WE congratulate the local government of Davao City for successfully hosting the just concluded International Triathlon event that brought in a number of visitors either participants to the sport or plain spectators.
We congratulate as well, the event organizers for the efficient handling of all the activities prior to, during, and after the culmination of the sports extravaganza. It is nice to know that there were no glitches. There was also no single incident that can be considered a disruption of the peace and order of the city while the triple event games were in progress. And as usual, we take our hat off to Ret. Police Colonel Dionisio Abude, head of the City Traffic and Transport Management Office (CTTMO) and his men for the superb handling of the road situation where the on-land games – marathon and biking – were held.
Had it not been well-planned, there likely would have been bedlam on the designated routes for marathoners and bikers.
Overall, all this hosting prowess of the city could have already created a lasting positive impression on both local and international participants and triathlon enthusiasts. Therefore, we would not be surprised if some of them, if not all, will be seeking an encore for a Davao run. But we have heard that the just concluded event was the city’s last. Is it true? We hope there will be some changes in the minds of that particular sports gods… and the city officialdom, as well.
Some 27 kilometers from Davao City proper, specifically in Biao Guianga, Tugbok District going inland, a housing subdivision was started by the government through the National Housing Authority (NHA). Work on the project site was fast, starting from the site development up to the construction of beautiful 2-level duplex houses. The residential buildings were supposed to be awarded to qualified police and military personnel. There were even talks that some of the finished houses will be awarded to rebel-returnees who qualified in the process of evaluation.
The site of the subdivision is ideal not only in terms of distance but also in the rural ambience that the area provides. In fact, there were possibilities that the design of the duplex houses and the construction itself were a source of envy for previous housing applicants even in privately developed subdivisions offering duplex structures.
We are a frequent passer-by on the site because we have our rural residence in a barangay some three to four kilometers away from the site. And we were able to observe the weekly progress in the construction work. In fact, a good number of the houses were already painted and seemingly ready for occupancy by whoever were the house beneficiaries.
But then, from out of the blue, our sight was suddenly blocked by a large billboard that kept the view of the rising houses. The billboard has some inscriptions in it saying that the work on the said subdivision project was temporarily suspended pending compliance by the developer/contractor with certain documentary requirements.
We have no idea how valid is the claim by the NHA, and we hope our friend, former NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr., can give us some explanation. Better still, we would be extremely happy if the former NHA top brass could enlighten us on what particular requirement the developer has failed to comply.
If indeed there was such a requirement, how come the contractor or developer has been allowed that long to implement the project when easily he could have been warned of cancellation of the contract with him if he failed to submit the requirement? Why was the developer allowed to continue working that long even up to the point that some units of the duplex houses were already ready for TURNOVER?
It had been some months back since we last passed the project area, and by that time, the billboard announcing the supposed developer’s submission of the critical document was still prominently displayed.
Is that requirement so extremely important, like it is a matter of a “life-and-death” situation that the continuation of the work cannot be done without?
If the problem is not yet settled up to now and the “hold status” is still in effect, has the NHA or the government, for that matter, not thought of the magnitude of the money that has been wasted even as its work stoppage is kind of depriving several homeless households the opportunity to have houses of their own?
Or, is the NHA entertaining the plan to have the local Kadamay organization mobilized to take over the houses for themselves? Or, is the agency simply out to convert the said subdivision into another “white elephant” for the homeless people to salivate?
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