BORACAY Random Notes By Noel Cabobos
I am supposed to take on bigger issues that affect Boracay and all the people in it but I believe this one is something that should be dealt with straight off because like a tumor, this one causes abnormalities in the course of things especially in the governance of Malay, particularly, on Boracay Island.
Of late, we have seen how a certain Mr. Gilbroun Quinicio Sr., the head of Acting Mayor Fromy Bautista’s Media Bureau and who is more known as the latter’s COO (Civilian Opod Opod), pitched in insensible remarks on the issue of the mayor’s Memorandum Order 2019-091 implementing the phasing out of traditional tricycle units within the island.
The memo particularly orders the municipal transportation officer to commence the phasing out of tricycles on Nov. 19 and Dec. 31 with the purpose of clearing all gas-guzzling and air polluting motorized tricycles by January next year.
Accordingly, the acting mayor’s order was based on the strength of previous municipal resolutions specifically 039-A and 102 series of 2015 which adopted the guidelines and policies on e-trike availment and distribution of the local government of Malay.
Relative to this, Executive Order No. 007 was issued in 2019 but the measure did not push through following the issuance of Resolution 0071 which was backed up by an Executive Order suspending its implementation.
Recently, a press release by Acting Mayor Fromy Bautista had hit media outlets stating that in line with the local government’s gearing towards environment’s friendly mode of transportation within the island, the latter issued Executive Order No. 40 series of 2019 reviving the strict implementation of guidelines and policies of e-trike availment and distribution leading to the eventual phase-out of tricycles.
Personally, I like this measure. Who wouldn’t be? Especially so that the phasing out of these relics blamed for lung-busting smog will definitely give a breather not only to everyone but to the island itself.
Well, it is actually an issue that was raised some 7 years ago which was about the same time wherein both islanders and tourists were all clamoring for an alternative transportation that can safely accommodate more passengers and with no carbon footprint for the sake of the island. Besides, I share the same sentiment with DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing that one of the many purposes of Boracay’s rehabilitation was to give back to the pedestrian the walkway that is supposedly theirs.
You see, with the now improved walkways and alleys, it’s now safer and very comfortable to walk on Boracay’s main thoroughfares, a distant contrast to the road situation few years back which was like toying with death when walking along the roadway due to the absence of sidewalks. And Usec Densing was right, it is a healthy habit that we have to embrace while on the island like Boracay.
But although I like the idea, honestly, I do have some reservations considering the prevailing issues relative to the attitude of some e-trike drivers. In fact, there are a lot of legitimate issues akin to this that have to be addressed by the local government raised by a number of islanders and tourists alike such as:
1) Can the local government ensure that a sufficient transportation system shall be available once the trikes are already phased out?
2) Can the phase-out be done in various phases to give more time for the transportation sector and the Boracay community to adjust to the situation?
3) How about the erring e-trike drivers? Is the local government has the preparation to arrest the problem of overcharging and e-trike drivers who are fond of declining rides in favor of tourists?
4) Is the local government doing something to provide a real transportation especially for the commuters going to Yapak?
Here comes Acting Mayor Fromy Bautista’s COO and head of the Media Bureau in the person of Mr. Gilbroun Quinicio Sr., who, rather than defining the issues or clarifying the problems being raised by various sectors, would tag everyone as “undisciplined, always complaining, and hypocrites.”
This is an existential groaning from the Boracay community which should need to be translated into understandable issues but I cannot place it why the hell this is taken out of context. And this Gilbroun Quinicio, with his braggadocio, even has the temerity to call them names.
Indeed, Mr. Quinicio is a perfect embodiment of a mayor’s media bureau
which is supposed to be not.
You see, first and foremost, a mayor’s media bureau or liaison should be the first person who should establish and maintain a positive relationship not only with the media but to the community as a whole. He should be the one keeping the media and the citizens well-informed on new developments or concerns. And during emergency situations, must calmly and skillfully address issues of concerns especially those that are critical to the government. That must be inherent among government media liaisons or bureaus, so to speak.
Well, I would like to understand this guy’s lack of skills to effectively communicate with the public because he brings no decent resume to act the job in the first place. No legitimate media entity would dare employ him for having no respect with the Journalist’s Code of Ethics, our bible in the profession. If there is, he would simply be dropped like a hot potato. So he has to be contented with “blocktime programs” or paid programs just to broadcast (so never mind if he is not even a passer of a KBP examination). That is why, in a sense, I pity this guy. I really do.
And this reminds me of the fact that some of those in this kind of a mess, are the ones engaged in making up stories in order to have a reason to ask for an interview…and God knows what happens next. Most of the time, they are the ones who frequent a public official who is a subject of a tirade or involved in a controversy, act as their “comforting friend” and finally make a deal in the process. Which is why block-time programs mushroomed in the Philippine media.
In the media parlance, this kind of tactic is described as an AC-DC media mindset otherwise known as Attack-Collect-Defend-Collect mindset. Of course, those in the mainstream media hates the tag.
Well, going back to Mr. Quinicio, honestly, I cannot blame this guy for his recent serious faux pas because maybe the only qualification that he’s got is to arrange an interview or press conferences with the acting mayor. He doesn’t even hold a degree relative to his position, not even training, so what can we expect from him really?
But mind you, he has a terrific marketing skills. He can get advertisements for a media entity then he’ll get lost together with the payment. Journalism experience? Just look at his social media posts and be the judge.
Verily, Mr. Quinicio is like a tumor which is an abnormal growth of cells in the body that serves no purpose but kill the body where it belongs.
Why is he still there? Perhaps Acting Mayor Fromy Bautista has another use for this guy, which, again, God only knows. (Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org)