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ROUGH CUTS | Which one is wanting?




AGAIN, Davao City tops the list of five places in the country with the most number of new COVID-19 cases the other day, Tuesday.

This has been going on for the last many weeks even as the local leadership and health authorities are doing the best they can to arrest the rise in the cases of the virus infection.

We do not really know whether which aspect is lacking. Is it on the teeth of the regulation? On the complacency of those tasked to implement the restrictions? Or, is it on the hard headedness and lack of respect of the Davaoenos to the authorities? Or, can it be both?

Some also suspect that we are just too proud to admit that we need help from other agencies of government in fighting the deadly virus. But whichever, it now appears that we cannot heap the blame to any other person or juridical entities but only to us.

If our local civilian leaders and health authorities continue to be proud and we the people all too trusting in our capability, we might have the distinction of having the record of being the top producer of new virus infection cases when the pandemic is over in the country.

And with regards to the acquisition of the COVID vaccine, the mayor had mentioned it much earlier than the other local leaders of the country. But so far, we have yet to hear the local legislative body affirming her plan by passing an ordinance setting aside the needed funds for the purpose.

Apparently, all vaccine purchases shall be on a tripartite arrangement. Meaning, the local government must enter into an agreement with the vaccine manufacturer and the national vaccine task force in order to buy the medical prevention. That is the mode the suppliers want in the transactions.

Why are we not hearing so far with any initial activities on the matter when in fact many local governments in the Metro Manila area and Cebu City in the Visayas are now noisy with such efforts? Should we just be dependent on the national initiative? Pray, tell the people.

It is quite unfortunate that in the first six days of the year three lives are already lost in Davao City due to fire. And it happened at Central Park in Bangkal, Davao City, a residential subdivision that is supposed to be free of commercial shops and other establishments.

According to reports on radio and television quoting officials from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the police, the fire occurred in an automotive shop that was located in a house compound. Why was it allowed to be located in that residential area in the first place?

Somehow, it is this lack of integrity in the implementation of regulations as mandated in the ordinance supposedly providing the rules in the establishment of businesses that caused a number of perditions many people have suffered not just these days but in the past many years as well.

Yes, the departments charged in implementing the various regulations do not have the necessary personnel for the purpose. There are no inspectors to check on the veracity of what are being stated in the applications for business permits. Another example is the department responsible for the issuance of building and electrical permits for both residential and other edifices.

Remember that we are talking of a fire incident here. And many fires in the past had been attributed to faults in electrical installations. Yet, applicants get their permit without their installation inside getting inspected. So, it is clear who to pinpoint the responsibility when a fire happens.

And why does the local government not hire a commensurate number of regular inspectors for the purpose? Why not create the corresponding plantilla positions for such so inspections can be made? There are several thousands of quota personnel in the city as a reward for support during election, why not convert or assign them to do inspections when the ones hired have the skills?

Yes, why not make the quota employees deserve the monthly or daily pay they are receiving by letting them work on legitimate jobs and not just be stationed anywhere at the desire of the barangay officials and political leaders recommending them.

Maybe by assigning them as inspectors of business establishments, electrical installations (for those with capabilities), the city government will be able to get maximum returns of the money it is paying them.

For us and perhaps to many others, it is about time that the city leadership starts to revisit this scheme of doing the so-called “pay back” for political debts to leaders and top supporters. Yes, it is time to improve on the traditional by breaking away from tradition.

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