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ROUGH CUTS | If we were a candidate for…

Vic N. Sumalinog

IF we were a candidate for the top position of the Local Government of Davao City today, we would have carried this proposed platform for the electorate to discern if we are worth their choice. The platform is in bullet form for brevity and easy understanding. We are also giving our reasons for each bullet line. These are also based on our experiences having worked in the media for years as well as with top corporate executives as a company community relations person for quite some time. And because of this line of work we were fortunate enough to have gone to almost all corners of Davao City and in the process we managed to have a feel of how life is in every location including those in the remotest of villages where civilization still seems reluctant to go.

     Again, if we were a candidate for the highest post of Davao City here are the mean meat of our proposed platform of government and reasons:

  • Push for the division of Davao City into two;
  • Re-prioritize implementation of development projects
  • Push for completion of ongoing and pursuance of approved BBB (Build3) projects
  • Comprehensive review of existing LGU policies; and
  • Participate actively in appropriate climate change efforts.

     If our readers would bother to scrutinize all bullet lines, these are clearly answers to the “Whats” that we would have promised to do to address existing issues and problems of the city to convince the voters we are worth their choice.

     Now, here are the “Hows” to address the issues and problems that were the basis of the “Whats.”

     Bullet No. 1 – How will it solve the burgeoning traffic gridlock in the city? This is what we foresee. The creation of another city out of the single Davao necessitates for a new city center to be established. Hence, this will result to creation of new routes for existing public utility vehicles and even private ones as well. Why, because people doing transactions with government under the new city will have to go to where the new seat is established as the concerned offices will now be located in the new city center. So, it will diffuse substantially the volume of vehicles going to the present city center where all the government offices are located. And if the new LGU officials will be upbeat and come up with tax and other incentives to investors, naturally businesses and new industries will be moving to the new city. Hence, a good number of people will be possibly relocating their employment there. So travels will now shift from their present routes to where their new livelihood is.

     On attaining the ideal peace and order (or order and peace) situation, when people in the upland and rural areas feel that the government is now bringing its services closer to them they become less vulnerable to the enticement of some alien ideology or commission of crimes as they know they have government institutions to run to for support closer to home.

     On flooding problems, the new city officials are presumed to have learned their lessons from the One Davao City experience. They’d surely plan differently with the flood prevention projects that are complementary with the ones existing and not independent (To each his own). Thus flooding will now be avoided and the existing One Davao flood will be minimized if not totally stopped

     Bullet No. 2 – If bullet No. 1 is not achieved for whatever reason, under the existing city there is already both medium and long term plans. Under the two plans are different development programs with projects both approved or in the pipeline. Implementation thereof shall be re-prioritized in accordance with the urgency of the needs of the community. For example, why implement expensive drainage construction or rehabilitation projects when these are reactive in nature and not some kind of pro-active flood retardant projects that will deter the rainwaters from overflowing the city’s river system inundating the drainage pipes and canals in the process? And so on and so forth…

     Bullet No. 3 – There are already on-going or soon to start BBB projects. Once a new national administration comes in the first order of its day is to review existing plans and programs. If the new national leadership is contra to the outgoing one then there is no doubt incoming and unfinished BBB projects stand serious scrutiny which will last for years and the possibility of getting quashed is more than reality.

     Bullet No. 4 – While the city’s various regulatory policies are regularly reviewed the possibility is that some of its contents may not anymore be attuned to the fast changing times and mode of governance. Thus, if we were a candidate and elected our top agenda is to call for the comprehensive review all existing policies and recommend amendments where these are necessary. The review should focus on the Zoning Ordinance, Revenue Regulations (Local Tax Code), Business regulations, vertical infrastructure resiliency.

     Bullet No. 5 – All environment and ecology-related projects undertaken by governments of countries are all intended to slow down climate change – a gargantuan global effort. And for a single LGU, whatever it does for the protection of the environment and enhancing ecology could not even create a dot in the over-all accomplishment. Thus, the local efforts of a Davao City under us must be tied up with national initiatives to make a bigger and significant impact. Take the case of the so-called massive National Greening Program cum tree planting all over the country. Hundreds of millions of pesos are spent by the government on it. But the reality is, it is a case of a “plant and run” project. It is the government’s version of the Slash-and Burn farming method of upland settlers. To make it succeed we would push for the city to tie up with the national government and assume the responsibility of making its share the component for making a livelihood for the upland settlers?  Say, if a family is allocated a still inalienable area of 5 hectares, the city government negotiate with DENR to have the rights holder family to use 2 of their five hectares for planting tree seedlings. Then with funds set aside for the purpose by the city government, pay them certain amount for every surviving tree every six months for a period of five years when the tree will be able to survive on its own. It is a clear way of engaging the community for such environment project making it fully sustainable.

     Oh, sorry for being carried away with some nebulous dreams of ours.  But of course we would be happy if some or certain aspirants would have ever thought of including in their platform even just a minute portion of our ideas borne out of day dreams. Ambitious me? He. He, he…


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