The Probability of Division
With the hype and media mileage created by the Ad Congress, the probability of dividing Camarines Sur became low. The positive image painted by the media worked against “bukag” that people started asking: Maray man palan an naginibuhan ni Governor L-Ray Villafuerte , nata ta bubuwagon pa?
But of course, there is a question on sustainability. Madidipisilan si L-Ray na mantiniron an magayon na imahe dahil sa tulong bagay: ang poverty situation sa nagkakapirang parte kan probinsiya, an gastos sa media warfare laban sa bukag, asin an timing kan mga giyerang legal ninda L-Ray asin Noli Fuentebella.
L-Ray had been flaunting his accomplishments such as making Camarines Sur as one of the much improved provinces in the country. From ranking 39th, the province is now the 10th richest province. It is also now the top tourist destination in the Philippines, and the first in the region in terms of revenue collection and economic growth. But while there are documents to support these, the economic benefits did not trickle down to the barangays. If the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) is to be believed that nothing much has changed in the region’s poverty situation, then the 2006 figures showing the province as the locus of the municipalities where more than 60% of the population are poor still holds true. These municipalities include: Garchitorena (68.46%), Balatan (63.26%), Pasacao (62.56%), Cabusao (61.23%) and Presentacion (60.57%). If the poor will use their empty pockets and stomachs as information shortcuts, then the plebiscite may decide against L-Ray and the “No to Division” supporters. This explains why the “Bukag” camp is highlighting the disconnect between L-Ray’s words and the poverty situation.
Second, the media warfare is taxing both camps. As resources dwindle, those in power will tend to consume portions of the government’s budget. Siyempre, dahil habo ni L-Ray ki “buwag”, posibleng mag-abot an panahon na mahihiro an budget kan gobyerno provincial. Kung mangyayari ini, maaapektuhan an kalidad asin man bilang kan mga social services. Resulta, an mga disgruntled na namamanwaan, lalo na an dai naaabutan kan sasabing serbisyo posibleng bumoto ki “yes”. Interestingly, the effect is already being felt by casual employees at the capitol. Nagkukusog na an ngurob-ngurob dahil sa dipisil na pagrenew ki kontrata sa gobyerno provincial na padagos pang nadadagdagan dahil sa isyu kanChristmans bonus.
Possible encroachments on government budget may also be done by the Bukag camp just to sustain the media warfare. But even then, the weight is heavier on L-Ray lalo na kun may mga taga-kapitolyo mismo na magpabor sa buwag. “Dai ngani kayang i-solidify ni L-Ray an mga taga kapitolyo, nata ta dai ta lugod ini bangaon?” some folks may say.
Lastly, the legal battles between L-Ray and Noli also provides a shaky ground for a “picture-perfect” province that Camarines Sur is because of the Ad Congress. As the two throw rotten tomatoes at each other, the more they got exposed and the more they smelled. It appears that the two never learned a lesson in 2010 when L-Ray and his father, Luis, hurled accusations at each other thereby exposing those that should have been kept inside their closets. With these legal battles staged in time with the proposal for CamSur partition, who can say then that the issue is still economy-centric?
<To be continued>
Read Part 1 here.