Duterte and continuity of good legacy  

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

It was a historic day, and it was on April 27, 2022 --President Rody Roa Duterte led the inauguration of Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), the longest bridge in the country. The whole of Cebu takes pride and shares in the joy of such an accomplishment.

The inauguration was done also during the 501st anniversary of the victory at Mactan, the day Datu Lapu-Lapu killed Magellan, an invader. We triumphed then, and this edifice may symbolize the triumph of a new era.

There is no doubt that this iconic structure will increase economic activity, and make the economy more vibrant as more jobs are generated. Every time a Cebuano takes a look at the 8.5-kilometer bridge, he will remember the legacy of PRRD, among his other legacies.

This project is also part of the president’s much vaunted “Build, build, build” Program, which is the centerpiece of the government’s infrastructure program.

Moreover, this project proves that PRRD respects the wisdom in continuing a program, even of a previous administration. If we look back on the dates when the two newest landmark projects in Cebu, namely the world-class Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the most beautiful airport in the country today, and the third bridge, otherwise known as CCLEX, both began during the administration of President Noynoy Aquino.

At least it will become easy already for a predecessor to continue something that was started and proven effective. So whoever wins as president in the upcoming election, be it BBM or Leni Robredo, it is already easy for them to just continue.

The PPP (Public Private Partnership) I think for infrastructure like this is effective because an edifice built by the private sector is more firm and durable than those built by the public sector. Maybe because of corruption, government-initiated infrastructures are not really stable as those built by the private sector.

Politicians have this habit or vice of discarding the good projects of their predecessors. PRRD chose to continue what the late President Aquino started. It is thus useless to indulge in such debates as who must get the greater credit.

In our kind of politics, so much money has been wasted because of politicians’ refusal to continue the good projects of those who came before them. We always end up going back to square one, accomplishing nothing.

And as there are projects and programs which must be pursued, there are also those which, for compelling reasons, must be stopped. I believe, for example, that the next president of the country, should PRRD fail to do it, should stop e-Sabong.

However, I still harbor some hope that the president will find it in his heart to stop this kind of gambling. E-Sabong is so dangerous because it will operate 24 hours a day unlike the traditional sabong. Overseas Filipino Workers, including seafarers, can bet. Children can bet, and even policemen, as it is accessible already even on cellphones.

I hope the president can make a solomonic decision on this before his term ends. I hope the people tasked to study about this will not make delays in making recommendation to stop this kind of gambling. I know the president has done countless great things for the country. This e-Sabong will put a stain on his legacy.

There was a time when gamblers went home before evening came, but now one notices that wala nang tulugan. This is alarming.


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