Thanks, but no thanks

Thanks, but no thanks


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In a number of articles where I’ve called out the past City Council for the destruction of the Dumaguete waterfront without consent from the public, I’ve asked for written documentation citing the benefits and consequences of this reclamation. And proof that this is the will of the people to wreck destruction on our environment.

I have read many articles condemning the planned 174-hectare reclamation project. I do not recall articles defending this project, and citing the advantage it will give Dumaguete. If there’s been any, I missed them, and I would certainly be happy to be pointed to these articles.

Not once did I talk about population growth, and the challenges faced by our growing population, and what the City Council is doing about it.

So, Mr. Padilla, thanks, but no thanks to your offer to provide me with data to develop a plan to tackle population growth in Dumaguete and its challenges.

Firstly, because you missed the point in all my articles — they are about the destruction of our environment, and the lack of care for the welfare of people affected, for example, the blind masseurs whose eight-bed facility is now down to four, each room even smaller than it was, and no reception and waiting room.

All so that a parking lot could be created at Pantawan 2. Jobs taken away for a parking lot!

I will not pretend to be an expert on what to do about population growth and its challenges. I leave that to the Department of Health, the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, the Church, etc.

Secondly, if it is true you are the mastermind behind the massive reclamation projects that Mr. Remollo is actively forcing down people’s throats, that you are his “whisperer” then I would be letting the fox into the hen house by accepting any kind of help from you.

And if you are indeed the mastermind, would you kindly not deflect the scrutiny from yourself by changing the subject, and putting me on the spotlight instead to do something I do not have the skill set for?

I am not fooled by your pretension to be an ordinary citizen, Dr. Efren N. Padilla. That, you are not.

I read your criticism of MetroPost columnist Mr. JG Umbac, so I know of you. And more importantly, enough Dumaguete learned scholars rushed to point this out to me: the architect of Dumaguete’s environmental woes. So enough with the games.

Thus, thanks, but no thanks!

And, yes, I am very aware there is a large sector in Dumaguete who are for the continued destruction of our environment, our waterways, our land, our air. Businessmen, in particular, some of who are my friends.

Disappointing, but not that surprising. The siren call of Money is hypnotic and mesmerizing, it pulls seductively. For some, there can never be enough.

And I am intrigued because most, if not all, did not grow up in Dumaguete but transferred here for a better quality of life and business opportunities. So why are they helping destroy our quality of life? Is it all just about business, and making money, quality of life be damned?

And yes, there are the many who see the reclamation projects as job “opportunities” because our government, at all levels, is not capable of creating an environment for sustained investment and job creation.

And when I point out to these people the consequences of these projects, their answer is typically, “M’o ba? Sagdi lang, Ma’am, mamason ra mi nga makagawas among anak ug makakita ug trabaho sa gawas.”

In other words, abandon our destroyed land to go to a land where the government and citizens are not actively destroying it.

And oh, yeah, the rich businessmen and their families can surely do the same, but with greater ease than the common tao.

Yes, there are very many who are against these destruction plans but readily admit they are too afraid to say this in public. Because they know they will be punished by the government through the hands of government workers.

What has our City become? A police state?

No to 174 and Burn Not Dumaguete, Mr. Padilla. And do read my articles more carefully next time.
I am still waiting for documentation which — if you are the mastermind, the Ipe Remollo “whisperer” — you should have.

Diana Banogon-Bugeya
[email protected]



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