‘Mix-mix’ happenings in Oriental Mindoro
POSTED: Monday, July 5th, 2010
We have sub-titled my last column with “You Can Never Let A Good Man Down,” because that, more or less, sums up my experience, and what I feel, until now on so many experiences I had in the past.
Many people, some of which are my former close friends and associates (kumpadres included) who, in one way or the other, subjected this writer to some insults and made me experience some of the most humbling situations a person can stomach.
For many reasons (most of them were unreasonable ones), these persons, lucky for me that I’ve already severed ties (personal and professional) with them long time ago, tried so hard to pulled me when I am starting to gain a decent and comfortable life with my immediate family.
But that were all part my past now. And as the saying goes, “they can never let a good man down.” I have survived all of them and now I am starting all over again to gain some professional satisfaction and personal mileage, and now living honestly and decently with my family in this part of the world.
TRANSPORTATION & COMMUNICATION – The people and commuters of the first district of Oriental Mindoro, especially those in Calapan City, are still complaining of the inconveniences being brought to them by the ongoing construction of the national highway.
They said that why the sudden make over now that many people, particularly the schoolchildren, are so busy in going in and out of the said area, which starts in the Kilometer 5 (Brgy. Sta. Isabel) to Brgy. Biga of Calapan City. The complaining people said the construction is of wrong timing, and it should have been done or started during the vacation period when most people are in their homes.
Also, the commuters and riding public, particularly those going back and forth of Calapan South Road, are requesting either the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) or the city government’s Public Safety Department (PSD) to assign some traffic enforcers in the areas of the national highway where construction and/or rehabilitation works are now ongoing.
Observers there are saying that the personnel or workers being assigned by the contractors there do not have the necessary skills and knowledge on traffic management. And because of these, traffic jams and confusion among commuters or drivers are a daily occurrence.
Also, riding public are also witnessing almost daily the arrogance and undisciplined manners of many public utility vehicle drivers who usually force their way to front place or squeeze their vehicles to the long line of motor vehicles in a one way traffic.
If there are traffic policemen or enforcers in the said areas, these unruly behaviors of drivers, especially those in buses, vans and multi-cabs will be minimized if not totally eradicated.
SOCIOLOGICAL/ENVIRONMENTAL – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has rejected the appeal of a Mangyan group that they should be heard in the ongoing investigation for the controversial Mindoro Nickel Project (MNP) and its motion for reconsideration exonerating Intex Resources Phils., Inc. from any violation on the provisions of the latter’s Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).
The DENR’s legal department and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) have both cleared the Norwegian-owned Intex Resources and its local partner Aglubang Mining Corporation (AMC) from the accusations of some Mindoro-based Catholic priests, some officials of the Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro provincial governments, and some anti-mining groups that the said company violated its ECC.
The ECC, which was issued to MNP by former DENR Secretary Lito Atienza in the early part of 2009, was suspended by the environment department after oppositions of Intex’ nickel project claimed violations, among which are the supposedly non-consultation with the locals and that, the project is within the ancestral lands of the Mangyans.
After a long and thorough investigation, DENR found out no such violations from Intex and MNP and recommended the lifting of the ECC suspension.
In rejecting the same opposition’s motion for reconsideration (for DENR’s findings), the department’s legal unit and EMB also rejected the appeal of Mangyan group’s Kapulungan Para sa Lupang Ninuno (KPLN) to represent Mindoro’s indigenous people in the said probe. Instead, the DENR favored the claim of Kabilogan Mangyan Inc. (KMI) and SADAKI that they be the ones to stand for the said investigation, because the two groups are really the ones being affected or stakeholders for the controversial project.
POLITICAL – The incoming Congressman of the 2nd district of Oriental Mindoro, Atty. Rey V. Umali, has reiterated his promise to the people of Pinamalayan that he will make the said first class municipality into a city, once he sits in the House of Representatives.
In a meeting with some officials of the Rotary Club of Pinamalayan, wherein some of its key leaders are also municipal officials, Congressman-elect Umali announced that first things he will as representatives of the people of second district, among others, is to work on the feasibility study that will increase the current political and economic status of the said town.
Among things to be considered in making Pinamalayan into a city status are the volume of its population, its income, and its geographical setting.
ECONOMY – Governor-elect Alfonso Umali, Jr. is welcoming investors, whether foreign or local, to look at the true potentials of Oriental Mindoro as an investment destination.
In a recent press conference with the local media, Governor Umali said that Oriental Mindoro really needs a “shot in the arm” in terms of economy, because the province really lacks the said opportunity. And this, he said, is the main reason why many Mindoreños in the far-flung or remote areas here are living below the poverty line.
It was learned that Oriental Mindoro is currently ranks 12th as the poorest provinces in the Philippines. And according to Umali, most probably the province needs investments to liven up its economy. Hand-in-hand with his brother, incoming 2nd District Congressman Rey Umali, the governor will not only welcome investors for the province but will also seek out local and foreign businesses to pour out their investment to Oriental Mindoro.