuck in this near-sighted Ibaloy writer’s mind during the courtesy call of Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Yu at the City Mayor’s Office on Nov. 17 where she met with Vice Mayor Tino Olowan, acting city mayor; and Councilor Joe Molintas was when she pointed out the “good working relationship” between the city’s mayor and vice mayor. Mayor Benjie Magalong was then in Japan on an official trip.
In her visits to other local government units in the country, Yu observed the top officials in some of these places seem not to get along and work smoothly together as compared with those in Baguio, one of Unesco’s Creative Cities in the Crafts and Folk Arts category.
Her Excellency, who was born in South Korea, said she was able to communicate with the mayor before her visit to the Summer Capital where she led in the unveiling ceremony of the ASEAN Australia Smart Cities Trust Fund (AASCTF) Sadjap Water Level Monitoring Station plaque in La Trinidad, Benguet, which is part of the Baguio City Smart Flood Warning, Information and Mitigation System Project currently being implemented under the AASCTF, according to Neeta Pokhrel of the Pacific and Southeast Asia Team, Water and Urban Development Sector Office of the Asian Development Bank.
Indeed, our beloved city of Baguio is truly blessed not only in terms of enjoying a year-round temperate to chilly climate but also of being a place where politics is peaceful (unlike in other provinces and cities where political killings abound) and whose elected officials usually get along with each other and let bygones be bygones.
It makes this true-blue Baguio boy feel proud and lucky to be living, working and raising a family here in the land of my Ibaloy ancestors.
It’s crucial and frankly, common sense, that residents of a community benefit greatly when their chosen leaders are united and work hand-in-hand in delivering effective and efficient service to their constituents.
Obviously, it would be difficult for a community to develop and progress if its officials backstab and bicker with each other all day long while their constituents suffer in the process. Just saying.
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.