SEP is once again relegated in the back burner with the PCSD approval of RTNMC’s mining exploration in Mt. Bulanjao, Bataraza. Palaweños are asking, “Why, Oh! Why do we put Palawan in this situation?” For decades, R.A. 7611 has been respected by the provincial and local chief executives. Apparently, the new administration has a different take on SEP.
While some folks are praising the governor for his so called “no corruption” policy, the NGOs are questioning his priorities on sustainable development. This came into light after alleged manipulated power shortages infuriated the Palaweños that led to the PCSD approval of the coal fired power plant in Narra.
Palaweños are wondering if some David would arise to save them from the Goliath of Palawan. The traditional politicians who are currently “out of status” are weighing in their options against someone with seemingly unlimited resources. There is also the perception of alleged fiscal mismanagement and corruption in the previous administrations. Mang Andres Tumakdong quipped, “Meron pa bang ibang pagpipilian?” (Is there someone else we could choose from?) The deafening silence is disturbing.
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Is there an end to OFW woes and problems?
After news broke out that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will randomly open balikbayan boxes, OFWs and their families are enraged. Facebook and Twitter accounts are bombarded with complaints from OFWs who saved and packed used clothes, imported toiletries and watches, bags and shoes for family members. They fear that looting and pilferage will occur. There is no guarantee that family members will receive the goods that are sent to them. This is stealing from the poor.
For decades, OFWs have enjoyed tax free benefits of sending imported items to their families and friends back home. Unscrupulous Filipinos allegedly abused this privilege by using balikbayan boxes filled with goods and items for sale including illegal drugs and guns. As usual, legitimate OFWs are being punished for the sins of the opportunists who made big bucks here and there.
OFWs go out of the country to look for greener pastures. Some suffered from sexual abuse, maltreatment, depression, non-payment of salaries and poor working conditions. These unsung heroes are complaining why the government is harassing them instead of gunning for the big smugglers who bring in Ferraris, BMWs and luxury cars.
Filipinos have long memories. They’re waiting for you on the other side.