Keep the bal­loons grounded

Sun.Star Pampanga - - OPINOIOPNINION -

Thank God it’s over. I mean the so-called Hot Air Bal­loon fes­ti­val. It was held last week for few days at the Clark Freeport for all the wrong rea­sons. It will re­ally be a sigh of re­lief if what was an­nounced on the news­pa­pers that the last week event will be the last. Any­way, Mr. Joy Roa couldn’t be but grate­ful for hav­ing the bal­loon con­ces­sion. He must have been over­joyed in mak­ing a ‘killing’in the past years as his bank book may have soared high al­ready on the prof­its by stag­ing or fly­ing the bal­loons.

In the mean­while, an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Mr. Roa’s ef­fort is in or­der. He can be cred­ited for help­ing in the PR ef­fort for the for­mer US mil­i­tary in­stal­la­tion that meta­mor­phosed into an eco­nomic zone and into a freeport. The only freeport with a civil avi­a­tion com­plex vy­ing to be the main in­ter­na­tional gate­way.

It was due to eco­nomic rea­son when the bal­loon fi­esta was first launched in 1994, a year af­ter the law was signed into a law declar­ing the for­mer home of the 13th United States Air Force (USAF) as a trade zone. The fun­da­men­tal rea­son was to give op­por­tu­ni­ties to the off-base com­mu­ni­ties who were dis­placed re­sult­ing from the sud­den de­par­ture of Amer­i­can troops and whammed by the erup­tion of nearby Mt. Pi­natubo.

The next ques­tion is if the ter­mi­na­tion of the bal­loon fes­ti­val is jus­ti­fied or not. I firmly be­lieve it is so jus­ti­fied and it should have been dis­al­lowed maybe some five years ago. For one, Clark Freeport is no longer cat­e­go­rized as a buy­ers’ mar­ket. There are no more vast tracts for lease, un­like in the early years when a square me­ter can be rented by an in­vestor at fifty cen­tavos per. To­day the min­i­mum is 2$ per square me­ter.

The next ques­tion is if in the lat­ter years of hold­ing the hot air bal­loon fes­ti­val, who was dis­ad­van­taged? Was it Mr. Roa or the gov­ern­ment rep­re­sented by Clark De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (CDC)?

Here are few of the high­lights of the agree­ment be­tween the par­ties. CDC sub­si­dized the event with P3mil­lion. Mr. Roa got all the rev­enues from com­mer­cial ads, park­ing spa­ces and ticket sales. An en­try ticket was pegged at P350 per. Mul­ti­ply that by the thou­sand at­ten­dees who paid.

Now the last ques­tion. Who got more ad­van­tages? You don’t have to be a rocket sci­en­tist to know the an sw er.

My tweets: + Who will take care of the sub­di­vi­sion roads which are in des­per­ate need of re­pair?

+ The roads were ex­panded but were turned into park­ing spa­ces. Traf­fic en­forcers are not en­forc­ing traf­fic laws.

+ Who is the sec­re­tary of the De­part­ment of Works and Public High­ways? Not much is heard about him. It seems his two un­der­sec­re­taries, par­tic­u­larly Usec Rafael Yabut is in charge.

This sorry-full melody is prob­a­bly hummed by the singing Pres­i­dent ev­ery time he erred in nam­ing a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial as an il­le­gal drug lord or pro­tec­tor. For aren’t we aware of the fact that PDU30 al­ways says- “I’m sorry” when­ever he makes a public apol­ogy?

Bet­ter still, in a way of his own the re­morse­ful Com­man­der in Chief of the Armed Forces of the coun­try would express –I’m sorry, with­out say­ing a word or two.

How? Con­sider how PDU30 ex­pressed his grat­i­tude – in a pos­i­tive way of say­ing “I’m sorry” to Ma­bal­a­cat City mayor Marino “Bok­ing” Mo­rales for an an­swer. I mean that the Duterte Ad­min­is­tra­tion did send the af­fa­ble mayor with a clean con­science on a mis­sion to the U.S. of A for one good rea­son. He de­serves it.

Wow! We are told that Bok­ing was man­dated with the cho­sen few gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in the coun­try to at­tend the con­fer­ence and work­shop on Fed­er­al­ism and good gov­er­nance on Jan­uary 23 to 27, this year to Wash­ing­ton D.C. given that Bok­ing is an ex­po­nent

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