THREADING THE THIN LINE OF GOVERNANCE

The City Council had been calling for inquiries on various issues and concerns confronting not only the local government offices and regional agencies but also simple barangay and individual conflicts that have taken a lot of their time without coming out with quality legislations beneficial for the greater interest of the people of the city. Most of the time, personalities appearing before the regular session of the local legislative body to clarify certain issues are even pushed to the wall to answer questions that seem not to be related to the issues as if local legislators are witch hunting on whom to prosecute and put to blame living up to their identity as so-called fault-finders. If only local legislators are aware of what people are talking about when the agenda is filled up with invitations, they will surely try to reflect on the fact that their ability to perform their duties and responsibilities as legislators is being questioned by no less than the electorate.

What matters to most of our local legislators today is the number of filed and approved legislations even if the quality of the resolutions and ordinances passed are of doubtful intention. Most of the time, many of the local legislators are biased on their actions on the proposals of their colleagues simply to put one down and make them the better ones obviously for their personal and political interests. Some of them ride on to the proposals of others just for them to be included as co-authors of certain proposals just to show an improvement of their number of proposals that have been either approved or still pending in the concerned committees.

On the other hand, a number of committees simply sit on the proposals and let the current term pass so that something could be refiled in the next term or after the next set of local legislators shall have been elected. People with a lot of guts need to be in this position because they have to fight for their rights even in a snake pit. Observers have noted that most of the proposals pending or being filed in the local legislative body is for the numbers that will count when its annual report is released. Other people who are observant on what is happening claim that the bad part of local legislation is when the local legislative body is used to advance the personal and political interests of a few members and that the worst that has been blatantly happening is legislation in aid of re-election, legislation in aid of extortion and legislation in aid of collection of what had been demanded.

The SM Sky Ranch project is one of the latest issue in the local legislative body that cropped up even after the management of the amusement park was able to completely secure the permits required for the put up of the project that is geared towards providing added tourist attraction in the city. The local chief executive correctly pointed out that SM management was able to fulfill the requirements of permits from concerned government agencies and the offices of the local government. Requiring management to again go back to the drawing board in securing an endorsement from the local legislative body is simply an added red tape because the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), the mother of all the permits issued, did not even require the same or the conduct of a public consultation for that purpose because the project is to be implemented within a private property wherein the owner has exclusive rights.

We deplore people who resort to the social media just to malign others when they do not know what they are talking about. Some of them even accuse certain officials of matters that seem to be libelous. It is clearly provided in the Constitution that freedom of expression is not absolute, thus, there are limitations which we must strictly adhere to.

Let us not be hypocrites because the more we talk, the more we commit mistakes. We all love Baguio but all things must be placed in their proper perspectives before we can come out with intelligent analysis and criticisms on what is happening around us. Let not our political affiliations, ideological alignments among others bring us to nowhere in rendering judgement over others. Let us be fair in circumspect in judging others because we might be the one that will be pre-judged later and that the criticisms we will receive will be far more serious than what we had been hurling against our critics, rivals among others.

It is not because many people like the way you bash or the way you criticize issues that they are in favor of what you are doing. People nowadays use their common sense in deciding on whether what one is doing in the social media is correct. Many are also observing on the way you act because they can already test your personality. The number of followers of a certain politician does not determine the inability because most of those who are following them might be the attack dogs of others who want to monitor their moves, thus, let us thread the thin line of governance and move forwar4d for what will be the best for our city.

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