Saving the environment and BBB
BIZLINKS - Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - June 18, 2019 - 12:00am

We give way to more readers who contributed their views on issues that were raised in past columns. Please hear them out.

The first two are comments on the plan to rehabilitate Manila Bay. Here’s what Eduardo Agbanlog says: “Your article in … PhilStar is quite compelling and right on point. I see an uphill battle in undertaking the cleanup of this iconic place mainly because of the culture of our people and the lack of enforcement of our environmental protection laws.

“We probably have one of the best laws written in the world, but sadly, implementation and enforcement of these laws are just a few of the glaring examples of why Manila Bay is where it’s at in its very sad state today.

“By the way, do you have any information about the reclamation projects along the Manila Bay coastline that stretches the cities of Manila, Pasay, and Parañaque? Will the ongoing cleanup pose a delay in rolling out these projects? I’ll continue to follow your posts, and more power to you.”

This one is from Rod Estrella: “One of the great polluters in our city or any city for that matter are the market places, which more often than not are located near rivers and esteros.

“It has been this way since the beginning because it is so easy to dump trash in those places. (Market places) are the great polluters. There should be a law prohibiting markets from being located near (rivers and esteros).

Saving Baguio and Sagada

Noel C. Mallari gives some suggestions on how to save Baguio City and Sagada from further degradation.

“I have been to Sagada, and it is really beautiful. I am from Baguio, and they say Baguio was once like Sagada until it became a highly urbanized city, and its pristine beauty is now history.

“It is not too late to save Baguio if there is a concerted effort from the local tourist, locals and government agencies to make Baguio more beautiful, clean and with less pollution.

“Our population is growing fast yearly. More hotels and condos are under construction, but our parks, rivers, and mountains are in the state of fast degradation.

“All our parks should be maintained world class, super beautiful, clean, and with more flowers at that. They should impose (a rule) “one house, one tree” with no exemptions – not necessarily pine trees, any kind of trees, big or small.

“All sewers leading to our brooks should be plugged, and (government should) provide good sewer lines.

“On traffic, (plate endings of vehicles with) even numbers (should be banned) between 6 a.m. to 12 noon, and odd numbers, between 1 p.m to. 7 p.m.

“Baguio should invest big on its parks, forests, waterways, sewers, and not only road construction. I believe Baguio can be saved, and Sagada for that matter will learn from Baguio.”

On BBB

Reader Federico I. Lojo of Lipa City gives his view on the government’s Build Build Build initiatives. Let’s hear him out.

“It is this BBB program of Mr. Duterte that gives me an eerie feel that it is not for our own national interest, but just the interest of a very few.

“I just cannot understand why the President would not publicize the finer details of the contract with China, and why this President would allow Chinese workers to come in lieu of Filipino labor. 

“I am coming to the conclusion that this BBB is only for the very favored few corrupt, and plainly in favor of China, not of the Filipino people. Corruption goes on, and despite his unrelenting war on drugs, not a thing has changed.”

China’s hold on BBB projects

A reader, who wishes to keep his anonymity, speaks about the Chinese’s involvement in the Lower Kaliwa water project, one of the flagship BBB initiatives of the current administration.

“The Ecuador hydro project raises a valid issue. If the Chinese contractor of Lower Kaliwa fails to deliver the project according to specs, and it fails to produce or is deficient, since China controls the arbitration, the country has no valid redress. It has to pay.

“With extremely critical projects contracted to China, where the country has essentially no control over the performance of the contractor, we have a real problem.

“The other issue of course is bad faith, if the non-performance is deliberate. China is party to this, as the site is beside an active volcano with periodic quakes.

“Finally, China’s recourse. We have no choice but to pay. If we default, there is the patrimonial clause wherein they can choose any asset. Nobody can guarantee that we can never default.

“I think, it is important to have a review with possibly expert advice to redo the terms to provide proper protection, to ensure that if we wish to proceed, we are assured that the projects are built to specs and will perform. Finally, that recourse conditions will conform with accepted norms in Eximbank loans.”

That’s it for now. We return on Thursday with our commentary on some of the blazing issues of the day.

Facebook and Twitter

We are actively using two social networking websites to reach out more often and even interact with and engage our readers, friends and colleagues in the various areas of interest that I tackle in my column. Please like us on www.facebook.com/ReyGamboa and follow us on www.twitter.com/ReyGamboa.

Should you wish to share any insights, write me at Link Edge, 25th Floor, 139 Corporate Center, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City. Or e-mail me at reydgamboa@yahoo.com. For a compilation of previous articles, visit www.BizlinksPhilippines.net.

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