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ROUGH CUTS | Baste’s enabling EO on mask wearing

WELL,  Davao City Mayor Baste Duterte could not have done anything better in his issuance of his own
Executive Order as local chief executive reinforcing what the President had earlier issued making
wearing of face mask already optional in certain open areas or even in some closed spaces except
hospitals and other health and wellness facilities.

Mayor Baste’s own EO is in effect some kind of an enabling mandate to ensure effective compliance
by residents of Davao City of the President’s mandate. It is one good realization of the young mayor of
Davao City that if only to give the nationally-initiated order a local face he must issue his own.
Imagine immediately after Malacanang released the copy of the President’s EO people all over the
country did not lose time to celebrate what they may have thought of having acquired a new freedom.
Of course, the more discreet and careful prefer to heed the advice of health authorities to remain extra
vigilant because despite the substantial number of the vaccinated the pandemic status of CoViD has not
been lifted.

Even in Davao City we can still personally assume that the number of mask wearers is still much
bigger than those seen without the protective air screener. In other words, it means that in Davao City
more are still afraid of the virus infection than those who believe they are now pretty well safe.
But of course Mayor Baste could not have decided to issue his EO if he was not thoroughly briefed of
the actual situation in the city as far as CoViD is concerned, by his team of health experts and other
relevant advisers.

We know for sure that the Mayor is not that kind of leader who will gamble the health of his
constituents just to show that he is doing something regarding the economy derailing virus.
For that single act alone Mayor Baste deserves every city resident his or her appreciation.


Last Fridsay, December 2, was “Araw ng Barangay” in Talandang, Tugbok District. One of those
expected to grace the occasion was Mayor Baste Duterte. Since the venue of the activities during that
celebration was not quite far from our rural residence, we found time to go to the place hoping that we
could talk to the mayor and show him the deteriorating condition of garbage bins delivered by the city
government through the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) shortly before the
onset of the CoViD pandemic. The garbage bins are just piled up in an outer corner of the barangay
covered court and are now slowly hidden by growing tall variety of grass. Unfortunately the mayor failed
to come.

Had the mayor been there we are sure he can understand our continued harping on the
undistributed receptacles. He knows too well the bins are bought by people’s money and are now part
of the city’s idle resources. He too knows the city’s garbage are increasing in volume every day since the
population is also growing in number. In fact the mayor is well aware that the city’s sanitary landfill
facility is already full and soon the local government will be scouting for another location for the
relocation of the land fill.

But we are however, not certain whether the mayor is aware that even in suburban areas and in
villages within the peripheries of the city proper, more and more garbage from household are just being
dumped on roadsides simply because there are no existing depositories. Moreover, there is certainty
that the number of dump trucks contracted to haul garbage is decreasing for whatever reason.
Moreover, there are only a few city-owned and operated garbage trucks. And seldom can we see these
vehicles go to the rural barangays to haul garbage. Yes, we see them often but just passing by and not
doing garbage picking and hauling.

Our frustration of not having met Mayor Baste in that Araw ng Barangay celebration was however
lessened a little because the Vice Mayor of the City in Atty. Jay Melchor Quitain was around although we
still failed to talk to him because by the time he arrived we already have gone home.

There were also several councilors from the Third District like Councilors Nonoy Al-ag, Myrna Dalodo-
Ortiz, Cocoy Zozobrado, Sweet Advincula, and even Sano Conde Baluran. But even as we did not have
the opportunity to tell them of our concerned on the undistributed garbage bins, we are certain that
they could not have missed seeing the bins pile as this was just beside the stage of the covered court.
We just hope that they did not pretend not to see the idle resources of the city.


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