Keep the balloons grounded
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