Sunday, August 15, 2004

Pampogi projects

When it rains our village road turns muddy. The road connects the community we call Gardenan to the main road where the PUJs pass. On dry days I can walk to the main road. But when it's a mud day I have to ride on a trisikad (a bike with a side-car for 2 passengers). Or I can walk as long as I use rubber shoes. (I have a spare leather shoes at the office. Nice, uh!) Most of the time I do this especially when the budget for transportation gets tight. Oh yes, we have a transportation allowance of 50 pesos a day. But that has been included in the general daily budget for the family. So it is not particularly alleviating.

Now when my rubber shoes gets muddy while I'm slogging through the muddy street that's when I wonder why the city where I live (a suburb of Cebu City) has built a very big city hall and yet can't provide for adequate drainage for the streets. Because that is the main cause why this street that I use every day gets muddy. The rain has no place to drain into so it soaks the gravel and stirs up the soil underneath it turning the street into a sticky soup when the private vehicles of our neighbors pass through.

A stone throw away from our house the runoff rain on its way to the sea gets dammed up by the main road and the fences of the house. So water reaches the living rooms of the homes built below the level of the road. Very much like those tv clips of homes in Navotas.

In the bigger barangays along the traffic route to Cebu City the street is concrete but there are no drainage canals. The homes drain their rain and waste water into the street.

In what passes for the main business district of the city there are drainage canals or culverts on either side of the streets. But these are stuffed with garbage so that water - rain or waste - runs on the street sides.

And yet they erected in a newly developed area of the city a big city hall building that could rival the provincial capitol . Pampogi. Like those pedestrian overpasses built all over Cebu City and other cities of the country.

In Cebu we call it skywalks. On these skywalks are painted the names of the congressman whose pork barrel was used for their construction. And only the congressman who constructed it can display streamers on it announcing whatever is needed to remind the public about him/her. The skywalk is mainly an advertising billboard. The congressman does not need to rent a space to show his name to the public particularly the voters during election time.

Pedestrians would rather cross the street, even jump over islands, than use the skywalks. Pampogi projects like our city hall when the pressing need is for a drainage system or a solid waste management program.