Saturday, 2 July 2011

Class and the Environment

A little past eight in the sun-kissed morning of April 1 this year, the visionary leader of the magnificent City of Tagum was busy chatting with subordinates in his engineering war room right across the city's motorpool. He was in his element: khaki pants and sandals, plain magenta t-shirt and brown sandals. I was told he is always on time and he hates late. But on this day, Tagum City Mayor Rey T. Uy patiently waited for a very simple turn-over ceremony that would benefit the city's 37 public elementary and seven public secondary schools. That day was my first day in my job as a writer at the City Information Office and my first assignment taught me of one thing: class.

It's raining hot logs in Tagum City once again as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will officially turn-over hot logs worth 4.5 million pesos confiscated in the highlands of Davao del Norte. According to my friend Luigie Bago who is now working at the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, the official turn over will be witnessed by President Benigno S. Aquino III sometime next week. They're still awaiting official schedule from Malacañang.


Amidst a backdrop of towering hot logs confiscated in the highlands of the province of Davao del Norte, Mayor Uy beamed his smile that made those chinito eyes more radiant. On that day, the provincial office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office turned over 105 confiscated hot logs to the city. Under Executive Order No. 23 of President Benigno S. Aquino III, all confiscated hot logs under the total log ban should be donated to the Department of Education which will utilize these logs in making chairs, makeshift classrooms and tables. In the case of DepEd Tagum headed by its able chief, Schools Division Superintendent Nenita E. Lumaad, it had sought the assistance of the Local Government of Tagum in fabricating it into armchairs which were distributed to the schools in the bustling city. This is another brainchild of the City Mayor that never failed to amaze visiting officials from the different parts of the country who visited the city. I dared to ask Miss Marcia G. Isip of PENRO why of all the LGUs in the province, Tagum was the sole recipient of these hot logs. She flashed a smile and was quick in her reply: “We made an assessment and it turned out that Tagum City is the perfect LGU to make use of these logs." In the months that follow, more and more hot logs we're turned over to the city government. That's class.


While I can't understand why the DENR is so good in showing its force only in confiscating hot logs rather than sending big fishes in illegal logging behind bars, I still extol them for pioneering on a green mission, a thing that is boldly supported by the City Government of Tagum. Roam around the city and you will see many projects anchored on greening the environment. Two weeks ago, I had the privilege in being tapped as one of the technical writers to prepare the bid document of Tagum City to this year's Galing Pook Awards. We submitted last Monday our official entry  to the said award and you can browse it as follows:


The City Government's actions proved to be proactive, rather than reactionary. That's class. I can no longer think of how to end this blog post until I thought of the day when I read a piece that to me is the greatest piece ever written by my favorite opinion columnist. I had it written it in my planner because I liked it very much. Today, while writing this piece, I opened my planner and still amazed with what Conrado de Quiros wrote on his There's the Rub column in Philippine Daily Inquirer:
Class follows class, whether that class is rich or poor. And class is not how pricey your suit or gown is, it is how priceless your sense or sensibility is. The heart of class, as of art, is simplicity. It may well prove to be the heart of governance as well. Many spend their lives saying, “I feel for you,” and never show it. Others spend their lives showing, “I feel for you,” and never say it.
Mayor Uy prefers the latter. That is class.


  1. This post certainly has Class in it.

  2. Maybe the LGU of Davao should touch base with the LGU of Tagum. The implementation of the program in the city will surely be a very big help especially to the casualties of the latest tragedy in Davao. Its a slow but sure process of offering them bread and butter. After the combined force of the concerned citizens, private organizations, and city government of Davao of providing them their needs after the incident, maybe its quite a time for them to take action with the help of the LGU of Davao and with a little supervision of the city mayor (since she's been very pressured as witnessed on the national tv, it'll be a *sigh* if she'll simmer down and have other fishes to fry). As written in your entry "The program doesn't need huge amount of resources from the government if only the people will be actively involved". This one surely is practically effective with your city as a witness. Way to go Davao!

    P.S. Let me share this one to the Davaoeños loing.