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Rough Cuts | Long desired and delayed projects

We strongly support the call of the Davao City Water District (DCWD) through its spokesperson lawyer Bernard Delima for the local government to finally implement the long-desired waste water treatment project intended to address improper waste water as well as human waste disposal problem of the city.

According to Delima all local governments have the mandate to construct waste water and septage facilities under the Clean Water Act of 2004.

Under this law the city passed a local enabling ordinance denominated as Ordinance No. 0363-10 which gives the local government authority to establish the “Septage and Sewerage Management Program of Davao.”

The same ordinance, according to Delima, also authorizes the city government to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with DCWD for the project implementation. It is because, according to the water firm’s spokesperson, the DCWD has the “mechanism to implement it.”

The responsibility of the local government though, is to provide for the land where the waste water treatment plant shall be established.

Good thing that the DCWD official has brought this issue in the open. We are well aware of the fact that a city with a population approaching the two million mark, the absence of a waste water treatment plant is a major health and environmental risks.

With Davao City’s rapid urbanization and 60 percent of the population converged in the central business district all the waste water carrying the most toxic and dirtiest elements are disposed direct to the main drainage canals and down to the city’s coastal waters.

Of course the DCWD is the most appropriate agency to implement such critically important project. It controls the facilities in water distribution to households and commercial and industrial users. Therefore, it would be germane in the nature of its service the disposal of the water after its use by consumers.

And there is no denying the fact that a much bigger volume of waste water comes from household, commercial and industrial users including the water used in flushing human waste in toilets and latrines.

Should this project be delayed further it would not be far that Davao City could end up the dirtiest city down under going to the seashores even if in the surface it could appear the cleanest.

We might not like a possible moniker for our beloved city with the waste water treatment and septage management facilities flashed “down the drain of forgotten memories.”

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Talking of long-overdue project completion we are just wondering what is taking the contractor of the Catalunan Grande Road Expansion project so long to finish the same. Its original completion deadline based on the billboard put up in strategic areas along the stretch of the Catalunan Grande road was in January of 2018.

Today is already the second day of the month of September, 2019. That is a slippage of 19 months. What is slowing down the Ulticon Builders, a highly reputable road contractor with projects all over the country and even abroad, in completing the project?

Of course we can understand that the biggest obstacle that could have hindered the fast-tracking of the road expansion project is the acquisition of right-of-way. We know that several residential and commercial establishments are to be demolished to give way to the additional 3 meters on both sides to be concreted.

But the project could not have been given the go-ahead signal if there was no budget for the compensation of building and house owners. And if the land and/or building owners are not willing to give up their property for the amount offered by the government, then both the DPWH and the contractor should have taken the most appropriate and legal option to keep the work continuing.

What we have observed now is that there are some small works in this or that stretch during certain hours of the day. But we also see certain road portions that the initial steps in the destruction has long been done. However, these are seemingly abandoned by the workers.

The longest and the widest of these initially destroyed portions so concreting can be started is the one from the junction of the Catalunan Grande road with the C.P. Garcia Diversion highway up to the vicinity of the Divine Word Formation House.

Again, many Catalunan Grande residents are asking, perhaps including one of its most illustrious personalities, Congressman Paolo Z. Duterte, what is delaying the project completion.

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