We have taken this issue up before in this column about two months back. And we are taking this up again today.
We are referring to a meter-deep canal excavated by a box factory in Brgy. Biao Joaquin to ensure that flood water coming from the road during strong rains will not intrude inside the plant and destroy its machineries. Or, if we have to believe the grapevine, to serve as outlet of the plant’s waste water down to the nearest creek.
But whatever, that is not our main concern. We are more apprehensive about the effects of the deep canal on the safety of drivers and commuters passing by the area, as well as the stability of the foundation of the road that supports the weight of the concrete pavement.
Yes, the canal could be host to accidents waiting to happen. This is exacerbated by another excavation right on the side of the same canal by the road shoulder. The diggings were made by the Davao City Water District (DCWD) when it was laying its 8-inch distribution pipe from Calinan going to Biao Joaquin up to Talandang.
We are no engineer but common sense will tell us that without providing riprap on the canal sides the weight of vehicles using the said road can result to the erosion of one side ofthe canal. Thus, the possibility of the road shoulder and the lane on that side cracking is not remote. And we know by experience how long will it take the government to undertake repairs.
By then the destroyed portions of the road become hazards to motorists and their passengers and/or cargoes. Naturally, little recklessness, some distractions on the road, and perhaps bad weather could lead to vehicular accidents that could be injurious to those involved and deadly at most.
We are therefore calling the attention of either the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the City Engineer’s Office (CEO) to have some of their people do ocular inspection of that barangay road and check the condition of the open canal. Then we suggest that they come up with honest assessment on the situation so appropriate intervention can be done.
Or, would they rather wait for bloody accidents to happen before they get out of their air-conditioned office to check on the situation?
We believe that there may already be some ordinances relative to the protection of the environment in Davao City. And there may be others already in the pipeline and waiting for deliberation by the appropriate committees of the Davao City Council. One of these is the proposed ordinance banning single use plastic by establishments as well as by the consumers.
May be the time has come for the Sangguniang Panlungsod to harmonized all such existing ordinances by coming up with a single yet all-encompassing Environment Code of Davao City. This code can include mandates that will improve air quality in the city. Thus it can look into planning well-coordinated vehicle trips. It allows for the intervention of operation of industries and manufacturing establishments that use machinery that emit dust and odor into the air that people could inhale into their respiratory system.
The same environment code can also be crafted in a manner that it can weave into the structure of the Zoning Plan, the parameters of building designs that are planned to be put up in specific areas in the city. And there may be several other aspects on improving the city’ environment that can be covered by the same code that would further enhance Davao City’s livability.
Yes, if properly done and with exhaustive consultations with the various stakeholders, a City Environment Code could easily establish the agencies or offices in the local government that should be responsible in the implementation of the mandates. It will also easily pinpoint accountability.
For now, anything concerning environment in the city, people immediately look at the City Environment and Natural Resources Office of CENRO for both questions and answers. There are however, environmental concerns that could have been easily addressed by other departments or offices of the city government had the responsibility and authority clearly been defined under existing ordinances.
We understand as well that it is not necessary that the proposal would emanate from the committee that has ambit over issues intended to be addressed. It can also come from any member of the local legislative body.
How is that for a study ladies and gentlemen of the Sanggunian?