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ROUGH CUTS| Who is stalling the MDDA effectivity?

LUCK WAS with us last Friday afternoon. We were invited by Davao Light and Power Co. and the Principal of Porfirio L. Antipala National High School in Talandang, Tugbok District, to attend the turn-over rites of another electrical laboratory donated by the power firm to the said secondary educational institution. 

The E-Lab is the 40th training hub for students, especially in senior high school who would want to learn the skills on the electrical wiring of buildings and structures. Electrical installation is one of the skills under the Technical Vocational strand of the current secondary curriculum of the Department of Education.  

The 39th E-Lab was also turned over Friday morning in Biao Escuela National High School, some two kilometers away from where the 40th was built. Construction of E-Labs is one of the projects under Davao Light’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, the firm’s means of support to the country’s basic education curriculum in partnership with the Social Development arm of the Aboitiz Group of Companies, the Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.

The company’s previous other CSR projects include school building construction, high school and college scholarships, computer laboratory and unit donations, installation of solar power in communities located in off-grid areas, medical missions, and related health services in cooperation with medical practitioners and health workers’ organization, street lighting projects in partnership with the city government, and last but certainly not the least, the underground cabling of some critical and strategic city streets.

We were elated because on that occasion, we were able to meet old friends from way back in our former employer. As expected, we met again Davao Light’s Head of the company’s Reputation Enhancement Department, Fermin “Buboy” Edillon. The guy used to be a supervisor in the Department that we previously headed in the power firm before our retirement.

Of course, it was an honor to meet Engr. Rodger Velasco is now the president and chief operating officer (COO). He personally did the turn-over of the ceremonial key as well as paired with Ms. Lilia Marilla, school principal, in the ribbon-cutting. Others who came and joined in the two turn-overs in Biao Escuela National High and Porfiro L. Antipala NHS but left earlier were Third District Councilor Alberto Ungab, and DepEd XI assistant regional director Rebonfamil Baguio. There were three other school cluster supervisors whose full names escaped our memory. So we decided not to attempt mentioning them and risk being mistaken. But they were adorable ladies who, we are certain are deeply devoted to their job.

With our getting invited and joining the group, we were like being walked back on memory lane, having led the Davao Light CSR unit and program for a long time until our retirement.

And we were mesmerized by Engr. Velasco’s words on learning are not just a matter of seeing and hearing teachers’ inputs but applying in actuality what was said and heard. The E-Laboratory is one facility where learning by application can be achieved.


Now we know why the council that is supposed to draft the Implementing Rules and Regulations to effectively set into motion the implementation of the Metro Davao Development Authority (MDDA) has not been convened. The MDDA still remains in its utopic stage. One governor of a province that is part of the law-created body is playing the “devil’s advocate.”

Yes, the lady governor of Davao del Sur is questioning the law’s constitutionality in creating the MDDA. According to our source, whose information was later confirmed by no less than the primary author of the MDDA law, Davao City’s third district congressman Isidro ‘Sid” Ungab, the Davao del Sur governor thinks the newly created authority is not just a simple planning and project harmonizing body but actually a “new entity.”

Frankly, we do not know how “expert” the Davao del Sur governor or her legal adviser is. The Bill, before it was consolidated with its Senate counterpart, underwent stringent debates and discussions in both houses of Congress. Moreover, we are definite Congressman Ungab sought the legal opinion of several lawyers regarding the crafting of the bill that was eventually signed into law by the President.

Perhaps, even the congressmen from Davao del Sur voted in favor of the bill. Thus, it is all the more surprising why the governor of the province believed the MDDA is a “new political entity.”

Until now, according to Congressman Sid, the Supreme Court has not acted yet on the lady governor’s legality question.

Therefore, the governor’s action has succeeded in tying the hands of the President to appoint the Council members who will be tasked to draft the IRR of the MDDA.

As to the reason or reasons why the Davao del Sur governor is playing the devil’s advocate, we have no idea. But we, and many other Davaoenos, will be happy if she will disclose the same. What about that Gov. Madam Cagas?


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