July 15, 2024

This near-sighted Ibaloy writer will end this year with a so-called poem by my naughty poetic twin Gabriel Baban Keith entitled, “Kafagway, Part IV.” Here goes: “Isn’t it ironic?/ Isn’t it sad?/ That some members/ of one tribe’s/ seeming penchant/ for begging,/ squatting and/ commercializing/ its culture/ affects all Cordillera tribes/ negatively in/ the eyes of/ those outside/ the region./ To many outsiders,/ Igorots are all/ one and the same/ in engaging and/ allowing their relatives/ to engage in these/ shameful practices/ when only some/ members of one/ tribe do./ And to think that many of/ Bag-iw’s respected/ and honorable/ leaders belong/ to this tribe./ I hope I’m wrong/ but if I’m not, then/ isn’t it ironic?/ Isn’t it sad?/ Peace.”
Anway, Mayor Benjamin Magalong wishes to be remembered as a non-politician who only wants to do what is right for the Summer Capital and its people as he stressed that he is not looking beyond serving more than three years or one term as the city’s chief executive.
He emphasized this point during the annual visit of around 80 officials, staff, and students of the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) Friday at City Hall.
Headed by NDCP president, retired B/Gen. Archimedes Viaje, and vice president for Academic Affairs Teresita Atienza, the group included foreign students from China, Nigeria, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
The NDCP is an educational, training, and research agency based in Quezon City and is responsible for providing continued and intensive studies of the diverse problems relating to national defense and security.
The officials said the reason for their visit was to learn more about the city’s socio-economic profile, environmental, and security programs with emphasis on the its 15-point executive agenda on good governance.
The agenda includes speeding up government action; revitalizing the environment; innovating peace and order; aggressive traffic management; responsive education program; empowering the youth; expanding health and social services; responsible tourism; and enlivened culture, arts, crafts and heritage.
It also pushes for market modernization; efficient disaster management; empowered and accountable barangay governance; strengthened livelihood and entrepreneurial services; unemployment reduction; and resolution of indigenous people’s land claims.
The mayor said another will soon be added to the agenda, which is on “happiness” where an internationally-recognized Filipino speaker will be conducting seminars and other activities on the subject.
Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu made a surprise visit during the lecture and gamely answered questions from the group on environmental issues.
Cimatu later led the inspection of the city’s sewage treatment plants with the mayor and other city and DENR officials. Cheers!

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May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.