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Rough Cuts | One problem sired by development

Several months ago an episode of the popular GMA television program “Magpakailanman” hosted by broadcaster Mel Tiangco featured the story of a philandering husband whose organ was cut by his overly jealous and angry wife.

It was the wife’s way of getting back at her womanizing husband hoping that the decapitation would not anymore make him go back to his amorous vice.

But there was some kind of a miracle.

In spite of the doctors’ failure to attach the cut portion of the husband’s organ, the latter still sought forgiveness from his wife and was forgiven. They even reconciled and lived together again, happily until today.

But it seems totally different in the case of a man in a mountain barangay in Davao City. Last week, the guy who claimed to have a relationship with a widow, butchered not only the woman he claims to love but also her 11-year-old daughter.

Again, the reason given by the man who admitted to the crime after he was arrested by policemen was jealousy. Yet, the guy executed his jealous fit merely on the basis of his suspicion that the object of his affection was flirting with other men because he saw her drinking with some guys in the neighborhood.

Worst, he also killed the woman’s daughter who was perhaps just with her mother when the men offered the victim a drink.

The “butcher” was awfully repentance, or so he seemed to appear when he was already in jail. But what can his remorse do for him when the woman of his love is already buried in the womb of the earth all because he was unable to handle his jealousy.

Indeed there is truth to some claims that some women have better sense of judgment than men. They have that wisdom of giving their men a “second shot at redemption.”

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In spite of the much hyped drainage improvement projects both by the national and local governments certain portions of Davao City’s downtown roads are still immediately submerged in flood waters every time heavy rains fall.

Again what comes to mind among many Davaoenos is that the both governments are still unable to address the long prevailing problem of clogged drainage pipes and canals in the city’s urban center.

We can easily assume that the people are right. However, from the explanation of some members of the drainage maintenance unit of the city government there is likely incontrovertible truth to what they claim as difficulty in addressing the problem.

Yes, think how canals dug, and drainage pipes with varying diameters installed some thirty to fifty years ago when Davao was inhabited only by less than a million people, can cope with the volume of rain as well as waste water from a city with almost bald and treeless mountains. Think how some irresponsible persons from among a population of almost two million people today make the city’s rivers, creeks and open canals their garbage depositories.

Moreover, Davao City has grown so fast not only in terms of population. Its various economic activities have quadrupled over the years.

About half a century ago only few commercial establishments were throwing waste water with all kinds of effluents into creeks and canals leading to the rivers and to the open seas.

In the fifties up to the 70’s big industries in the city mostly wood-based, had their plants located near creeks and rivers or near seashores. Hence, whatever liquid and solid wastes these industries disposed of were conveniently dumped directly to the nearby body of water, or through the drainage pipes.

Today, giant malls are sprouting, commercial establishments and industrial plants are agglomerating, and large residential subdivisions and condominiums are virtually littering Davao City’s urban and suburban areas.

All of them are emptying their waste water into their built-in drains that are connected to the city’s drainage system. But again, there are still others who irresponsibly throw their solid waste in any place of their convenience, mostly in waterways like creeks and drainage canals.

The pace of the city’s development is so fast that it is overtaking by the miles the speed with which both the local and the national governments can do improvements on the drainage that falls under their jurisdiction.

So, what is the outcome? With most drain pipes clogged up and creeks and rivers over-silted these can only allow limited volume of liquid to pass through. The consequence is, the water overflows and finds its way to the city’s low-lying areas, mostly the city’s roads.

Hence there is flood here, there and everywhere every time the rains come.

And people in the city should ponder with some degree of seriousness whether they only have the right to complain yet escape responsibility for these regular submersions of the city in water. Imagine how the drainage canals are being allocated by some families as permanent sites for their dwellings!

Yes, we can see houses built on top of the canals or erected right on the edge of the rip-rap portion on either side.
Thus today we hear instead the government complaining that canal expansion or de-silting projects cannot be implemented because residents on top of, and beside the city’s various drainage system do not want to leave their houses.

We are also hearing personnel from the drainage maintenance unit claiming that their work is hampered because their equipment are already several years old and need to be replaced. Has this problem been acted upon?

For all we know this might be more important than some other requests that for now both the local and national governments have given priority over the one for upgrading of drainage maintenance equipment. Time to check.

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