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Reader surprised that Legazpi is touted a livable city

01:43 AM July 25, 2015

With stray dogs making their presence highly visible in Legazpi City’s airport, malls, ports, plaza, roads and everywhere; with its tricykikil; and with heavy traffic, rampant criminality and illegal drugs trade among the major problems plaguing the city, I am surprised that its officials still have the gall to call the place a livable city. And to think I cannot even cruise through the roads of the city’s “poblacion” section during the rainy season because of floods, such a claim is simply inconceivable.

Having relatives in Albay and Sorsogon, I frequent Legazpi City—visiting it at least once a month in the past. I was in Legazpi when car thieves rocked the city a year ago, targeting as well motorcycles, and thus earned for it the title “the carnapping capital” of Bicol.

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Passing through the city’s barangays is not a joke either. Swarms of parked tricycles practically occupy their main streets, leaving barely enough space for cars. One such place is Barangay 16 near the Albay Capitol and Legazpi City Hall, where I would pass through a road by the railway when visiting a friend and some relatives. Pity the strangers passing by the place with nobody to guide them. Another example is the road linking Barangays Rawis and Arimbay, a stretch of the national road, along which a talipapa has been allowed even though there is a public market nearby, thus impeding traffic flow.

In my barangay in Caloocan City, tricycle drivers are disciplined because the barangay officials are doing their job.

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Like the stray dogs, motorized tricycles and “padyak” (pedicabs) abound in front of the Albay Capitol and City Hall. They are referred to as tricykikil because they blatantly exploit tourists and convention delegates visiting the city. I, for one, was at one time charged P200 for a barely 1.5-kilometer ride from the airport to the Albay Capitol.

At Legazpi’s Puro Boulevard, one cannot park a car in front of entertainment joints without being pestered by child beggars or jostling “watch your car” boys.

Mayor Noel Rosal should remove the big, conspicuous billboards in front of City Hall and other places, which feature a photo of his, trumpeting Legazpi as the second most livable city.

Yet, for many years now Legazpi does not even have clean drinking water. The mayor has publicly admitted that water supplied by the Legazpi City Water District is not safe for drinking. So how is it that the city has become a livable city? Any word from Albay Gov. Joey Salceda who keeps saying Albay is a tourist destination and Legazpi, its capital, is a livable city?

—ROMAN J. CRESPO, [email protected]

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TAGS: Albay, Joey Salceda, Legazpi City, Sorsogon
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