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Rough Cuts | Who’s next to the Catholic Church?

Before taking up again issues relative to the paranoid-causing pandemic COVID 19 or corona virus disease 2019, we would like to raise this concern of some officials of a Tugbok district barangay and the contractor of a road concreting project leading to a village that will soon be connected to Callawa in the second district of Davao City with a bridge.

According to the barangay officials of Talandang, Tugbok district, they received complaints from the contractor of the road cementing project from the barangay proper to sitio Banarao. The contractor has informed the barangay council that some portions of the cemented road lane are already cracking; No, not because the work quality is low but because the hauler trucks of a quarry company keep on using the road almost 24 hours daily.

Worst, the contractor claimed to the barangay council, the 20-tonner hauler trucks are loaded to the brim with either boulders or sand and gravel aggregates. Because of these extremely heavy loads passing the newly concreted portions of the Talandang-Banarao road, the weight of the fully-loaded trucks has caused the sides of the pavement to crack.

An administrative official of the barangay confirmed to this columnist that indeed there was a complaint raised by the contractor of the road concreting. For now the official concerned said there is still no action adopted by the barangay council.

The barangay administrative official said the contractor is expecting that the Talandang barangay council will come up with a resolution addressed to the quarry operator and hauler trucks owner requesting that the load of boulders or aggregates be limited to certain tonnage only. This way, the contractor believes, the concrete will be fully cured and is able to bear the load of the passing vehicles.

We are fully in accord with the complaint of the road contractor. Thus, even if the barangay council has not yet come up with its official action on the matter, we are now bringing the issue to the attention of the City Engineer’s Office, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO). The latter agency of the Davao City government, we understand, has assigned an inspector to monitor the hauling of the boulders and/or sand and gravel from the quarry site in Banarao. But apparently the CENRO personnel do not have the mandate to impose a load limit on the haulers.

Hence, we now see the need for the top officials of any, or perhaps all, of the agencies herein-mentioned to look into the issue and do what is necessary to ensure that the completed concreted portion of the said village road will not be destroyed even before the project’s full completion.

And if it is not too much, may we request the agency concerned to look into a short concrete bridge that connects barangays Talandang and Biao Escuela. Half of one lane of the bridge is destroyed and could give way once a vehicle passes on it, more so if it is as heavy as the hauler trucks of the quarry firm.

We see the damage portion of the bridge as a foreboding to disaster. Let us not wait for such accident to happen before acting.

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Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio has appealed to the Iglesia ni Cristo sect to temporarily suspend its religious services while the coronavirus disease pandemic is still threatening the whole country and the world.

We can understand the move of the lady mayor. And we believe the leadership of the INC should heed the mayor’s appeal. If the sect continues holding with many of its members converging every time the services are conducted, then the possibility that one or two, or even more who might have gotten in contact with persons who have infection of the CoViD could become an unknowing carrier.

Who would know? Perhaps by complying with the plea of the mayor the INC may be able to help secure the health of people. And most likely many of them may be the sect’s own members.

Good thing that the most dominant among religions, the Roman Catholic, was not hesitant in deciding on its own to stop the holding of masses and other religious practices. So far not a single official of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, and even in Vatican, has invoked the freedom of religion in not cooperating with the government’s measures to arrest the spread of the pandemic.

After all, there is nothing to be ashamed of in submitting to the idea that what is normally considered as the last refuge against the most dangerous and evil in society which is the Church, in cases of health emergencies this could also become the most unexpected source of en masse infection.

So will the INC heed Mayor Sara’s plea? Will the other larger religious sects like the UCCP and its related congregations follow?

Or, will the homegrown religious sect “Jesus Christ the Name Above Every Name” of Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy beat them to the draw?

But wait. Did Mayor Inday also call out the ACQ group? Well, my poor eyes may have missed reading it in the papers. Or maybe my elderly ears are already starting to fail me.

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