Tomorrow, Gloria a.k.a. Gollum will be delivering her State of the Nation Address (SONA). Of course we are interested in what she is going to say. We’re particularly interested kung ano ang sasabihin niya tungkol sa Cordillera.
In the meantime, let’s review Gloria’s SONA last year where she said the following:
GLORIA: My father built the Halsema Highway from Baguio to Bontoc, and the Bagabag airport in Nueva Vizcaya to access the Ifugao rice terraces, which by the way, the UNESCO has recently praised for the way we have carried out our heritage preservation policy. We have rehabilitated the Baguio to Mount Data leg of the highway and the rest of Halsema will now follow. We will upgrade the Bagabag airport and build a new one in Lallo, Cagayan, which will connect to Cordillera by upgrading the Tabuk-Tuguegarao Road.
OUR COMMENT: Di na nahiya si Gloria. We were so incensed by this woman’s credit grabbing and the shameless rah-rah-rahs of Cordillera politicians so we decided to start this blog. You might want to visit our very first post here where we stated that Gloria’s dad is no Halsema builder. Also, if anyone deserves credit for the Ifugao terraces conservation, it should be the people of Ifugao and not Gloria’s heritage preservation policy dahil wala naman talaga siyang policy.
GLORIA: Sa Tabuk, Kalinga, noong Abril, tumanggap ng titulo sa lupa ang ilang matatanda, pagkatapos nilang naghintay ng dalawampung taon mula noong napirmahan ang Mount Data Accord ng gobyerno at ng Cordillera People’s Liberation Army. May isang matanda, suot ang lumang uniporme ng CPLA. Pumila, hila-hila ang isang binatilyo. Sabi niya, “This is not for me but for him.” Agad inabot ang titulo sa apo. Narito ngayon si Ginoong Ama Balunggay at ang kaniyang apo si Jacob.
OUR COMMENT: And this is where she shamelessly pointed at our poor kailiyans as if they are exhibits in a zoo. More shockingly, our equally shameless Cordillera politicians, led by their cheerleader Morris, kept clapping their hands and going rah rah rah while the cameras zoomed in to our kailiyans’ bare feet kasi they are too poor daw to afford Spartan.
GLORIA: And our post-harvest support shall continue, like the cold chain that we set up in 2004 for La Trinidad, Benguet under Mayor Nestor Fongwan. It consisted of a refrigerated storage facility and refrigerated trucks to deliver vegetables to Metro Manila. Nais kong tumaas ang kita ng mga magsasaka, at ang ina ng bawat tahanan ay makabili ng mura at sariwang gulay para sa kaniyang mga anak.
OUR COMMENT: Farmers are not really using these refrigerated facilities na ipinagmamalaki ni Gloria. Last we heard the usage rate for this cold chain is only 37%. So there must be a serious reason why farmers are not using it.
Now, if you are a farmer, would you bring your produce to a cold chain (where you have to pay pay rental fees) simply to wait for better prices which may or may not come?
Personally, we think this cold chain thing is a very silly solution to the problems of farmers (which is the legal and illegal importation of vegetables). Government officials are tempted to build cold chains because they have something to show off to visitors and say, “Look, we are high tech.”
GLORIA: So that the people will know how well their money is spent, Benguet and its towns of Bakun, Bokod and Itogon have rolled out the new electronic government accounting system in their jurisdictions.
If Ifugao was able to cut its poverty in half in the first three years of our administration, from 56 to 28%, congratulations. We hope that through these programs, the other provinces can replicate the success of Ifugao.
OUR COMMENT: Do anyone of you think, as we do, that there is something wrong with the poverty figures being cited for Ifugao. We don’t think the poverty figure for Ifugao was really 56% to begin with. It is an impossibly high figure and to think that hindi naman nagkakalayo ang poverty situation ng mga probinsiya ng Cordillera.
My guess, is that whoever came up with the 56% poverty statistic for Ifugao in 2003 used a method of measuring poverty different from what other provinces were using. Then when s/he discovered that she was using a different method, s/he then adopted the method that other provinces were using.
But if we are wrong and that there was indeed a huge material reduction in poverty in Ifugao (from 56% to 28%) in a very short span of time (three years), then maybe we should all learn the secret on how it was done so we can reduce poverty, not only in the Cordilleras, but the entire country.
GLORIA: Hangad nating dumami ang mga taga-Cordillera sa mga propesyon na tinitingalaan ng bayan, gaya ng mga abogadong gaya nina Maurice Domogan at Romeo Brawner. Ibig din nating makapaghanda ang Cordillera sa awtonomiya pagdating ng pederalismo, ayon nawa sa pagbabago ng Saligang Batas.
OUR COMMENT: Now, if you ever wondered why Morris is GMA’s rah rah boy in the Cordilleras, the above paragraph would answer your questions. (We found her words patronizing but that’s just us.)
She caresses his ego by praising him in public. So Morris, an accomplished attorney no doubt, becomes the poster boy of a cheating President. He, in turn, becomes her lackey. Buti sana kung mabigyan siya ng isang committee chairmanship sa Congress (and not that indigenous committee chair because that’s not competitive at all) para naman may bayad ang kanyang pagiging lackey other than cheap public praise.
[*Note: The “lastog” in the title of this post means “liar” in Ilokano and “arrogant” in Kankanaey; both meanings apply in this case.]
PHOTO CREDIT: Inquirer via ellentordesillas.com.