One Wish for a Happy New Year
by Romy Teruel
December 30 2006 - The Year 2006 is bowing out at midnight tonight radiant in what it has brought for Bohol . We don't want it to go because we want its streak of good luck to continue for Bohol . But like a seed it must die in order that a new plant will be born. It must end so that new hopes can be defined and new goals can be set. The concluding year has brought us many things we want to look back in history. It has, for example, brought more laurels for the province. Gov. Aumentado has won more prestigious awards while the Bohol Provincial Government has won many accolades. But so were there shortfalls and it is in these that we want to set new parameters, new standards, new resolutions, and new things to hope for.
There are things we want to do for ourselves but they are so personal and private that they must be kept private. We have wishes though that we hope our public officials will take note of as they face the New Year. These are things that may be considered requests from constituents who are concerned with how public issues are addressed to benefit them. And so will write of series of wishes for 2007. My initial wish for the Year 2007 for our public officials is in the area of tourism. Unless we abandon tourism as our main economic driver for the province, Panglao will remain the focus for development in the years ahead. This year it was controversy that attracted attention for Panglao more than the jewel that it is purported to be. Positive things going for Panglao were drowned by controversies. National laws that were meant to protect the environment and therefore when locally applied will protect and enhance the tourism assets and potentials of Panglao have been violated with impunity by the very people who have the duty and obligation to protect them by reason of their public office. Local laws that were passed to protect and preserve the environment and enhance the tourism characteristic of Panglao were violated by the very people who have sworn to enforce them.
The irony of it all is that the very agency mandated to see to the enforcement of these laws are either helpless or are feigning helplessness. And worse, the very official who has the duty to enforce laws take pride in being able to demean the law and still remain in power. On this issue we wish Cong. Ed Chatto, as chair of he Committee on Tourism of the House of Representatives, to take a hand in 2007, even after the May elections since his stay in Congress has never been in serious threat. Of course doing something to address the issue before the elections will even boost his stake at the polls. The negative image that the issue has painted for tourism and law enforcement must not be made to wait. And this time it is political decision that seems to be the very solution. He will be coming like a knight in shining armor after DENR's toothless efforts to enforce the law. Or, the Panglaonon themselves can take a direct hand in the coming May elections. They can either sensor or affirm (I hope not) the power that Mayor Doloreich Dumaluan thinks is his. But I tell you, no investor will come into a location where rules are not respected. Thus having said my one wish for now, I can now heartily greet our readers with “A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR TO ALL!” May the year of the Red Pig be even more generous than the year of the Dog.