IF I HAVE MY WAY I would urge the Chief Executive Officer, at the earliest, to convene the MunicipalDevelopment Council, follow the procedure outlined in Section 17 and Article 182 of the RA 7160, alsoknown as the Local Government Code, and draft a Master Plan for the Redevelopment for the TownProper.

The Planning and Development Coordinator is to formulate and integrate a Master Plan for the TownProper, bring the comprehensive plan to a town hall public forum and entertain participation from thepublic to complete the planning proposal before sending the plan to the Sanguniang Bayan (Executive-Legislative Team).

For funding: Congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), also known as Pork Barrel,should be explored as the primary source of funds. As we all know, a congressman is allocated annuallyPhP70 million pesos and must be used, for if assistance is not asked, chances the Congressman will usethe money somewhere else, favoring the City of Balanga. It is incumbent for the Municipal Planners tobe aggressive in their pursuit for the necessary funds. Do not waste time, finalize a comprehensive planfor the project, come up with the cost estimate and then ask for monetary assistance.

Another source of funds is from the 20% development fund from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA)being received by the municipality annually. The Municipality has received the annual IRA in theamount of PhP60, 531,204.00, and the 20% development fund of PhP 12,106,240.80 was allocated for2011 as the Annual Investment Plan of the Municipality.

It is incumbent on the municipal planners to first prioritize the redevelopment, beautification of ourtown proper vs. the reclamation of the tideland. They say that the Provincial Government has thejurisdiction and responsibility in the repair and maintenance of the provincial road. Is that an excusewhy our Municipal Planners are not doing anything? We live here, if the provincial road is properlymaintained, we benefit; if the provincial road remains as is, and because of the lack of storm drain, aslight rain, our street is flooded and we suffer, not them at the provincial seat of the government.

Kung ako ang masusonod at mayroon kapangyarihan magsagawa ng mabuting paraan paraikabubuti, ikagaganda o ikauunlad ng ating bayan, ang mungkahi ko sa ating Chief Executive aymaghain sa madaling panahon sa Municipal Development Council na magsagawa ng hakbang paramapagusapan at magawa ng Master Plan para sa Redevelopment ng ating Town Proper. Hindekumikilos ang ating Municipal Development Council dahil sa ang katuwiran ay ang ProbencialGovernment daw ang mayroon responsibilidad at hinde iyong ating municipio. Tapos na, inaakalaba ninyo na hahatian ba tayo ng pera kahit na hinde nanghihinge?

Pagkatapos maisagawa iyong Master Plan ay gumawa ng modelo ng Town Proper RedevelopmentProject para makita ng bayan kung anong itsura ng ating commercial district sa Town Proper.

I want to see the beautification of our Town Proper, far different from the typical neighboring towns inthe province, a town we can be proud of, beautiful, clean, peaceful, free of unsightly signs and posters,free of mobile vendors and unregistered vehicles, undisciplined tricycles drivers, parallel parking spacefor privately owned vehicles and well lighted streets during the evening hours. Please observe howmany street lights are working. Anyone knows who has the responsibility of changing the light bulbs?

It is my wish that the Municipal Public Market is replaced by a privatized sanitary supermart similar toSM where town people could shop, restaurants, refreshment parlors where the public could eat, dine,and socialize during the evening hours. The current public market system is out of date and must bereplaced with modern sanitary shopping facilities.

They always say, the municipality is short of funds, totally dependent from Internal RevenueAllocation (IRA) that is always the excuse. Is it because of embezzlement of public funds? orinefficiency in collection of tax and non-tax revenues?, excessive use of duplicated approvedoperating expenses? or deficit spending and unaccounted public funds?, or poor planning , which iswhich. There is no check and balance!

An example of how the municipality manages the local government: For years our public market andthe slaughterhouse are always operating financially in the red because public officials do not caresapagkat iyong perang ipinapalual ay hinde nangagaling sa kanilang bulsa; it is public funds. Privatesmall and medium enterprise will face bankruptcy or close store if they do not make profit. In the year2009, the municipality subsidized the public market in the amount of P7,658.142.90 and theslaughterhouse P198,534.22 (millions) of subsidy. The Report (Jan-July 2010)did not show any amount(zero); however, a financial report from the Treasurer’s Office shows the deficit of P328, 464.74. Theestimate of shortage for period July to December 2010, shows P1,567,655.91 and P637, 961.85respectively. The budget subsidy estimate for year 2011 for the Public Market and Slaughterhouseamounts to P1, 469,387.78 and P589, 487.63, respectively. Mismanaged? why not appoint aprofessional manager, or have it privatized; valuable public funds could be used to other importantinfrastructure projects.

How can we transformed our town proper to a beautiful commercial district as described above. PlanA is to have a Professional Urban Planner to take charge of the Municipal Development Council (MDC)and members who have foresight. Plan B is to hire/consult with a reputable urban planner to assist theMDC in drawing up a Master Plan.

In planning the Master Plan, the following concerns should be considered: Review the land use andzoning code for the town proper (commercial district) and the strict compliance of the Code.

  • Land survey the metes and bound of the National (provincial) road crossing the town properwith a view of widening the national (provincial) road in the area to be redeveloped.
  • Review and update Environmental Compliance Certification of Rice Mills and Junk Shops in thetown proper before renewing the business permit with a view of relocation or environmentalmitigation of the above; the pollution it produces is hazardous to the health of the people.
  • Review the agriculture use of irrigated rice field on the East and West of the provincial road inconformance with the CLUP; it hinders the commercial growth of the area.
  • Rehabilitation of the Municipal Town Public Market in compliance with the Sanitary Code.
  • Removal of overgrown trees encroaching on the right of way and power lines.
  • Feasibility study of an alternate road bypassing the town proper toward the proposed OrionMemorial Park due to traffic gridlock during town fiesta, natural disaster and other occasions.
  • Relocation of all utilities (power, cable, telephone and water) underground along the National(provincial) road, including street light post in the area to be redeveloped for safety andbeautification.
  • Construction of storm drain on both sides of the National (provincial) road draining into the riverto prevent flood from street.
  • Construction of a wider sidewalk on both side of the National (provincial) in the area to beredeveloped; safety to pedestrians should be a concern.
  • Redefine the official name of the road, is it National or Provincial and renumbering of lots forpostal address purposes, very confusing.
  • Relocation of bus stops; it encroaches on the right of way and slows the traffic.
  • Review by the Investment and Incentive Code Board (IEIB) the status of JRI (PAMANA NG LAHI)bldg and the closed Hermosa Savings/Loan Bldg to attract potential investors.
  • Feasibility study of Arellano Museum Memorial Garden on the corner site of his birthplace toattract tourist.
  • Relocation of the basketball court from the Freedom Park; good for the sports, but it is on badlocation and poor planning
  • Orion Memorial Park. The hard work of the previous administration, the search, negotiation,financial settlement, loan agreement with the LBP has been wasted; there is no excuse why sucha municipal mandatory project has to be deferred or abrogated? The 31,857.8 square meter ofirrigated rice field is now idle?
  • Except with the latest resurfacing of ready mixed asphalt on the provincial road, the road has beenneglected by the Provincial Government who has jurisdiction and responsibility for the repair andmaintenance. For many many years under the previous administrations, the rehabilitation of theprovincial road is not in the mind of the Municipal Development Council, simply because of thejurisdictional responsibility.
  • Because there is no spatial storm drain on both sides of the road, a slight rain floods the many areas ofthe road. There is narrow small drainage with metal grates in certain sections but it ends to nowhere!
  • There are narrow pedestrian sidewalks on certain areas of the national road crossing the town proper,but they never use it, instead pedestrians use the side streets. The only visible area with the narrowsidewalk in the town proper is the frontage of the municipal building and the church, and in certainareas of the town proper.

Saan napupunta iyong taon taon na tinatangap na pork barrel funds ng ating congressman sa seconddistrict na halagang P70 million? Inaakala ba ninyo kung hinde tayo manghihinge ay magkukusa baiyong ating Congressman at Gobernador na bahaginan tayo ng pundo? Taon taon ginagastos niyaiyong mga pundo sa ibat ibang projecto sa kanyang distrito, lalong lalo na sa public works project saloob ng siyudad ng Balanga. Sinasayang natin ang mga pagkakataon na mapaganda atingkabayanan. Sapagkat ba ang mayroon responsibilidad ay nasa pamahalaan probencia ay hinde natayo magsasalita? Kaya, inimungkahi ko sa ating Mayor at Sanguniang Bayan na magsagawa ngprioridad na hakbang para mapagusapan sa Municipal Development Council na ma redevelop iyongating kabayanan. Ang nangyayari ay binibigyan ng pansin iyong mga project sa labas ng bayankatulad ng project sa Kapunitan peru nakakaligtaan iyong kabayanan.

Maganda iyong reclamation project sa Kapunita na ang budget ay P4,200,000.00 sa taon naito. Angbalita ko ay halos tiga labas ang mga nakatayo sa tabi ng dagat at mga squatters. Inaakala ba ninyodadayo ang mga tourista dahil sa reclamation project sa Kapunitan? Tandaan natin, kungmaisasayos ang ating kabayanan para maging magandang commercial district iyong mga tao sakaratig bayan ay dito sa atin mamimile at ikauunlad ng ating economia.

Marahil alam ninyo, halos lahat ng tiga Orion sa Balanga o Subic o Clark nagpupunta dahil nandoonang supermarket, commercial bank, fine dining restaurant, electric/electronic appliance stores, fastfood restaurants, automotive repair shops, bowling at recreational places, etc. Hinde ba magandakung mayroon tayong makakainian at magsocialize kung gabi sa Town Proper at maliwanag iyongating karsada?

Ano ang ginagawa ng ating mga Municipal Planners para mapagaralan kung paano mabibigyan ngmagandang solution sa nabangit sa itaas? Municipal Planners, please explain.

By: Anonymous

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