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ROUGH CUTS | Fire prevention is shared responsibility

WE congratulate the family of the late Antonio “Tony” Ajero, editor of the local newspaper Edge Davao up to the time of his demise. Tony, as his friends and media colleagues used to call him, is one of this year’s Datu Bago Awardees in the Journalism Category.

     We have no doubt that the late Tony’s contribution to the media professionalization in Davao City and even in the whole of Mindanao was enormous. He was in fact an institution by himself if the media profession is concerned.  Many of those who aspire to be of significance in the media profession someday are looking up to the late editor to emulate.

     We are just saddened because the award came when he is no longer around to savor the perks that go with it, more particularly the honor that the award bestows on the recipient. However, the recognition will definitely be something that Tony’s family will carry in their consciousness for the longest time of their lives.

     In the Datu Bago Awards, Tony’s name will be etched in stone in Davao City’s history.


     The whole of March is traditionally set aside as the Fire Prevention Month. In the past fire incidents welcomed the celebration as if heaping insult to those who are tasked to ensure that fires will not happen not only during the month-long celebration but the entirety of the year. 

     In Davao City, Fire Prevention month was not welcomed with such a disaster. However, its entry was preceded with a huge fire in a thickly populated community of Barangay 21-C along Quezon Blvd. and the still unfinished coastal road. Thousands of households are now packed in the nearest covered courts and not only wondering where they could get their next meals but also thinking whether they will be able to rebuild their houses where it used to stand before the fire.

     While both local and national governments are timely in their delivery of food packs and clothes the victims’ most expressed aid to be received is money to help them start reconstructing their houses.

     Will this badly needed assistance ever come? Has the government have enough resources to respond to the calls of the fire victims so they can be extricated from the hellish atmosphere in the covered courts?

     For the meantime the fire victims are enduring the sardine-like stay inside the covered courts, the lack of comfort rooms and the acute deficiency in the supply of water to satisfy their hygiene requirements as well as for cooking their meals.

     As one Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) official said in the launching of the agency’s fire prevention campaign, “Fire incidents cannot be predicted when to happen, but surely it can be prevented.” And he was right when he added that preventing fire from happening is not just the duty of the firemen. It is a “shared” responsibility with the public.

    And this is something of a fact that cannot be argued: that most of the disastrous fires that happened in the country happened in informal settlers or blighted communities where houses and other structures are made of light materials. Thus, the areas affected are so wide and the number of suddenly homeless people is so huge.


     This one is for the books.

     In Cagayan de Oro City an 11-year-old girl has been reported and confirmed pregnant by no less than the Asst. Regional Director of the Commission on Population (POPCOM) in Region 10. Who should be blamed for this unpleasant-to-the-ears news? Should it be the government, the parents or the society which may have evolved into some degree of permissiveness?

    For us personally, the parents could be largely to blame for their being so wanting in setting example to their teenaged female children. But of course society also plays a significant role. Technology as well contributes a lot. What with the proliferation of gadgets that allows holders to access everything one’s mind can think of including pornography.

     And there is this hardly insatiable desire of teenagers for material needs that oftentimes push them to do inappropriate things for money.

     Should we wonder if there is prevalence of teenage pregnancy?




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