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Rough Cuts | Let that green spaces audit happen

We congratulate the winners and those who believe that they are already well on their way to winning in yesterday’s elections.

For the local candidates, as we have written earlier, yesterday’s political exercises were just mere affirmation of the fact that it is only a matter of proclamation for the candidates of mayor, vice mayor, and congressmen in Davao City.

As for the winning candidates for councilors in the city’s three districts, we can be certain that as this paper hits the streets today the trend as to the possible council winners may have already been established. And for those whose position in the council race is already in the sure win situation our felicitations are well in order.

It is unfortunate that just like any other contests elections have to have winners and losers. And lucky are those who are leading in the race for they are already a cinch to victory.

We are sorry for the potential losers in yesterday’s political exercises. Their turn to serve their fellow Davaoenos may not be this time yet. In other words they need to try their luck in politics some other time.

Or perhaps the non-winners are really not carved in the political niche for there may be other areas of service to their fellowmen intended for them.

Our recommendation therefore, is for the losing candidates to extend their congratulations to the winners and then move on with their lives. They should not be blinded with the thought that the voters made a mistake in not picking them. Keeping such thought in mind will just consume them. They could become slave of such emotional paranoia.

Yes, they need to get over it and start anew as a simple resident in this city.

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Well, we sincerely commend the move by the Interface Development Interventions (IDIS) to help the city government of Davao conduct an audit of its available green spaces.

Yes, under the City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan or CLUP, the city should at least have designated areas for public parks from its total land area of 244,000 hectares. Each resident of the city is supposed to be provided with at least 9 square meters of green spaces.

But we do not know whether this requirement in the CLUP is complied with. There is not even certainty that the ever increasing number of residential subdivisions are complying with this requirement.

We have personally visited several subdivisions all over the city and we have found out that some of these residential enclaves do not even have allocations for recreational and religious spaces. We saw one low-cost subdivision with reportedly a thousand units of houses fully occupied. If we assume that each house has an average of five household occupants that would mean a total of 45,000 square meters or 4.5 hectares allocated for green spaces given the requirement of 9 square meters each person. But the total land area of the subdivision is only about 10 hectares!

Unfortunately, there is hardly a space for a basketball court. If at all there is what is available is substandard in size.

This situation, we are sure, could also be prevalent in other low-cost and medium-end subdivisions in the city. And how about the allocation of green spaces for high-rise condominium residents, how is it computed? Where shall the condo building developers find space to provide the residents their nine square meter green spaces?

Yes, we are somewhat in a quandary how the residential subdivision and condominium developers have succeeded in skirting this all too important provision in the city’s CLUP. What agency or office is monitoring compliance of this CLUP requirement?

Is it not the City Council that gives approval to any real property development projects like subdivisions and condominium construction? We supposed the honorable members of the local lawmaking body get inputs from offices like the City Planning and Development Office, from the City Engineer’s Building Office and even from the City Environment and Natural Resources Office.

The question now is why has the city no ready data as to the total area of green spaces for its more than 1.5 million residents?

Maybe the IDIS proposition to help conduct an audit can give us the answers. So, we recommend that the city take the offer and help IDIS make the audit happen fast.

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