August 26, 2007

Jopo Guerrero

Malignant thing

Good is imperfectible, but evil is. - Graham Joyce Just a few meters southwest of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol is the Dap-ayan, a nest of food and beverage stalls which is fast becoming a notorious spot in the very heart of the city.

A few years ago, people from the capitol gave us an impression that the Dap-ayan is designed to give a boost to tourism and local revenues – a pool of profit and social advantage.

But look at the Dap-ayan now. It has proven itself to be an angel in principle, but a monster in reality – an alleged pool of alcoholism, prostitution, juvenile delinquency, thievery and other forms of indecency.

Whoever conceptualized the Dap-ayan was shortsighted. Why? Well, when a local government unit sets off an enterprise like the Dap-ayan, it must not forget its twin responsibilities – realization of revenues and social returns.

But, basing on common observations, I believe that the Dap-ayan was conceived solely for revenue generation purposes.

The provincial government has veered its attention to commercial profit but has neglected to render equal importance to the maintenance of social returns. Social returns imply the protection of general welfare and public safety, coupled with the observance of law, public policy and general good.

Scores of criticisms and allegations against the Dap-ayan flow from the media and the people almost everyday - minors are allowed to drink beer; minors are allowed to smoke; minors are allowed to break the curfew hour; prostitution; disorder; parts of parked vehicles are easily stolen; and the stink of urine and vomit wraps the said place.

Sad to say, the Dap-ayan is a malignant thing that is badly hurting the peace and order situation in the locality.

The question is: Is the provincial government doing something to correct this aberration?

Well, let us hope and pray that the “new people” in the capitol are wise enough to put together wise moves to correct the problems in the Dap-ayan before this evil attains perfection.

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Copyright 2007 Ilocos Times. All rights reserved.

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