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Rough Cuts | Disasters feed on vulnerability

We read in the column of our friend Serafin “Jun” Ledesma that it is now a “go” for the long-dreamed of Davao City-Island Garden City of Samal connector bridge.

This, according to Jun in his column in another local Davao daily, came about after the economic managers of the Duterte administration led by no less than Davaoeno Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez approved the project based on its latest feasibility study.
From Jun’s column we learned that the multi-billion peso bridge project was not included in the revised list of big ticket projects under the administration’s “Build, build, build” program. So he said there were a lot of inquiries from various sectors in Davao and Samal why it was not given priority when the idea of the bridge came about several decades ago already.

Indeed yes. It would have been difficult to understand why under a Davaoeno President the bridge project would be shelved when all indications show that funding is not a problem.  But since the project has already been given the green light by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board all those who are about to lose hope should celebrate.

But of course the celebration could only be meaningful once the bridge project will be bid out, much more when the construction will be started. Moreover, when the project comes to these levels, the Duterte administration can already escape heavy blame from Davaoenos themselves who have been longing for the span.

It is our take that if the bridge will not be realized during the last two years of the Davaoeno President, chances are, it would never come at all. And if by a stroke of fate the succeeding administration will be the one who will start and complete the project, the present President will have a lot of explaining to do.

With the information that the project will possibly be started early next year, by the time the Duterte administration bows out in 2022 the construction could probably be on its finishing touches. So, no one will have the courage to claim it as his or her own accomplishment.
After the series of relatively strong earthquakes hit some areas in Mindanao including Davao City, authorities have declared eight (8) condominium buildings in the latter “off limits” to its former occupants as well as those who have bought units and intend to take a look at their investment.

While only one of the condos was mentioned by Davao City’s chief of the Office of the Building Official (OCBO), the developer of most of the buildings is very well-known in both the local and national property development community.

Of course the property developer is not the only one who will get the adverse effects of what happened to the condemned buildings. The whole property development business, especially for high rise residential and office structures, stands to suffer.

Their potential buyers, without doubt, may already be entertaining doubts if they will pursue their dream of living in elevated communities. With what happened to the eight condo structures in Davao City after the series of temblors fears may have already set in on their minds.

We can only understand why we are now reading a more aggressive advertising efforts by the developer of one of the condominium buildings that is now about to be completed. Its management proudly claims that after an evaluation by a team of structural experts commissioned by the city government on its structure, it has reportedly been declared safe and the integrity of its foundation has not been affected.

But the good thing that came out of the destruction of some of the residential condominiums is that the regulators of building construction may already be aware of where they are wanting in the giving of permits and other clearances.

They may already be careful in issuing building permits without actual inspection of construction sites vis-à-vis the structure plan submitted for the purpose of procuring construction permits.
Had the regulators been loyal to their job a building somewhere in Lanang with a  three-storey structure plan submitted to the concerned offices for construction permit purposes, could not have ended a four-level edifice. But the possibility is that there never was any inspection conducted by the regulator agencies from start to finish.
That building is certain to be another vulnerability added to Davao City for another earthquake to create a disaster of unimaginable proportion.

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