Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How Is Iloilo City Under Mabilog?




I would like to share an interesting report released by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the state of local governance in Iloilo City. The said report can be accessed online here

By way of backgrounder, the DILG under the auspices of its Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS) established a “Local Governance Performance Management System” to quantitatively measure the performance of various LGUs. It identified three elements, namely - Social Development, Economic Development and Environmental Development – as key indicators of an area’s level of development. LGUs are rated based on these three performance indicators and below are the findings of the DILG report, to wit:

STATE of LOCAL DEVELOPMENT (2009), ILOILO CITY

State of Health and Nutrition - Crude death rate is abnormally high

State of Education - Secondary Completion Rate is low. Quality of human capital is at risk; Tertiary or Technical Education Completion Rate is very low. Quality of human capital is an issue; Simple Literacy Rate is extremely low

State of Housing and Basic Utilities - Prevalence of households with makeshift houses is extremely high

State of Peace and Order - Incidence of index crime such as murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery and theft is alarming; Incidence of non-index crime such as crimes against national security, fundamental laws of the state, public order, public morals, violations of special laws, illegal gambling, illegal possession of firearms, carnapping, illegal drugs, kidnapping, serious illegal detention, and smuggling is very high.

State of Employment - Unemployment rate is alarming.

State of Income - Poverty incidence is alarming. Magnitude of families living below poverty threshold is too high.

State of Urban Ecosystems - Tree cover in urban areas falls short with the desirable condition. Air quality is at stake

State of Agricultural Ecosystems - % of irrigated land to total irrigable land is too low. Agricultural land development is not of priority and the potential to increase agricultural produce is very weak; % of prime lands converted to non-agricultural uses is relatively high. The loss of land productivity for agriculture is seen; % of prime lands converted to non-agricultural uses is relatively high. The loss of land productivity for agriculture is seen.

State of Coastal Marine Ecosystems - Coastal fish catch has decreased for the past five years; Too many squatter households are observed on coastline; Marine environment is at risk due to probable pollution loads; Presence of polluting industries in coastal areas; Marine life is in danger.

I was extremely shocked when I first read the official findings of BLGS-DILG. Certainly, the report paints a picture of Iloilo City that is contrary or completely opposite to what Mayor Mabilog and Congressman Treñas wants us to believe. And the DILG report does not even tackle the four major problems plaguing the people of Iloilo City, namely; perennial flooding, erratic water supply, periodic brownouts/high cost of electricity and official corruption.  Given the current state of affairs, I truly wonder where they get the nerve to coin the “My City, My Pride” slogan or the gall to call Iloilo City as a “Premier City by 2015.” They could not even achieve the “basics.”  

It should be noted that the abovementioned report was conducted in 2009 (which covers the previous Treñas administration). I would have wanted very much to share the 2010 and 2011 findings (covering the Mabilog administration) but the BLGS-DILG has yet to post its report on its website. I for one would be very interested to know what progress (if any) has been achieved by the current dispensation to address these extremely negative findings.

More specifically, I would like to see the latest poverty and nutrition statistics, the education and unemployment numbers, and the latest environmental and crime data in Iloilo City. I would like to know whether conditions have improved or have further deteriorated under Mabilog’s watch. For example, how many families have been lifted out of poverty? How many informal settlers have been provided with decent housing? What is Iloilo City’s current unemployment and underemployment rate? And what is City Hall doing to arrest the deteriorating educational performance of our public school students? Lastly, what is Mayor Mabilog doing to arrest the burgeoning illegal drugs trade and rampant criminality in Iloilo City?

Instead of inundating the public space with posters bannering his latest academic achievements and various awards, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog should perhaps enlighten the people about the programs he has initiated and whether these projects have really succeeded in raising the quality of life of the people. Being named "Alumnus of the Year" or earning a doctorate degree is well and good (and I am sincerely happy for our good-looking mayor), but it has totally no bearing on the lives of ordinary Ilonggos. The people of Iloilo City are not interested in hearing about all the "good things" that have been happening to Mabilog (as a person); the people are more interested in learning about the good things that Mabilog has done for them as their mayor for the last two years. The people have the right to know.

1 comment:

Kai Brillantes said...

Way to go Major :)