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Random Thoughts | Mt. Apo and Samal Bridge in focus

“Mt. Apo is classified as a “potentially active volcano”. The Phivolcs executive explained that a “potentially active” category volcano is one that has no recorded eruption in over the last ten thousand years. However there is still possibility that a dormant volcano can come up to life again.” (Vic N. Sumalinog, “Potentially active this Mt. Apo”, Mindanao Times, February 9, 2020)

It is for this reason that said “agency has three seismograph machines in strategic locations on Mt. Apo as a part of its study of the volcano’s condition.” That “within the next three months the agency is expecting to gather partial data registered in the seismograph equipment’s”, Sumanilog wrote in his column.
Let’s remember that a considered dormant Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991 wreaking havoc in Central Luzon.
Per info, Davao City Councilor Nito Abellera invited an official of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology in one of Sangguniang Panlungsod’ sessions in its members’ “desire to know what the real score of the majestic and seemingly mysterious highest mountain in the country, Mt. Apo.”

Sumalinog further pointed out that Councilor Abellera “asked for the appearance of the Philvolcs official” for the city needs to be” prepared for an eventually such as of the Taal eruption.” That “there have to be measures that could help instigate the damage to life, property and the physical appearance of the city should the volcano come to life again.”

If this is the main objective for such dialogue, we humbly suggest to Councilor Abellera, to ask the Philvolcs expert to inform our city councilors when was the last time Mt. Apo erupted and make a simulation of its eruption for our city councilor’s information of the possible extent of the damage this can create which will be basis for our city’s and neighboring LGU’s preparation. “Di ba?”
When I was still younger, I read in an English comics where a supposedly villain, using a helicopter, dropped a huge capsule in the mouth of Mt. Apo to trigger its eruption to cause great damage in the region. Comic writers are mostly visionaries.

In my envisioned Historical Novel on Davao, to present truly explosive opening, Chapter 1 will be about the eruption of Mt. Apo showing its impact on the Indigenous People and wildlife living nearby. This will explain also the fertility of the land in its neighboring areas. It is a novel designed to promote effectively Davao Internally. Unfortunately, I can no longer pursue this due to my old age. May a daring young Davao historian take the challenge in writing such Historical Novel. Any interested writer may see me on this matter.

May I likewise recommend to the Duterte administration to rehabilitate Mt. Apo as what DENR did in Boracay. An honest-to-goodness reforestation of Mt. Apo is in order. More strict regulation should be imposed in the area for obvious reason. Well-equipped Forest Rangers should be fielded to effectively protect Mt. Apo’s natural endowments and its wildlife.

On the nagging issue of location re proposed Samal bridge, yours truly assisted then former Congressman Rodolfo P. del Rosario of the still undivided Davao del Norte’s 3rd District in the conceptualization of the proposed Davao City – Samal bridge many years ago. If Region XI Development Council wants my expert opinion, for free, to resolve this, controversial location issue confronting said project, please just contact me.
For our reader’s information, I also conceptualize the Davao City – Samal ferryboat service which is now a multi-million business. Modesty aside, I am an architect and urban planner by profession. While I’m a young – old or “yold” retiree now, my passion for development planning never ceases.

The pioneering Paradise Beach Resort of the Rodriguez family is considered as one of the historical landmarks in this Island. Hence, all efforts should be made to preserve, protect and enhance landmarks! In Samal Island, we say No to “bulldozer mentality” in development planning, No to development aggression! Real development is not only in knowing where to build, it is also knowing where not to build! “Bakit hindi ilagay ang tulay sa wala pang resort development?”
As to the question of whether said bridge is really needed, let me say that development planning is foremost a political process. Since the political leaders of Davao City and IGACOS, who represent their constituencies, are for the construction of this bridge, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt that this expensive infrastructure will be beneficial to the residences of these LGUs. My humble advice to these local officials in this regard is for them to anticipate the possible negative consequences of this bridge and properly plan ahead to effectively and efficiently address these consequences. For one IGACOS officials must scientifically determine the carrying capacity of Samal Island for obvious reason. IGACOS must be developed into a “Green City”. This requires “Green citizenry” and “Green local government” officials. This means truly environmental conscious residents and LGU.

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