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Rough Cuts | Can they become servant leaders?

That Davao City is showroom to the world as declared by political and business leaders during the just concluded Investment Conference in the city is indeed for real.

We have the primary resources that can attract potential foreign investors, government leaders, and even tourists who are out to splurge their money.

Admittedly though, there are things, more specifically natural resources, which could become strong come-ons for investors in tourism-related businesses, that are still waiting to be discovered and tapped. And we are referring to some tourist attractions that are hidden in the upland areas of Davao City that can best be made to be the alternative offers Davaoenos can give in lieu of the city’s lack of beautiful beaches in its jurisdiction.

In other words, what the city does not have on its shorelines there are plenty in the vastness of its remaining jungle. Some of these include waterfalls, vantage areas to see some of the city’s panoramic views, challenging rapids for the adventurous, and some game hunting sites.

And if the declaration by government that the city’s so-called “last frontiers” the likes of Paquibato, Toril and Marilog highlands, are already free from the clutches of the communist insurgents, then there will be no more stopping the journey towards developing the upland natural resources into potential major money earners for the city.

Besides, it is common knowledge that Davao City has all the basic services that are necessary to convince investors to put in their capital here and the assurance that whatever businesses they intend to locate in the city will continue operating even on a 24-hour basis, and that they will never be isolated from any of the intended markets for their products.

This is so because Davao City has stable supply of quality power, a massive reservoir of one of the world’s best quality water, and the strong presence of communication facilities and infrastructure.

But then, again, the city being a “showroom” to the world is not the end in the tortuous road to development. It is only the means for the city to attain its desired level of socio-economic aspirations.

We believe that what Davao City has in terms of resources must be matched with policies that are business-friendly as well as officials who are “friendly” to investors and are well aware of the campaign of former city mayor and now President Rodrigo R. Duterte not to make it hard for businessmen to process their licenses and other operating permits.

And by “business-friendly” policies of the city we do not mean that such can be used to approve businesses that, sooner or later, will destroy the city’s environment and in the long-run, the businesses of the investors. Those policies are, without doubt, bad economics.

Of course we have the top guy at the Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCIPC) proudly claiming that the “business-friendly” policies of the city are already in place. The DCIPC executive even further said that the policies are being “emulated across the country.”

We can only hope that the guy is not raising his own bench and the very policies that he is banding around are not mere documents but already put in practice.

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This is a little bit late. But just the same we are extending our heart-felt congratulations to the elected officials of Davao City’s three political districts from Congressmen to city councilors. And of course to re-elected Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio and newly elected Vice Mayor Baste Duterte who took his oath last Friday witnessed by his father the President.

In words, their election to the positions they now are sworn to serve, makes them servants. But there is no argument that their assumption to office also gives them substantial powers with which they are to carry out their duties. And as a line in a famous movie goes, “With huge powers comes great responsibilities.”

Being entrusted by the electorate of such powers the newly elected and soon to be installed leaders of the city are expected to exercise their powers in the service of their community and their constituents. They are not in any way expected to use the powers to take advantage of what they might wrongly consider as “perks” in their position to the detriment of the people and the community in general.

On this vein we can only pray and hope that they will do what is necessary to fulfill the covenant they have forged with the people when they presented themselves to become their servant leaders.

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