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ROUGH CUTS | Will there really be penance among ‘fixers’?

FIXERS beware!

How would you like to be seeing yourselves kneeling inside the church not so much to make amends
for your sinful ways but as consequence of what you have done misrepresenting the Office of
Congressman Paolo Z. Duterte of the 1 st District of Davao City?

Yes, the other day Congressman Polong issued a stern warning against those who are peddling around
their supposed “connection” with the Office of the Congressman and offering facilitation services or
even asking favors from certain individuals or some businesses to have their transactions facilitated
through the supposed fixer’s influence.

The youthful lawmaker issued the warning after he heard some reports that his name was dragged
allegedly by a person who claimed he/she has access to the lawmaker and his trusted staff and that
what this person is doing has the knowledge of the congressman.

In other words, if this person offers his/her services to facilitate anyone’s intended transaction with
the office of the congressman or asks for favors in whatever form, he is short of saying his/her activity is
sanctioned by the Congressman’s office.

So aghast was Congressman Polong about this that he wanted those name droppers to be
apprehended and once caught he wants them brought to church and made to kneel , perhaps until their
knee cup bones will be exposed.

We believe that the Congressman should bring the punishment to the next higher level. The “fixers”
whoever or whatever they are, should be brought to the proper courts and tried for crimes appropriate
to his illegal activities. The offices or persons misrepresented must not be lackadaisical with their action
on matters like these. Any tolerance on such illegal activities can only be interpreted that those
concerned have prior knowledge and do not have the real intention to put a stop of the shenanigans.
And talking of fixers here is one for the books. Some guys stationing themselves in strategic locations
in the vicinity of this agency are actually serving as the “extension arms” of a legitimate organization, a
cooperative, of employees in the said agency.

The “arms” are adept in distinguishing people who they think are hard up in finding their way around
the agency. Immediately any of these “extension arms” approaches the “needy” person and asks what
his/her intended transaction in the said office.

Once the supposedly naïve person discloses his purpose the “fixer” immediately offers his/her
services to assist for a fee and proceeds to explain that the fee is so much because certain percentage
(the bulk) goes to the cooperative inside and only so less will go to him or her.

Once the client agrees on the fee the “fixer” or the “extension arm” gets the required documents and
the agreed amount and advises the client to just join the group of fellow clients of the office and wait for
his/her name to be called.

It is from there that the waiting will start but certainly it will not take long compared to those who did
not pass the “extension arms.”

Of course anyone who intends to do business with the said office, and without doubt in several other
regulatory agencies, can have other options in choosing of fixers. He or she can go to legitimate entities
that includes in their services facilitating transactions in their most preferred agencies. These firms, like
other service provider organizations, charge fees complete with official receipts.
Of course their work or service is fixing just the same.


The City of Davao and a Municipality in the Province of Leyte have something in common as the two
have also something in contradiction.

Remember the issue about a bridge in Leyte that was constructed on top of a highway stretch
without an existing river? When it was brought to the public’s consciousness the Department of Public
Works and Highways (DPWH) in that province explained that it has to put up the bridge because there is
big possibility of a soil subsidence on that portion of the highway in the near future. Thus the bridge had
to be constructed to make sure that there will be no traffic disruption should the soil collapse.

Davao City on the other hand, is lucky to have officials of the DPWH or perhaps the City Engineering
Office who are keen in finding areas where such kind of infrastructure is most needed. And they found
one on the creek that serves as the boundary between Barangays Catalunan Grande in the first district
and Tacunan in the third. So the engineering officials were quick to put up a concrete bridge that was
completed over a year ago despite the existence of a still passable steel bridge that connects the two
However, unlike the Leyte project this Davao City connector has a small creek to span. Therefore, it is
a real bridge in every way it is. Like that bridge in Leyte the Catalunan Grande-Tacunan short span can
also generate similar controversy if the public can have the nose for one. Imagine a bridge still
unconnected to any existing road on either of its approaches!

In other words the bridge has been idle since its completion until now because both approaches are
nowhere to be found. And we have still to hear from either the DPWH or the CEO why it is so. If it has a
problem of right-of-way acquisition then why was the bridge built?

For now it is “water underneath troubled bridge” instead of “bridge over troubled water” Is it not a
waste of government money? May be the “fixer” was just too good to be refused.


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