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ROUGH CUTS | An approach in dispersing development

Vic N. Sumalinog

TOWARDS the dying hours of the first day of the implementation of the 3-day National Vaccination Program last Monday, the local CoViD 19 Immunization Task Force of Davao City reported that about 1.2 million people of the city are already vaccinated.

     However, according the Task Force spokeswoman, of the over 1 million inoculated 72 percent of them are still on their first dose. Roughly it means that only about 28 percent have fully gotten their jab. In other words attaining the target number of people to be fully vaccinated to attain the desired “herd immunity” is a journey still far to travel. But if what we have observed last Monday would still be the level of people’s response Davaoenos will give during the remaining 2 days of the mass vaccination, we are certain that a substantial percentage will be added to the figure already achieved.

     We can only credit this apparent positive reaction of the people of Davao City to the concerted efforts of the local government officials and the Department of health Regional Office XI. They untiringly instill in the people’s minds their level of safety against the virus if they are fully vaccinated.

     Though Mayor Inday Sara is now spending most of her time furthering her national exposure, apparently she has left her task of steering the anti-CoViD campaign in very reliable hands.

     We hope that the ones left behind to undertake the fight against the pandemic in Davao City will be ready to give their all to ensure that the feared Omicron variant will not be carried into this Southern Mindanao city. And we are certain that only the strictest of protocol implementation can make this happen.

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     Late last week councilor Danny Dayanghirang who is running for congressman in Davao City’s second district, posted on Facebook saying that next year’s budget of the city is over 12 billion pesos. According to the councilor it is the budget is the last for him as chair of the Committee on Finance of the Sangguniang Panlungsod to scrutinize.

     Danny did not mention what percentage of the P12-billion budget is allocated to what city government department and is further intended for this and that project or administrative overhead.

     But we can be certain that with the local election coming in May 2022, a sizeable portion of that P12 billion fund is allotted for project-based personnel euphemistically called as “job-order” employees. They certainly are a big help or to say it more bluntly, they are major “in aid of election or reelection.”

     Of course the present crop of “job order” employees are “payment” of political debts of gratitude, acknowledgment of close friendship and “investment” for succeeding elections.

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     Some years back there were snowballing efforts to create one more congressional district in Davao City’s present three. But despite the initial strong desire it eventually went phtttt. The reason, we learned, is that there were strong opposition from politicians who were apprehensive the additional legislative district will reduce their turf. From then onwards nothing has ever been heard of the efforts. Seemingly it died a natural death although clearly it was thrown down the drain by those who oppose for obvious reasons.

    Having remembered that particular moves, we did some cursory research on the law governing the creation of political districts.  It turns out that the total population and much more the income of Davao City allow for the creation of one or even two more legislative districts.

    The law says that an area with a maximum 300 thousand population is allowed to remain a single district. However, when the population exceeds by a bigger number creating another district out of the same area is also allowed by law more so if all other required factors favor the creation. 

     During the latest census conducted by government, the population of Davao City’s first district was already more than the 300 thousand maximum required for a district to remain one. How come no more similar move has been resurrected by any of our three congressmen, not even by Partylist members of Congress who hail from Davao?

     And if we are to disperse faster the development now surging in the city we are even advocating for the division of Davao City into two. That way the much bigger areas of Davao that are mostly in the vast Paquibato, Marilog and Toril highlands will be able to have their fair share of economic growth.

     What do you think? 

                                                                          

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