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Rough Cuts | CoViD Q down-graded; but rainy season in

Officials of PAG-ASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Administration) have already announced that the rainy season in the country has started to set in.

Then last Friday, the President officially down-graded the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) level to General Community Quarantine of GCQ. The new level started to be in effect yesterday, June 1.

Despite the still dangerous prevalence of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (CoViD 19) pandemic in the country, the onset of a colder weather and the relaxation of some of the most stringent restrictions during the ECQ have somehow provided the Filipinos a respite in their fear of the pestilence that already claimed closed to a thousand people in the country.

And in a country like ours where people’s resilience to calamities is considered a proud trait, may be some incidents considered unfortunate to others, could help diminish the Filipinos’ stress level in this time of grave health emergency. And yes, we think of such incident as this:

Last week we heard and saw on television a news report about a woman in Misamis Oriental town who hacked her husband and child dead. She also wounded two young relatives who were in her house when she committed the crime.

In a statement the policemen who conducted an investigation on the crime said that the housewife claimed she was not aware she had killed her husband and child because she was “possessed by bad spirits.”

But many neighbors, and we ourselves, suspect that her action could have been a possible outcome of extreme jealousy, or she could have been suffering from mental instability. If the real reason is our former assumption, the housewife could have done better had she not killed her husband and child but instead did a Lorena Bobbits (Remember this lady who was in the international limelight after she cut her husband’s organ?).

Or, she should have learned some lessons from an episode of the popular GMA television program “Magpakailanman” hosted by broadcaster Mel Tiangco several months back. It was about a wife who acquired courage to get back at her womanizing husband by cutting his manhood. The philandering husband played by actor Emilio Garcia survived his wife’s rage but could have lost his “life” just the same had the couple not reconciled and did a “heart-to-heart” talk in order for them to live their “new normal” after the cutting incident.

Yes, there was some kind of a miracle. In spite of the doctor’s failure to attach the cut portion of the husband’s organ, the latter still sought forgiveness from his wife and was forgiven. But when host Tiangco asked the couple who were invited when the episode was shown on television, if there was still intimacy in their relationship as husband and wife their answer was a big YES.

Asked by the host how, the couple’s response was simple and direct, “The doctors told us how.” Well, that was one big revelation for womanizing husbands and jealous wives? Take your cue from the story.

Forget CoViD 19 even just for a short while; relax and smile, unless you “lost the idea.”

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Early Friday night and last Sunday afternoon until evening, strong rains poured in the barangay where we have our rural residence. If the same intensity of rains fell in certain portions of Davao City’s downtown then we can be certain that floods in some city roads are not long to wait. We are having this expectation because we are fully aware that after heavy rains pour like crazy in the city even for about an hour, or less, low-lying city roads are immediately submerged.

And when this happens, what came to the minds of many Davaoenos is that the local government is still unable to address the long prevailing problem of clogged up drainage and canals in the city’s urban center.

We can assume with certainty that the people are right. However, from the explanation of some members of the drainage maintenance unit of the city government there is incontrovertible truth to what they claim as difficulty in addressing the problem.

Indeed yes. Think about how canals and drainage pipes installed some fifty years ago when Davao City was inhabited only by less than a million people, can cope with the volume of rain as well as waste water from a city with almost bald and treeless mountains and now populated by almost 2 million people? Not only in terms of population has the city grown so fast. About half a century ago only a few commercial establishments were throwing waste water with all kinds of effluents into creeks and canals leading to the rivers and to the open seas. Even big industries then that were mostly wood-based had their plants located near creeks and rivers. Hence, whatever liquid and solid wastes these industries dispose of were dumped directly to the nearby body of water or through the drainage pipes.

Today, giant malls are sprouting, commercial establishments and industrial plants are agglomerating, and large residential subdivisions and condominiums are virtually littering Davao City’s urban and suburban areas.

All of them are emptying their waste water into their built-in drains that are connected to the city’s drainage system.

The pace of the city’s development is so fast that it is overtaking by miles the speed with which both the local and the national governments do improvements on the drainage that falls under their respective jurisdiction.

So, what is the outcome? With most drain pipes clogged up and creeks and rivers over-silted these can only allow limited volume of liquid to pass through. The consequence is, the water overflows and finds its way to the city’s low-lying streets. Hence there is flood here, there and everywhere every time the rains come.

And let us not forget that the people cannot escape responsibility for these regular submersion of the city in water. Let us just look at how the drainage canals are being allocated by some families as permanent sites of their dwellings. If their houses are not built on top of the canals these are erected right on the edge of the rip-rap on either side.

Hence, today we hear instead the government complaining that canal expansion or de-silting projects cannot be implemented because residents on and beside the city’s various drainage systems do not want to leave their residences.

But what is this we hear from the personnel of the drainage maintenance unit claiming that their work is hampered because their equipment is already several years old and needs to be replaced?

Maybe our honorable councilors should take time out from their busy schedule and look into this complaint of the unit. For all we know this might be more important than some other requests that for now they have given priority over the one for upgrading drainage maintenance equipment.

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