‘Recurring problems’ affect tourism growth in Valencia City: VBHCS

VALENCIA CITY (BukidnonNews.net/19 December) The Valencia Bukidnon Historical and Cultural Society (VBHCS) has accordingly made it known to the Valencia City Council about their observed recurring problems in the city which consequently will have some effects on the promotion of tourism in the city.

The VBHCS observations include: traffic, garbage, illegal structures constructed along the major thoroughfares, unhealthy selling/display of food like fish/vegetables, etc along the major roads, proliferation of videoke bars, billiard places and other gambling dens near the  schools, church and other public places, presence of fraternities/gangs and solvent boys and girls, declining Peace and Order, and ostentatious display of billboard places of prostitution.

With the above-cited recurring problems, councilor Camilo Pepito, Sangguniang Panlungsod committee on laws chairman, said “the same has been properly addressed by enactment of ordinances relative to these effects.”

Pepito stressed that the public must be made aware of the ordinances and it is best done through continuous education.

“These ordinances are just an exercise of futility unless it is implemented,” according to one of VBHCS member.

“Implementation of these ordinances must be done,” said Councilor Rhea Rhenna Agripo.

VBHCS tackles in their meetings the things that they can do to help Valencia City, hence, they requested copies of the aforementioned ordinances so that they can contribute in any way to help solve the problems of the city particularly those identified as recurring problems.

On the side of the City Tourism, Ms. Susan Ricare, City Tourism Officer, stressed that the above-cited problems are not unique to Valencia City alone but should be addressed anyway, not only for tourists but also for Valencianos.

“The primary obligation of the office of Tourism is to cater to the needs of the tourists or visitors of the city,” Ricare said.

“It is not the office of tourism’s sole obligation to address these problems, we have several laws designed to solve these but the cooperation of every Valenciano is needed,” she added.

“The purpose why people visit a certain place is to take a look what is good in the place not to see what is bad of the place. Problems like these have little to no impact at all to tourists or tourism in general,” Ricare stressed.

With regards to garbage problem, tourism officer said that the same is
really hard to address since the it is neither with the implementation nor collection of garbage but because of the lack of discipline and values of the people that throws their trash just about anywhere.

“Garbage problem stems from the households. Unless the residents are cooperative, the problems will remain,” Ricare said.

Ricare also remarked that the other concerns are also being addressed but that it is necessary not to be hasty and to just wait for the time for things to fall into place, as changes cannot be done overnight.

“The identified recurring problems mentioned above affects more the locals than the tourists because it is right here in the doorstep of Valencianos,” she added.

In interviews made by BukidnonNews.net to some Valencianos, they admit that they are partly to be blamed in the escalation of these problems because they does not know the ordinances, however, they stressed that the authorities are lax in informing the general public of the city ordinances.

One thing that they observed is weak political will of the local chief executive in implementing laws and ordinances.

“Naa man kaha ordinansa, ngano dili man nila ipatuman? Kung mangusog ang mayor sa pagpatuman sa mga ordinansa, wala nay mahimo ang mga nilapas sa balaod kundi mutuman. Dugay na kaayo kini nga mga problema, pila na ka mayor ang niagi wala gihapon nasulbad, unsa man ang atong ginahulatan nga mahitabo?” (“They say there are ordinances, why do they not implement it? If only the [city] mayor would strongly implement these ordinances, the perpetrators would have no way but to adhere to them. The problem is perrrenial, there are already so many mayors that have come and gone but there’s still no resolution. What are we waiting to happen?”) a Valenciano blatantly stated.

The Valencianos are left wondering for several years already why these ordinances cannot be implemented and changes be made in Valencia when in other municipalities and cities it can be done. (Daniel Villejo Mental/BukidnonNews.net)