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Rough Cuts: Who’d be Davao City’s next mayor?

Here is one very welcome reminder that has been issued lately by a government executive based in Davao City.  And this reminder is the one coming from Mindanao Development Authority (MINDA) deputy executive director Romeo Montenegro who was guest in last week’s edition of Habi at Kape media forum at Abreeza mall.

According to Montenegro the Davao City Engineer’s Office (CEO) has received 40 applications for building permits of buildings averaging 20 stories tall. Each of these structures, the MINDA executive added, is estimated to require between five to six megawatts of power.

Assuming that the estimate is correct then Montenegro is right that such addition in electricity consumption within the next three to five years  must be closely anticipated by the city’s power supplier. The latter must ensure that its power supply contract with generation companies are in place.

Montenegro manifested his dread that a miscalculation in the power requirements in the next five to ten years could result to the repeat of the electricity supply situation in the years between 2001 to 2010. It was during those years when rotating power outages wrecked havoc on Davao City’s as well as the entire Mindanao’s economy.

Indeed there is no denying the fact that Montenegro’s reminder deserves to be heeded by all  stakeholders in the power industry as well as those who are working for the development of the city be they the local and national government entities.

We also congratulate Deputy Exec. Director Montenegro for his worthy reminder. After all, if we have to prepare for tomorrow we have to prepare for it today.

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By May 14, 2019 Davao City will have a new mayor. But the new local chief executive will still be a Duterte.

Yes, we maintain until today our hunch that Mayor Inday Sara and her brother former Vice Mayor Pulong Duterte will trade places. And the likelihood is that the two switch candidacies shortly or immediately before election day. That is, Mayor Inday will now take the place of former VM Pulong as the candidate for representative in the city’s first district and the latter switches to the former’s candidacy as mayor.

Our basis for this hunch is simple and well-grounded. Mayor Inday in one of her speeches outside of Davao City, specifically in Mandaue City, Cebu, intimated that the next House Speaker may be no other but she.

And a journey for her to the Lower House is already cleared of any obstacle, legal or otherwise. No one is running against her brother Pulong for the city’s first district. So, Mayor Inday’s getting into the House roster is one simple “walk in the park” job. No sweat.

Meanwhile, former VM Pulong’s desire to the mayorship position is no hidden secret. And with no one of significance contesting her sister incumbent, his journey to Davao City Hall is just as easy “walk in the park” exercise as that of Mayor Sara’s to the House.

If this scenario materializes then Mayor Inday will be less than a step close to the House Speakership and possibly a step closer to the Vice Presidency or Presidency.

As to former VM Pulong, all that is left for him may only be his oath-taking as mayor of Davao City. And with his President father having three more years in Malacanang, and with Sara having three years in Congress with strong potentials of bagging the speakership Davao City under a Pulong Mayorship can surely become the catch basin of innumerable development manna.

We can be certain that no single Davaoeno would want to make a fool of himself by rejecting this kind of proposition.

Nonetheless, there may be sectors among Davaoenos  – the so-called “political moralists perhaps — who would be uncomfortable with the scheme and would consider it morally unacceptable. But the reality is that such a political arrangement is not expressly prohibited by the country’s election code. So we must have to just live with it.

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