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2010 to Test our Commitment to Reform and the Environment - CT

The coming year could prove to be a watershed in the Catandunganon’s quest for reform, good governance and environmental protection.

In the political arena, there is a chance to elect to public office reformers and first-timers with no taint of misdeeds. There may be a few incumbents we could bear to return to their posts but majority of our officials deserve to be kicked out. The only thing that keeps the electorate from doing so is vote-buying. Perhaps, we can expect a minor miracle here and there.

Good governance should be the measure upon which elective officials, and those who salivating to succeed them, should be judged. Citizens, particularly poblacion residents, know who among those sitting in power merely went through the motions of governing in the past two years and a half and thus should earn the boot. They know who should be retained and who among the former government officials deserve another turn.

It is unfortunate that the money that will flood the island during the week before the automated national and local elections would considerably affect, and in fact could determine, the outcome of the provincial and municipal races. Dirty laundry should start to fly beginning next month, as our candidates start flinging manure at their opponents in an attempt to discredit them before the public.

The mining issue may have died down, with Senator Jamby Madrigal forgetting her pledge to conduct the next public hearing in Virac, but nevertheless the broad anti-mining coalition should not relax its guard. They still have a crucial role to play: to check who among the local bets would join their pledge to reserve the island’s natural resources for the next generations of Catandunganons. Of course, most of our candidates would say anything just to get elected, but keen observants would be able to see through their lies.

The key strategy is to prevent these local races from being decided on the basis of who gives the most money. Another would be to evaluate their qualifications and respective stand on major issues like graft and corruption, poverty, environmental degradation, power supply, tourism and agricultural development.

Four months is a short time to do all these, but it’s all we have. Let us then work together to convince the public that there is a lot more at stake in the coming May elections than a wad of P500 bills.

Source: Editorial, Catanduanes Tribune - December 31,2009

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