A HUGE part of Mindanao, specifically the Zamboanga peninsula area, suffered a total power interruption last Tuesday.
The reason, according to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), is that its power transmission tower in Baloi in Lanao del Norte was toppled down after its steel poles were sawed off by unidentified perpetrators.
From the way the NGCP statement was crafted, it seemed that the perpetrators were not the usual suspects, the Moro separatist group members, now being considered by the government as a bunch of terrorists.
In other words, the power transmitter firm wanted it emphasized that the perpetrators were simple thieves out to make money from the sale of the steel taken out from the destroyed structure.
Assuming that it is the case, then it would be easy for the police to capture the suspects as most likely they will be making overtures to scrap buyers or those engaged in metal casting as they are the only ones who would take interest in the stolen items.
From here the NGCP would know what to do if they want to run after the perpetrators.
Of course, knowing the history of toppling transmission towers in Mindanao, the tale that the firm is peddling is something not easily swallowed hook, line, and sinker by the population.
Also, last Tuesday, Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio announced in her interview at Davao Disaster Radio that the molecular laboratory at the Davao International Airport is officially ready to conduct swab testing of passengers arriving the city by plane.
According to the mayor, the laboratory is capable of swabbing some 300 people the most every day. But she was humble enough to admit that the capability is way below the number of arrivals daily at the airport. The mayor was informed by airport authorities that the arrivals average from 800 to 1,000 people.
So that would mean some 500 to 700 arriving persons to the city must have to be referred to other swabbing facilities if there are any. Should such referrals be at the expense of the local government, or be charged to the arriving persons? Any which way, it is still add-on expenses to whoever foots the bill.
Nevertheless, it is one safe way of reducing the number of people who are likely carriers of the coronavirus, thus slowing down the chances of increasing infections. We are all aware that Davao City has been in the unpleasant distinction of being number one in the Top 5 list of the most number of new COVID cases for long even until last Tuesday with 134 new cases reported.
Are we Davaoenos “suberbios” or hard-headed as President Rodrigo Duterte earlier called Cebuanos when not quite long ago Cebu City’s cases of COVID infections climbed steeply? We want to believe so. Why, because only a few days ago the police nabbed some 91 persons, including minors, bathing in the Upper Talomo River somewhere in Antipolo, Calinan.
Under existing health protocols activities that would gather more than ten persons are at the present level of Davao City’s quarantine category, are strongly prohibited. No, this is not because the government wants to take away the people’s right to enjoy life. It is because it wants to obviate the possibility that their today’s enjoyment may end up a major sorrow for their family later.
Yes, at this time when we are still in the midst of the deadly pandemic, gatherings of people including having picnics in the river, can result in a massive transmission of the virus. This is as simple as this.
So, if this is difficult to understand what then is easy to comprehend, stiffer penalties to violators? Then perhaps, the authorities must have to resort to such action if only to attain a disciplined population.
We are happy to hear that Davao City First District Rep. Paolo Z. Duterte speaks about his plan to personally work for the faster completion of the Davao Coastal Road Project.
Of late, we only hear the DPWH XI spokesman said it would be completed soon and will be open to the public. But the anticipated “soon” appears to be evolving into a wait for eternity. So fears are already entertained that the completion of the coastal highway project may even come long after the term of Davaoeno President Rodrigo Duterte.
Davaoenos and outsiders who frequent the city are expecting the project to be finished within the President’s term as it has been associated with his “Build, build, build” program. Therefore, if this project is not completed under his term then it would be a big hole to his administration’s chart of accomplished infrastructure projects.
So, we find it a welcome move that Congressman Polong, the son of the President, has come out committing to intervene and do his best to have the project finished sooner than the DPWH’s “soon.”
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