The comment made by an anonymous reader to the blog post titled "Through the Needle's Eye" is the kind of comment I am always gratified to get for this blog. It is raw, passionate, insightful and truly spoken from the heart of someone who has more than just a passing knowledge of Lianga and its people. As such it deserves a reply.
Why indeed can't Lianga be handled like the municipal corporation that it really is? One that can be progressively run like a corporate business with the emphasis on using assets to borrow funds for investments in community projects and programs that would spell sure profits and economic growth in the long run.
Why can't the local government stop depending on the IRA or the internal revenue allotment coming from the national government for its own operating expenses and allotments for development programs? And why is it unable to free itself from myopically dreaming of economic recovery based on a resurgence in the presently moribund logging and mining industry that had once fueled its growth and prosperity in the not so distant past?
Why can't the municipal leadership break free of that kind of outdated mentality and find new directions for economic expansion specifically in the field of eco-tourism which a coastal town like Lianga with magnificent beaches and pristine mountain scenery can truly excel in? Why is this town seemingly stuck in a rut, not certainly sliding backward economically but also not moving forward fast enough to provide a healthy, growing and competitive economic environment for its people?
It is easy to blame the local political leadership for all of the above and indeed they do deserve to be hold accountable for the avarice and lackadaisical thinking that predominates at the town hall. After all, what can you expect of political leaders that are the products of a corrupt political culture that view political constituencies as territorial fiefdoms to hold, control and exploit for their own interests rather than as communities of real people who have entrusted to their elected officials the control and management of their collective welfare and well-being?
The truth is that Lianga's corrupt and inutile political leadership came into power because the very constituency that has empowered such kind of leadership is itself corrupt, ineffective, naive and unsure of what it wants for itself and its future. Such lack of political maturity, civic involvement and concern for the protection of the very institutions of democracy that it is supposed to uphold and defend from power seekers, greedy parasites and political adventurists has created the very negative political climate that plagues towns like Lianga today.
I have, like so many other well-meaning citizens of this town, pointed an accusing finger at the current local officials for the current sorry state of this town and the lack of a coherent vision and sense of direction with which the leadership of the town has directed its affairs. That may be the comfortable and even appropriate thing to do in most cases.
But if the officials at the town hall are corrupt, unsavory and self seeking opportunists, what does it say about the many of us, the ordinary men and women on the street, who have put them there or allowed such a travesty to happen in the first place? Isn't this the case of us merely getting our just desserts? Didn't we, from hindsight, get the government we justly and truly deserve?
I say we did.