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Random Thoughts | Yes to Metro Davao, No to Cabotage Law

“METRO DAVAO. Officials to request PRRD to issue proclamation”. (Samantha T. Burgos) Mindanao Times headline, January 10, 2020 “Exec: Forum to review Cabotage Law Impact.” (Carmelito Q. Francisco).

“We move as one,” runs the Editorial of same local newspaper on the same date. Per Editorial, “as early as 1995, then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, supported the concept of Metro Davao,” which is now being pursued by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Metro Davao will cover the area from Tagum City of Davao Norte to Digos City of Davao Sur. This is, no doubt, a bigger area for planning and development. A Metro Davao Authority is likewise conceived for the area.

We say YES to the Metro Davao proposal. We see this as the first step toward a Davao Metropolitan Government in the near future. (See our previous article “Proposed Metropolitan Governments”) Economy of scale is achieved this way for good governance of a growing Metropolis.

On the other hand we shout a big NO to the Cabotage law. We see this as an imperialistic law being perpetuated by “Filipino Imperialists” for their own self interests at the expense of the people of Mindanao and Visayas.

Many years ago, we called the attention of Congress to rescind this very unfair law disadvantageous in terms of high cost of shipping goods to Mindanao and Visayas from abroad. It was merely amended by the PNoy oligarchic administration. It must be abrogated by the Duterte transformative administration.

Soon a business group will be “holding a forum on logistics to evaluate whether the impact of the Cabotage Law as amended three years ago has brought down the shipping cost.” Enough of the debates on this imperialistic law. Please just move for its abrogation. Similar Cabotage Law was first adopted in Seattle, USA to Alaska, USA. This was sponsored by unscrupulous business Seattle business people for their advantage at the sacrifice of Alaskans. Later on this was entirely rescinded for obvious reason. Let’s do the same to this amended Cabotage Law – abrogate it NOW! No more ifs and buts on this.


Reform, reform, reform is the call of the times. This is the main battle cry of the Duterte administration. Its Build build, build program is merely for infrastructure development. For political and socio-economic development, Reform, Reform, Reform is the more crucial challenge to the present administration.

In this connection, our Davao-based “Kilos Pederal sa Pagbabago” (KPP) movement of “Tagapagtanggol ng Mamamayan Development Center (TMDC), Inc. is coming out soon with a book titled “For for real social transformation.” Its six chapters are as follows:

*Chapter I – The Sick Philippine Society and Imperative of Real Social Transformation.

Chapter II – Dream Philippines: The Missing Link and Needed Constitutional Reform

Chapter III – Federalism: An Inclusive Political System

Chapter IV – Modified Social Market Economy: An Inclusive Economic System

Chapter V – The Process of Self-Renewal

Chapter VI – “Be a New Filipino”; A People Reform Program.

“If Real Social Transformation is the Answer, what is the Question?” is usually asked by doubting Tomases. Some of these Questions are the following:

1. It is really true that the state of the Philippines Society today is Oligarchic and with many Democratic Deficits?

2. What are the elements of Real Social Transformation?

3. It is correct to say that ever since the Philippines became a nation, it has not officially adopted a national Shared Vision and Mission?

4. Is our current 1987 Constitution still responsive to the needs of a globalizating world and emerging 4th Industrial Revolution?

5. Is an honest-to-goodness Constitutional Reform in the Philippine long overdue?

6. What does Inclusive Growth really mean and how to we really achieve such growth?

7. Is the rebuilding of our nation necessary at this point in time?

8. Is there a necessity for the development of our greatest resource-our people for us to confidently face the challenges of today and tomorrow?

9. Does our country need a People Reform Program to reprogram the mindset, attitude and behavior of Filipinos to make us more responsible citizens and, including our leaders?

10. Does our government have such updated Program now in place?

11. How do we thwart the possibility of Mindanao secession, growing narco-terrorism in the country, and the longest insurgency in the whole world?

12. How to we truly liberate our people from the clutches of Filipino imperialists that unjustly control our political and economic lives?

We guess that these 12 Questions will suffice for those doubting Tomases to appreciate the validity of going for Real Social Transformation. According to Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest US Presidents, “a nation commits suicide” if its people do not have the courage to do what needs to be done for their survival, prosperity, justice, and peace.

Fr. Bel San Jose also has this to say: “In our present milieu, we ask: ‘Why must we reform? Why bother to change or get rid of our unresponsive systems and negative traits?’ The simple answer is because sins and evil deeds are obnoxious before God and harmful to people.”

KPP/TMDC’s forthcoming book is a challenge for our people not to be complacent and do the needful for our country to be great again. Of course, we are fully aware that without God, we Filipinos cannot succeed in this noble Mission of healing our sick society, rebuilding our nation and developing our human resource. Thus, we humbly pray for His help, blessing and grace as we Filipinos venture in the wider sea of Real Social Transformation.

The book is written, hopefully, to assist President Duterte fulfill its election promise of “Malawakan at Tunay na Pagbabago” in our country during his presidency. This could be PRRD’s greatest legacy to the Filipino People. More on this book will be the subjects of our coming articles.

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