Go, Bong!

Published April 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

Medium Rare

By Jullie Y. Daza

Jullie Y. Daza
Jullie Y. Daza

If there’s one good thing that should come out of our earthshaking ECQ, it would have to be a well-thought-out, meticulously executed “Balik Probinsiya” as proposed by Sen. Bong Go. It’s an idea whose time had come and then gone, in a puff of smoke. Balik Probinsiya was first conceived in the mid-‘60s, ask urban planner Jun Palafox, who has the road map to prove it. Since then, it has been simmering, whimpering for half a century to gain the attention it craved, waiting to be born and see the light of day.

Though five decades late, the timing seems to be right (or righter) this time. Being quiet and still at home, isolated from the din of work and traffic, the company of boisterous friends sharing  joyous occasions and away from the deafening noise of politics has given us space and room to think and be thoughtful. Back to the fresh air and green fields of home, a refreshing idea except for its lack of urgency then, without the political will and money to fund it. How to move  people back to the probinsiya that they had recently escaped in order to find their boulevard of broken dreams in the big city?

The coronavirus pandemic has opened our eyes to the cruelties of a shrinking world and an  unhealthfully overcrowded Metro Manila, each and every one wondering when’s the next climate change, the next vile virus. As if, in our very own NCR, poverty, pollution, lack of water and work opportunities, neglected children, domestic violence, syndicated crime and corruption, were not already the stuff of catastrophes, the bane of an urban existence crying for help, help! Look at the long queues of the deprived and destitute punishing themselves under the sun for a few pieces of cash, at the nursing mothers and their babies waiting for a measly parcel of food and milk, see the beggars with nowhere to be quarantined for lack of a hole to call home.

If Marcos could not convince probinsiyanos to return to where the view was greener and daily life less torturous, can the senator’s bill, even with President Duterte’s blessings, gain traction? Private developers of townships are leading the way. Go, Bong, the ball is in your court. ###