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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Torres, Gomez both young, promising candidates

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My friend disclosed to me the problems about Kapitolyo which to me are serious enough not only to listen to but also to write about

The barangay election is set for Monday, October 30, 2023. Veteran village officials as well as new but promising young personalities are seeking the nod of the electorate.

I have a lawyer friend and fraternity brother who resides in Barangay Kapitolyo in Pasig City, Metropolitan Manila. He’s been a resident of the barangay since 1965.

Whenever I am in the vicinity of Kapitolyo, I make it a point to visit my friend for a chat over a cup of coffee. His home seems to be right smack in the National Capital Region that my visits take place regularly.

In one recent visit, my friend disclosed to me the problems about Kapitolyo which to me are serious enough not only to listen to but also to write about.

My friend said, from the 1960s to 2000, Kapitolyo was a tranquil, middle-class residential village.

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Save for the nearby supermarket, as well as the neighborhood sari-sari stores, gasoline station, pharmacy, bakery, barber shop, eatery, barbecue stand and two banks, there were no other commercial establishments in the area⁷.

There was hardly any vehicular traffic along the main roads of the village, and, by about 11 pm, there was no substantial commerce taking place there.

By the new century, the situation drastically changed.

The old Rizal Provincial Capitol compound across Shaw Boulevard just outside the main entrance to Kapitolyo was eventually torn down and replaced with the current Capitol Commons commercial center.

Soon, the Lawton-Santa Monica Bridge in the lower part of Kapitolyo was constructed to link the barangay to Bonifacio Global City. Inevitably, several skyrises, stores, bars and restaurants found their niche in Kapitolyo.

Today, the once tranquil village is now an urban jungle.

Despite being strictly no-parking zones, the commercial segments of East Capitol Drive and West Capitol Drive have attracted a vast clientele who use both roads as private parking lots.

This often narrows the available road space and thereby causes the volume of vehicular traffic to increase geometrically.

Worse, many vehicles on the village roads park outright on the sidewalks, thus forcing pedestrians to walk on the side of the streets and face the risk of getting sideswiped by passing vehicles.

Blocking sidewalks is a violation of many barangay ordinances.

Moreover, the Philippines is signatory to an international treaty which prohibits states-signatories from allowing obstacles on pedestrian sidewalks.

The tricycle drivers of Kapitolyo are notorious for their reckless driving.

At night, these noisy, smoke-belching road hazards traverse the village roads without any headlights.

As a consequence, the probability of four-wheeled vehicles colliding with these tricyles is very high.

Many residents of Kapitolyo have had enough of this tolerance, by the barangay authorities, of the wanton disrespect for the law.

Sadly, there are not enough barangay guards to strictly enforce the ordinances against illegal parking, blocked sidewalks, and reckless driving.

My friend told me a marked improvement in law enforcement in Kapitolyo will soon be possible if a team of young leaders running in the barangay elections is elected.

Many of his neighborhood friends agree with his observation.

I was told by my friend that Alex Torres, the outgoing chairman of Kapitolyo’s Sangguniang Kabataan, is running for barangay captain.

Being a well-educated and promising young political leader, Torres envisions for the barangay a management style that is vibrant, effective, friendly and responsible.

The inspiration of Alex Torres is his father, the business genius behind the New Capitol Tire Trading Corporation-Goodyear Autocare outlet in the busiest corners of the barangay.

His dad is known for being honest, fair and reasonable both as a businessman and as an employer.

This tire mart has been in Kapitolyo since the 1980s, and longtime residents of the barangay attest the elder Torres is very industrious and gives the biggest possible discounts to his customers.

His many employees also attest to his fairness in his treatment of his workers.

My friend’s late mother was a good friend of the elder Torres.

Because his mother always got a substantial discount for every car tire she purchased from the tire mart over almost four decades, his mother often made it a point to send the elder Torres a home-cooked platter of spaghetti, which the kind gentleman was fond of.

With such an inspiration, many hope Alex Torres will bring well-needed change to Kapitolyo.

Running with Alex Torres as barangay kagawad is Archie Gomez, whose family’s roots in the barangay date back to the 1960s.

Like Torres, Gomez wants to make law enforcement in the village a priority of the next barangay council.

From all available indications, they make a admirable team.

My friend believes if they are elected, Kapitolyo will make law enforcement a top priority.

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