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ROUGH CUTS | The region’s elderly population

IT IS  nice to hear that the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) now under Director P/Col. Alberto Lupaz, is continuing the very effective and laudable project of cultivating an ideal police-community relations. The project of reaching out to the people in the community which the police is sworn to protect was a major highlight during the incumbency of then P/Colonel (now Major General) Michael John Dubria as city director.

     Like in the business sector, it is this one aside of the police service that perhaps has been negated because the police is more focused on its peace and order mandate as well as protection of the community from criminal elements. It is on this aspect that our law enforcers had neglected to the point that at certain times in the performance of their duties they unintentionally earned the distrust of the people in the community.

     When this happens the people see in their policemen not as protectors but the villain themselves. Naturally, the people in the community become hesitant in giving their all-out cooperation to the lawmen in ferreting out criminals lurking in the community. And the people cannot be blamed if they harbor such distrust considering that in recent years until now there are a number of criminal activities with some policemen as directly committing the crime or behind the criminals’ back.

     It is true of course that the erring law enforcers are a minuscule compared to the overall number of the police force. But it is common knowledge that any infraction against a citizen committed by those who are the most unlikely perpetrators – the policemen – are magnified many times over when it reaches the public consciousness. That is why we have this often-stated dictum that “a single rotten tomato in a basketful of such product leaves everything in the basket suspect as to its quality.”

     Slowly though the top police leadership from the government department which have direct control over it, has come to this realization. It is the reason why there is now this effort to bridge the gap between those who are mandated to protect and those who are to be recipients of the protection – the community.

     So, when we saw last week on television the team of policemen coming from the DCPO going out of its way to go to the once feared barangay in the city to interact with the people, give them gifts, provide them medical and social interventions , and even entertain the residents, we were certain the Dubria legacy has rubbed in on Colonel Lupaz.  

     Hence, to our mind, this City Police Director has nowhere to go but up. And we are certain he will not fail because with his and the police rapport with the community he surely has the residents at his back. Carry on Colonel Lupaz.

     After all we know that you are very well aware that fighting criminality is not always won by being so bookish with what is prescribed in the police academy or related institutions but also with the cooperation and support of the people.

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     This one is good news that some people may be apprehensive about later. We are referring to the news report about the increasing number of surviving senior citizens in Region XI whose ages range from 65 years old and over.

     We got this Japan-like situation from the Philippine Statics Authority (PSA), that government agency that is consolidating and maintaining records of the country’s population and its demographics. The same disclosure was also confirmed by no less than the Commission on Population, the agency tasked to provide government advice on programs intended to harmonize the development endeavors vis-à-vis the population situation of the country.

     PopCom, as the agency is more popularly known, also disclosed that the life expectancy of the people is now on the average of 79 years old. In other words, this figure supports the veracity of the increasing number of people in their senior years in the whole of Southern Philippines.

     Indeed there is reason for the government to be apprehensive with this regional population state. So far it is not revealed as to whether the majority of the seniors population are financially stable through regular receipt of monthly pension or under the loving care of their children. The PSA has not come out with details as to the economic status of the senior citizens. 

      Therefore, we deem it imperative for the government – local or national – to know the figures related to the conditions of the senior citizens. Say, how many of them are regular pension recipients; getting regular financial support from children such as allotment from their overseas working kin, still working, or those slowly becoming mendicants and sickly.

     This way the government will have good basis in implementing programs and projects that may be necessary to deal with the problems that may later emanate from the swelling number of elderlies in this part of the country or elsewhere.

                                                                                        

     

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