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ROUGH CUTS | Who’s going to pick the tab?

Vic N. Sumalinog

 SOMETIME in 2018 we were at the Sangguniang Panlungsod session hall of Davao City  to meet a friend who was helping us work out some transactions. While waiting for the appointed time, we got a chance of listening to the deliberation of the council of some of its agenda for that particular session day.

     We had our ears glued when one council member, relatively a news face to us, stood up to present a proposed ordinance that we believed was a very noble one if approved. The proposed local legislation was similar to that existing in Taguig City in Metro Manila. It aims to provide various benefits to officials of the local government including those in the barangays. The benefits that were proposed to be given were mostly health-related such us free annual comprehensive medical check-up, subsidy for medicines, etc., etc.

     We learned in the course of the discussion that the sponsor was one Councilor Bebot Clarion, a barangay captain from Toril District who was appointed to fill in the post vacated by Councilor Bernie Al-ag who was elevated to Acting Vice Mayor to replace then VM Paolo Duterte who quit his post.

     The proposed ordinance however, was only discussed for a short while. It was referred to the Council Committee on Health for appropriate deliberation. Unfortunately, in our monitoring of the proposed ordinance status the remaining days between the introduction of the proposed measure and the deadline of the filing of candidacy for those who were running for the May 2019 election reportedly limited the hearings of the Health Committee. 

     Since we were interested with the proposed local legislation we had to inquire what action was taken by the SP body. It was there that we were informed that it had to be set aside to an indefinite period temporarily for luck of material time. It was indeed unfortunate. 

     The sponsor Councilor Clarion tried his luck in the polls but lost. His proposed very laudable ordinance did not see even the dawn of its fruition.

     From 2019 up to these days, no other council member has picked up the tab for Clarion to reintroduce the proposal. Now that it is election time again we saw the name of Clarion as one of those aspiring for a seat in the City’s third district. Whether Clarion would be lucky this time we will only know after the last vote for councilors in the third district is counted.

     We are hoping though that if the former city dad from Toril will be given the chance, his first action would be to bring back to life his “drainaged” proposal to give what are due the more or less “forgotten” sector among public servants. After all, Davao City is one of the most resources-endowed cities in the Philippines. So it can very well afford its cost.

     Will Clarion make it in a very tightly contested race? Let us to see (Tan-awon nato).

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     We’ve learned also that all is not well in the initial make-up of the Council line-up in the City’s Third District.

     Yes, we were told that as of now, two of the earlier supposedly eight bets in the official Hugpong line-up were reported “sidelined.” The two are incumbents Conrado Baluran and Cocoy Zozobrado. Whatever are the reasons for the sudden dislike, we have no idea. But possibly the two might have courted the ire of the Party’s gods. Of course reconsideration is not impossible if the two will be able to justify their perceived misdemeanors.

     Hugpong of Sara and that of his father the President, after all have not made announcement of any names as replacement. So differences can still be talked over.

     The case of the ouster of the two erstwhile council slate members Small Abellera and Ms. Leah Librado in the first district may be a different story.

                                                                              

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