Masterplan for San Simon development sought

SAN SIMON, Pampanga — A businessman urged government officials to draft a masterplan to guide the fast-paced industrialization in this town.

Abundio “Jun” Simbulan Punsalan, Jr., who hails from Barangay San Miguel here, said local officials of the town need to come up with a development masterplan alongside efforts to invite investors.

Punsalan, a contractor of electrical and airconditioning systems for commercial malls, cited as example the massive land-filling of a large swath of land sandwiched between the North Luzon Expressway and Quezon Road here.

He said several barangays are at risk from massive flooding come the rainy season due to the upgrading of the properties reportedly purchased by Chinese investors.

Thousands of truckloads of filling materials are dumped in the area every day, covering a cogonal site that used to absorb a large volume of runoff water from nearby barangays.

Punsalan said drainage systems need to be aligned as soon as possible even before the industries start coming in to build structures for their businesses.

“Kung hihintayin pa natin na makapagtayo ng mga gusali ang mga kumpanyang ito bago ilagay ang mga drainage, baka mas malaki ang perwisyo kapwa sa mga mamamayan at mga negosyante,” Punsalan explained.

Punsalan added environmental programs should also be implemented to ensure nature will not be jeopardized with the influx of investments.

“It is not enough that investors come in. There is an immediate need to set-up safety nets to guard the environment and the overall welfare of the citizens of San Simon. These investors will come and go. But at the end of the day, we Simoñans will be the once left to bear the brunt of the environment if we fail to protect it,” Punsalan said. –Albert B. Lacanlale