The recent episode of Mareng Winnie’s top rated ” BAWAL ang PASAWAY” on GMA 7 was a big hit for Puerto Princesans who longed to see their leaders slugged it out ” inside a telephone booth ” . Former Mayor Ed Hagedorn was combative as ever in his denunciation of his predecessor’s administration. On the other hand, Mayor Lucilo Bayron was calm and detached. His was the demeanor of one who has power up his sleeves. It was certainly a feast watching two of Puerto Princesa’s political heavyweights trading barbs on national primetime. For outsiders, however, it was dirty linen being washed in public. And If I am a tourist out to spend for a few days of fresh air , I would certainly go to Davao where my safety is guaranteed by a Mayor who promised to shoot corrupt politicians and throw them all to the sharks of Manila Bay .
Tourism is the economic driver of Puerto Princesa. This industry thrives on marketing and advertising which require putting one’s best foot forward – always. That’s how it is. It’s purely a perception game. Our leaders are our biggest brand ambassadors. We could not afford to lose our competitive advantage by having our leaders quarrel on national TV. That’s good for democracy, that’s good politics. But certainly bad economics.
Who’s in charge of traffic in our national highway? This early, Mayor Bayron could secure his legacy by cleaning our highways of tricycles – and imposing truck bans at certain time of the day. As always, there is gridlock caused by all kinds of vehicles fighting for precious space. Putting tricycles on secondary streets will test the Mayor’s political mettle. He knows he has to calibrate his decision knowing its political backlash. But there is an urgent need to restore sanity on the road. He has to make this One Big Decision which previous Mayors had failed to do. It’s tough, but that’s what Mayors are for – to make decisions without counting the cost, because it is the right thing to do.
It will not be a dull elections in Palawan, after all. Someone told me he is ready to contest the governorship of the province. This man has that habit of playing joke 90 percent of the time. But this time, he is dead serious. I know there are others out there who may just pull a surprise and show up at COMELEC come filing time. Of course, running for a political post is the easiest thing to do. Winning maybe a little more difficult. But governing is the most difficult. It will separate the men from the boys, the real ones from the pretenders to the throne. That is the beauty of democracy. It allows the few who are fools to govern the many who are sane!