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ROUGH CUTS | Unmasking the huge social disparity

VIEWING the You Tube stations created by some vloggers gives us the opportunity to see vividly the great contradiction and divide of society in Davao City. So clear is the disparity that we could only wonder if our local political leaders, councilors and congressmen more specifically, can have the will to swallow the reality.

     But of course we have learned lately that after the contrast in development between the most rural of areas and those within the confines of the urban and suburban communities of the city was brought to the public consciousness, some projects are slowly introduced in these most blighted parts of the city courtesy of our congressmen in the second and third district.

     For example, when a vlogger unintentionally exposed the hardships of mountain residents in a far-flung upland community in Baguio district probably it was the first time that people in the lowlands know that the upland dwellers have to walk several kilometers and cross a dangerously unpredictable river.  Now we learned that a foot bridge enough for residents bringing their produce to the market is undergoing construction.

     Then we saw another vlog showing residents using a pulley-driven “tram” to load their vegetables while crossing a deep ravine with a river down under. The “tram” line was the shortest to take but it is froth with risk for the produce to go falling down should the cable break.

     Yes there is a hanging bridge built by the Department of Agriculture possibly to help the vegetable farmers in the area. But for one whose house and farms are located far from the bridge’s location the walk is like a journey of a lifetime full of all kinds of difficulties.

     But while the vlogs are presenting the abject poverty in one side of the supposedly well-balanced Davao society they also present huge potentials for the introduction of appropriate development projects in the erstwhile “last frontier” of the city. Meaning, these potentials are just waiting to be discovered. And thanks to the courageous vloggers who brave the dangers in the highlands just to have relevant contents of their vlogs if only to sound some wake-up calls for our public officials.

     And rightly so because we are certain that hardly anyone of our councilors, heads of local government departments, and  of national government agencies had ever gone to these forsaken places.   

     In other words if these  modern “Muhamads” cannot or are not willing to go to the mountains, then thanks to the vloggers that through their vlogs they are able to bring the mountains to the local “Muhamads.”

      The question now is, “Will they do something to alleviate the miserable conditions of many of our mountain folks by crafting projects appropriate for their areas?” Only time can tell. Nonetheless we are a believer in the common saying that “hope springs eternal.” 

     The mountain folks though, could have already unknowingly been waiting for such opportunity for the longest time already.


     Based on the intermittent briefers that come out from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region XI we learned that two major infrastructure projects of government in Davao City are well on their way to full implementation. One, the Davao City Coastal Highway project is reported to be more than half way to completion and that it is just a matter of time and the multi-billion peso road will be open to the public.

     Another is the Davao City By-pass road which has a tunnel component in it. It is also full blast in its construction and in fact the south side road leading to the tunnel is also started with the right of way already cleared and bulldozed specifically from Tacunan to Matina Pangi tunnel exit.

     There is no doubt that the progress of these projects has elated a good number of Davaoenos and their completion is long anticipated.

     However, this one big-ticket infrastructure project which was strongly hyped to be the project of an era – the Mindanao Railway Project which will traverse and connect provinces and cities from south of Mindanao to the island’s north seems to be fading away. 

     So far the excuse for the failure of the railway system to take off is reportedly the problem on the acquisition of right of way. And even as government is unable to resolve the issue a major blow to the long-dreamed of railway has surfaced. The government of China which committed to provide financing for the railway construction, has already withdrawn its commitment. The only remaining hope for the realization of the project is if the new administration is able to renegotiate the financial deal with the Chinese government.

     However, as far as we are concerned the railway project is now dispensable. That is, even if the said project will finally exit from the list of those projects to be undertaken, the coastal highway and the by-pass road are more than enough to decongest the traffic congestion in the main business center of Davao City.  All the more the present traffic will be eradicated if one day soon the gigantic Davao City becomes two resulting to the easing of roads of vehicles going to where all transactions – public or private – are presently being done.




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