Trillanes relocates PH capital. Here are my complete ABCs of moving
MANILA: Re-elected Senator Antonio Trillanes wants a 2-year government-funded study of whether or not to relocate the Philippine capital from Manila. He doesn't know it yet, but I can give him a quick study right now, free.
Trillanes has filed Senate Bill 655 to create a National Commission "to determine if there is a need to retain Manila as Philippine capital" (Rio Rose Ribaya, 12 July 2013, ph.news.yahoo.com). Trillanes says (with little editing):
Metro Manila is a capital that can hardly stand proud in the ranks of national capitals throughout the world. To administer better government transactions, as well as spur development in other areas of the country, it is high time to study comprehensively the potential of relocating and transferring the national capital and permanent seat of the national government of the country from the City of Manila and the National Capital Region.
Trillanes notes that the City of Manila lacks "proper urban planning" and this is manifested in its "antiquated drainage systems, and traffic gridlocks" that have been noticeable since 1976. Compounding the situation is the air heavy with pollutants and the ground heavy with squatters, leaving Manila "a place with only a little space for development." He understands that national capitals "occupy a commanding position in the stature and development of nations, standing as symbols of pride or vehicles for national progress," and he does not see this in the City of Manila.
He is proposing an ad hoc National Capital Commission for Capital Relocation to undertake a feasibility study on the matter. Trillanes hopes that the work of the Commission will be finished in 2 years.
Me? I can't wait that long. Should the government move the Philippine capital? Without the benefit of a feasibility study, I say, yes, right away! Now, from A to Z, let me examine each town or city and why we should make it as the next capital and at the same time learn some other lessons in development.
Let's move the Philippine capital to:
(1) Point A, Alaminos City in Pangasinan, so that we can observe every day how the white-spotted bamboo sharks introduced to the waters of the Hundred Islands are eating away all those living creatures below the surface. Those sharks were released by the Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources and the City Government on 31 May 2013. These sharks are beautiful creatures; they also eat the local smaller marine species. Good for tourism. So we can learn from the BFAR and the City Mayor how to mind more the tourists than the locals. And soon there will be more sharks in the waters than on land.
(2) Or Point B, Baguio City in Benguet, so that we can learn from the City Mayor and the village leaders how to allow squatters to destroy a beautiful city on the mountains. While the Rape of the City is going on, what do we do? We celebrate every February with a flower festival, the Panagbenga, in which we can see that there are more flowers dancing on the streets than swaying on the hillsides of Baguio City.
(3) Or Point C, Calamba City, because that's the birthplace of our National Hero Jose Rizal, and that will remind us to limit the candidates for government offices to those who are 35 years or younger, because Rizal said the youth are the hope of the fatherland. Why, because we the elders are hopeless.
(4) Or Point D, Dapitan in Mindanao, so that we can learn to be businessmen like the National Hero Jose Rizal, who had no idle moments even while he was in exile from his native Calamba. Adversity is not an excuse for idleness. There are no mediocre opportunities, only mediocre thinking.
(5) Or Point E, El Nido in Palawan, so that we can appreciate the beauty that natural gas can do for the country, and the undisturbed sea and mountain sceneries. This is also to keep reminding us not to rely on our political leaders because what comes out from them is mostly gas.
(6) Or Point F, Famy in Laguna, which is close to Real in Quezon Province, which is where the UP Land Grant is located and remain largely undeveloped, despite the fact that the grant was given in 1939 yet. This is to remind us that UP Los Baños is more theory and less practice. This is an alumnus speaking.
(7) Or Point G, Gregorio del Pilar in Ilocos Sur, so that we will learn how to sacrifice even ourselves for the sake of the country. What did this Ilocano say at the point of death? "I regret I have only one life to offer my country." I regret I have only one pen to offer my country.
(8) Or Point H, Hadji Muhammad Ajul in Basilan, so that we can learn what our brother Muslims need to develop their towns and cities. We should not presume to know. They should not presume to know either, unless they have a Vision for everyone.
(9) Or Point I, Iloilo City, so that we will learn that we need collaborators in the fight for independence as well as the fight for economic justice. It was General Macario Peralta who advocated that Iloilo Governor Tomas Confesor collaborate with the Japanese for the sake of the guerrilla movement. Thus, Peralta's Guerrillas disabled the Japanese army and cleaned up enough parts of the Visayas for the defeat by the American fleet of the Japanese fleet in the Battle of Leyte. There are bad collaborators and good collaborators.
(10) Or Point J, Jalajala in Rizal, so that we will learn to appreciate how to conserve the largest freshwater lake in the Philippines, Laguna Lake, Jalajala being in the middle of it. With the capital in Jalajala, everyone will see every day materials from wastewaters coming from factories and homes, more so from homes. We will learn that bad habits begin at home.
(11) Or Point K, Kalibo in Aklan, so that we will learn that we must be original in our festivities and not simply copy from the popular festivals abroad, especially the United States' Mardi Gras, and then copy from each other. Why, even our tourist slogans are copies from abroad!
(12) Or Point L, Los Baños in Laguna, so that we will learn that the distinguished University of the Philippines Los Baños is hardly ever consulted or hardly volunteers its science to formulate policies for government involving agriculture for development. If UP Los Baños is so good, why isn't any government agency consulting it institutionally?
(13) Or Point M, Maguindanao, so that we can all easily visit the common grave of the 58 victims of an election-related massacre in November 2009 that included the wife of a would-be candidate for Governor of Maguindanao, his 2 sisters, journalists, lawyers, aides, and motorists. If you can't fight the enemy, eliminate him?
(14) Or Point N, Naga City, so that we can learn from Mayor Jesse Robredo how to propagate local autonomy as well as generate a system of transparency and accountability. Under Robredo, Naga City became one of the Most Improved Cities in Asia (Asiaweek, 1999). If we don't learn from Robredo, then we're only paying lip service to the people or not paying attention.
(15) Or Point O, Obando in Bulacan, so what we can learn to dance and pray for fertility, but we also have to take good care of our bodies and our souls. If we want miracles, we have to sweat them out.
(16) Or Point P, Puerto Princesa City, so that we will learn how to conserve our virgin forests and natural wonders like the underground river. You need only one hardheaded, headstrong local official like Edward Hagedorn to start it all. It's political will, and it starts with one man (embracing woman), and that could be you.
(17) Or Point Q, back to Quezon City, because that's where the University of the Philippines Diliman is located, and UP Diliman knows everything, including how to increase tuition fees and how to curb the population explosion of the country, a problem that they themselves defined in the first place.
(18) Or Point R, Roxas City, so that we can again blame President Manuel Roxas for consenting to the establishment of US military bases in the Philippines, which is a good alibi for Filipinos not thinking beyond exporting raw materials like sugar and logs. Pointing with the finger is easier than working with the hands.
(19) Or Point S, San Mateo in Isabela, where the Philippine Rice Research Institute has a station, where we can learn that hybrid rice is a much more profitable business than certified rice, but we still have to ensure that the farmers stop being victims of usurers and unscrupulous middlemen.
(20) Or Point T, Taguig City, where we can all learn to transform a grassland into a global city. Taguig is where the Department of Science & Technology headquarters has been located for years, and yet it is business that developed the place and science had nothing to do with it. Science should be participative, not bureaucratic.
(21) Or Point U, Urdaneta City, so that we can learn that the livestock market is, as most markets in the Philippines are, controlled by middlemen who are always the winners and the producers are always the losers. The man in the middle has always been a villain.
(22) Or Point V, Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, so that we will learn more about tobacco, and that it is not tobacco that causes cancer but a weakened immune system. If you get sick, don't blame it on the smoke, blame it on the smoker.
(23) Or Point W, Waterlogged Candaba Swamp, so that we will learn to cope with too much water at the wrong time, as well as too many fish pens at the wrong places. Mother Nature we can forgive, but not man's nature to be selfish.
(24) Or Point X, eXtreme Chemical Agriculture Asingan in Pangasinan, my hometown, where they have been over-fertilizing and over-spraying pesticides in the last 50 years so much so that the eggplants and tomatoes would grow but they would invariably be attacked by pests. When I was a boy, Asingan was the vegetable bowl of Pangasinan.
(25) Or Point Y, Young Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (2007), so that we will learn that not in every seacoast can we find a good port, and not every good port can be commercial.
(26) Or Point Z, Zamboanga City, so that if the poor remain poorer and the rich richer, we can always enjoy a beautiful city that has kept its Hispanic influences, including Roman Catholicism with its worldview. We can always go mountain climbing, biking, water tubing, island hopping ... And we can always visit the pink sand in Santa Cruz Grande Island, watch the colorful vintas, look around the City of Flowers, and pray for the intercession of Our Lady of the Ransom!