One GuadalupeBy Ricky Poca
Cebu Daily News
Last Saturday the constituents of barangay Guadalupe held a plebiscite to decide whether to divide the barangay into Guadalupe and Banawa-Englis. Most voters rejected the proposal to divide the barangay into two.
The people have spoken so the decision must be respected by all especially the politicians and the Cebu city government.
There is no question that the people have adequately debated the issue and the voters were very much enlightened about it. Most residents of Guadalupe would like to keep the barangay intact to consolidate the services that its officials should provide. What was unfortunate was the low turnout of voters during the plebiscite.
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Last Saturday Cebu Daily News’ banner story was about the injuries that a whale shark named Fermin in Oslob town sustained cuts allegedly from the propellers of boats. According to marine researchers, when the Oslob whale sharks see boats and bubbles, they think that there is food so they approach the boat, sometimes bumping the hulls as if nudging them in a request to be fed.
The front page pictures showed the scars on the face of the whale shark. The photos appeared in the blog of the Italian-based research group Physalus in their Large Marine Vertebrate Project (Lamave). The blog has spurred an online petition urging government authorities to stop the tourism-induced practice of hand feeding the whale sharks.
According to Physalus, the danger is in what the whale sharks learn in Oslob. When they leave the municipal waters they can still get wounded by propellers of other boats because they got used to approaching smaller ones to be fed by the fishermen.
About 60 sharks have been identified by Physalus project in Oslob particularly in barangay Tan-awan where about 10 are seen daily, an increase from the six that were seen daily in April. The increase in number could be attributed to the sharks’ associating boats with food. The spread of feeding activities to other municipalities would increase the number of sharks learning the new behavior, thereby exposing greater proportion of the whale shark population in the Visayas to serious injury.
I agree with the position taken by Physalus that it is of utmost interest that we stop the practice of hand feeding the sharks because we are altering nature here and exposing the creatures to danger. While we understand that the whale sharks have become part of the tourist attractions we must also protect them. I join the call to stop the practice of hand feeding the whale sharks in Cebu.
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Last Saturday saw the 14th national congress of Associated Labor Union (ALU) held in Mariner’s Court in Pier 1 Cebu City. The main agendum was the turnover of the reins of leadership of ALU from lawyer Democrito Mendoza to his son Michal Mendoza (new national president) and to Gerard Seno as the new national vice president.
During the national congress Democrito Mendoza took the opportunity to announce that ALU-TUCP has committed to vote for and support Gov. Gwedolyn Garcia in her bid for for the Senate, which gives her aspirations a big boost. I think more Cebu organizations will come out to support the good governor because they see that it is in the interest of Cebuanos to put her in the Senate. No doubt Garcia is expected to deliver her promise of a legislative agenda for the Visayas and Mindanao as can be gleaned in her performance as governor of Cebu.
More from this Column:
- Can’t BO-PK accept people’s will?
- Generally peaceful polls
- Forecasts for Cebu’s elections
- Wishy-washy on flyovers
- Sad family affair