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ROUGH CUTS | The ’power’ politics in Davao del Norte





AS OF of late last week, reports emanating from Davao del Norte said that there are about six mayors in that province who are supporting the move to have the Davao City-based electric distribution company Davao Light and Power Co.,  assume the supply of power to consumers in that Northern Davao Province. 

For now, Davao del Norte is supplied by the Northern Davao Electric Cooperative or NORDECO, the just evolved name of the former Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (DANECO).  The latter firm is the franchise power distributor of both Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro Provinces.

     The reason for the move which, according to sources, is already manifested to the Lower House hoping that the lawmaking body will support it, is the alleged poor service of the electric provider.  Complaints upon complaints are reported lodged against NORDECO especially by the officials of the cities of Tagum and IGaCoS the industries of which are the most affected by the poor service.

     While the claim of inefficient service cannot be denied by the power cooperative, there are, however, some sectors in that Province that are suspicious of the real motive of the move. These observant sectors are reportedly claiming that the effort to have the power provider changed is a political strategy intended to obviate a possible comeback of the once-dominant political gods in the province – the Floirendos and their immediate kin. It may be recalled that the Floirendos backed with the resources of its huge banana plantation that employs several thousands of people, virtually lorded it over the entire Province and even the adjoining provinces for the longest time. The clan only tasted a humiliating debacle during the 2019 local election by a rising political personality who happened to be himself also a creation of the Floirendos. This personality just had a falling out with the heir-apparent of the kingmaker Don Antonio Floirendo Sr., his son and namesake Tonyboy Floirendo Jr.

     According to some political wags, the “conqueror” of the Floirendos and Del Rosarios. Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez was riding high on his group’s ability to meet head-on his own creator and even the President himself who happens to be identified close to the Floirendo

     In other words what helped Alvarez’s group topple the Floirendo influence was supposed to be his pro-masses orientation. Its candidates nearly steam-rolled their opponents in all the local government units of Davao del Norte and even in its neighboring Davao de Oro during the 2019 local polls. Lately, though, many of these observers are saying that a good number of the Northerners are starting to get dissatisfied with the performance of the Alvarez-led political group. They are claiming that the Alvarez-backed local officials have somewhat over-promised but are short in the delivery of their commitments made during the last elections.

     And somehow, this brewing dissatisfaction did not escape the consciousness of the remaining loyal leaders of the Alvarez group. They reportedly made some steps backward and from there started re-assessing their situation. Accordingly, they do not want to abandon the orientation of their group that catapulted its candidate to their present positions in their LGUs.  And this time, they find the surest opportunity to highlight such orientation by riding on the sentiment of the people of Davao del Norte against the poor electric service they are getting from their present power supplier.

    The Alvarez group’s leadership, according to Del Norte observers, finds it convenient to strengthen its weakening base by assuring the residents the group is all out for the improvement of the power service in the entire province. And the only way to attain this objective is by pushing for the take-over of another distributor.

     Of course, there are also some other sectors of the population that believe otherwise. That is, that the move is initiated by the Floirendo group because it wants to restore the economic glory the province once achieved during the heydays of the Floirendo patriarch. They insinuate that this opportunity was allowed to escape under the Alvarez group’s dominance. Thus, the Floirendo-led political aggrupation sees the need to revive the opportunity and this could only be done if the power distribution becomes stable and the service is pretty reliable. After all, that is one of the most important elements sought after by investors in a particular location they intend to put in their money.

     But of course, whichever political group is making this initiative, its success is definitely a welcome one. For who among the residents will not be happy if they will be enjoying stable power and potentially paying a little less than what they are paying now.


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