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ROUGH CUTS | Another dream not coming true?

 

Vic N. Sumalinog

MANY Davaoenos could not help it but envy the people of Cebu and even those of the Northern Mindanao Provinces.

They have large infrastructure projects though promised by previous administrations and were not realized then, these are now either about completed or already being started.

Very much unlike the Davao Mainland-Samal connector bridge and the Mindanao Railway projects which we heard as early as when we settled in Davao City in the late 70’s.

We actually kept a copy of this newspaper bannering the story of the Samal bridge so we could remember how long will it take government to fulfill such political commitment. Seven administrations had passed and still the fervently hoped project remains nebulous. The railway, though a later promise, appears to be heading to the same feat as that of the Davao-Samal bridge project.

In Cebu, the leaders in that province are now preparing for the opening of the 8-kilometer span that connects the Cebu mainland with the island of Mactan coming direct from the town of Cordova. And they are now laying the groundworks for a fourth bridge connecting the Cebu mainland to the same progressive island through the Consolacion town route in the north of the province.

The budget of the latter bridge is to be tapped from the same source that is being worked out for funding of the Samal-Davao bridge. The CCEX or the Cebu-Cordova Expressway is set to be opened to vehicular traffic by December this year. What a gift by a Mindanaoan President to the Visayans!

In the case of the Northern Mindanao project the government under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, is now in the thick of its work on the longest ever bridge project in the Philippines. It will span the nearest areas separated by part of the Panguil Bay between Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental on the other side.

Meanwhile, in Davao City the people are hoping that a substantial portion of the coastal road project will be opened before the end of the Duterte administration. It could be the biggest project ever to be gifted the Davaoenos even if this will not be fully completed by May 2022.

Of course we owe the President who is one among us with the almost all concreted road in Davao City including those in the hinterlands. But we still believe that what would have the biggest positive impact is the implementation of the multi-billion Davao-Samal bridge.

In other provinces of the Davao Region of course, the people are enjoying the widened national highways and long skyways like the ones in Tagum and Panabo Cities. While these are initiatives of their congress representative, it cannot be denied that without the presidential push or conformity, the projects will not be realized or be put on hold for a time.

What seems to have saddened most Davaoenos is the fact that what they have been hoping to come to fruition under a Davaoeno President – the Samal-Davao bridge – will not be in place, much more becoming another likely unfulfilled dream. But of course some vested interest groups would continue to enjoy their blessings at the expense of the greater majority for as long as Samal remains bridgeless with the mainland. That is for certain.

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There they are again at it.

In last Wednesday’s continuing monitoring report on the number of new CoViD 19 infections, the authorities gave to the local media the number of new cases as of that day in almost all parts of Mindanao. And it included even those cases in some municipalities and in the Province of Basilan.

But in Davao City, the media reported only the total accumulated number of 16,256 since the onset of the pandemic last year. The report also contains the total number of deaths and the recoveries of two kids who were infected by the virus only lately.

We do not have any idea how many new infections were discovered in Davao City as of last Wednesday. However, we are intrigued as to the reason why there seem to be some deliberate efforts to conceal the figure. Whether or not it is for the benefit of the people or to tone down the effect of some shortcomings of those tasked to wage war against the deadly virus, we can only surmise.

It is our take that the public deserves to know everything about the situation in Davao City. We are aware that the people have a big role in the success of the campaign such as religiously complying with existing protocols like staying at home, avoiding travels to other places, and attending/holding big gatherings, and the simple social distancing.

Knowing our people’s too much adherence to human freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution, they are likely adamant in complying with even legal-based restrictions by mere speculations alone. They must know the hard facts so they’ll be guided accordingly. If after knowing the real numbers, whether high or small, they still continue with their undesirable activities in the name of human freedom, that is a choice they make. Then so be it.

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