An Englishman In Isabela Blog #102 – Baranghay Welcome

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This morning we visited the baranghay hall in Patul to obtain the fence construction permission. This was our second visit, the first being last October when we obtained the building permission. The baranghay captain was there this time and was very welcoming saying how impressed he was by the construction work which of course is also providing a lot of work for local men.
In several places there were posters and other messages of support for the re-election of the mayor for what will be her second and final term in office.
The baranghay officials are always so friendly and helpful, a contrast to the feeling we had when visiting city hall. The latter tend to be very officious although individual employees we know as friends are always helpful.
Anyway, the baranghay officials made us very welcome again and discussed other things we might need. They were keen to recommend an agency that could provide a security guard for us (which is also a job for someone from the baranghay), although we pointed out that at present this is the responsibility of the contractor. If they have something stolen they have to replace it and have insurance for this purpose built into the accepted contract price. Security after we occupy the house is another matter and we may employ a night security guard to watch over the property.
The baranghay captain said once we move in we must make sure we have his phone number so that if there are any problems he will respond immediately.
As we left we noticed that occupying half of one wall on the ground floor, painted in very large letters, was the full text of Republic Act 9485, the act governing red tape and corruption of public servants. This is very encouraging, although from our own experience it would seem that there are still people who for whatever reason feel they can ignore both the law and the associated penalties with impunity. We hope the new act is fully enforced as it would be enormously beneficial to the Philippines and do much to expunge its reputation as one of the most corrupt nations.
Becoming involved in the community would seem quite a good idea since we want to be accepted as friendly neighbours. There is an organisation equivalent to Round Table that we might join once we move into our new home.