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ROUGH CUTS| Back to our nebulous dream

IN YET another reversal of position, former President Rodrigo R. Duterte said in his speech in the Cebu City version of a prayer rally that he is not totally against the planned Charter Change.

That is, if the change will only be limited to the economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution. He added that what he is against is that the change will be made to the political provisions in the 1987 Charter. He is afraid that those proponents of the change would be making revisions that will allow the extension in the term limit of those currently sitting elective officials, foremost the current President.

Well, had the former President said it during his speech at the Davao City prayer rally, the country would not have been led into one apparent political upheaval that shook the highly partisan Filipino people.

Easily the heated exchanges of words by the known lapdogs of political personalities from opposing camps would have been avoided and the treatment of issues would have been sober.

However, expletives and other harsh words, as well as unfounded allegations stoked the fire to the extent that many bridges of friendship and political union were burned.

The victims, of course, are as usual the country’s economy and political stability – the ordinary Filipino people.

What a tragedy.


As announced by the City Traffic and Transport Management Office (CTTMO) of Davao, a rerouting scheme was implemented starting yesterday. This is in connection with the 87th celebration of Araw ng Dabaw.

There is no doubt that this will result in traffic congestion on several downtown roads. This could also mean additional transportation expenses for commuters because many of them may have to take double, even triple rides to reach their final destination. Drivers, too, will have to jack up their budget for gas.

Where does this road situation lead us to? Where else but the nagging problem of the burgeoning traffic congestion of the city which until now has remained only partially addressed despite the opening of Phase 1 of the much boasted about Davao City Coastal Road.

Yes, we have observed some slight easing of vehicle congestion starting from the stretch of the MacArthur National Highway from Matina Crossing down south to crossing Bago Aplaya.  However, going downtown from Crossing Matina is still a Golgotha to motorists.  And with the southern sector of the city still having no alternative routes for both private and public utility vehicles, vehicular traffic is still in humongous bedlams.

There are upcoming projects that are expected to address the traffic problem such as the second phase of the coastal highway and the by-pass road that has a tunnel component. The bypass road starts from Panabo in the north down to Toril in the south. But from the way acquisition of vehicles is made very easy these days, it would not be surprising that by the time the road projects mentioned are completed, the number of vehicles plying the city streets could already be close to double.

That is why we personally believe that the only long-term solution to the present traffic problem is to divide the city into two local governments. The division will lead to the establishment of new government centers where offices of both local and national agencies will be established. In the process residents now belonging to the new city will have to transact business with the agencies thereat. Therefore new routes will be established and the convergence of people will no longer be concentrated in the present downtown area.

Business establishments now located in areas encompassed by the new city will be dealing with regulatory bodies whose offices will be housed in the new government centers.

Would it be hard to imagine the number of vehicles leaving their usual routes these days to serve the routes leading to the new government centers as well as the number of commuters going to malls and other establishments located in areas that are part of the new city? Will this creation of a new LGU also disperse the development long denied to a large area of the present Davao City?

But this idea of a solution to the traffic mess will likely remain a nebulous dream. We are certain that no one brave soul from among our Congressmen will ever attempt to lead the initiative. They cannot afford to court the ire of the ruling political gods to whom they owe their allegiance.


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