WELL, WE have no idea if we were given the “Angel’s Tongue” (Dila’ng Anghel in Pilipino) when we wrote in our column for this newspaper’s last Wednesday’s issue, February 7.
In that article, we manifested what could have been every Davaoeno’s desire for President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to come to any province or city in the Davao Region. Davaoenos want the President to see for himself the extent of the devastation brought about by the floods and landslides after a week of continuous rains that fell in this part of Mindanao. When the bad weather started the President had his state visit to Vietnam and when he came back he immediately attended a ceremonial rice harvest on a farm run by cooperatives in Pampanga.
Of course, we do not know if that activity was already scheduled long before the heavy rains hit Southern Mindanao. Apparently Marcos, Jr. could not anymore have it moved to give way to his visit to the flood-ravaged provinces and cities.
But last Wednesday the President came without much knowledge of the people in the region. He came to attend to several activities like the formal inauguration of the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project; the distribution of land titles to the region’s Agrarian Reform beneficiaries, the formal launching of Davao City’s public transport modernization system; and finally to the disaster situation briefing at the Panacan Depot of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
BBM also distributed millions in financial assistance to the different local government units affected by the deluge. He also conducted later an aerial inspection of the calamity hit areas.
In his gracing the Bulk Water Project inauguration, media reports said, not a single city official was present. Meaning, that they did away with everything that has something to do with courtesy and respect. To quote the headline story of this paper yesterday, President Marcos, Jr. was literally in the “Lion’s den” when he set foot in Davao City.
And talking of courtesy and respect we could sense that the non-appearance of the city’s elective officials in the Tamugan plant inauguration only indicates how much contempt they have on the President and that they are showing as if the city is already a non-territory of the Philippines.
Of course we cannot blame them (local elective officials) because somehow they are that convinced that the chief executive of the land who, according to Mayor Baste, “lazy and without compassion,” may be not worth their courtesy and respect.
How wrong we were when we thought that disasters were unifying incidents for most people.
But if for now they still consider themselves Filipinos honed in values and education they should have, at least, shown some respect and courtesy to the position that BBM holds if they feel they cannot respect him as a person.
Yet amidst the vicious attacks against the President emanating from Davao over the last few weeks he still came and attended activities held right here at the so-called “Lion’s den. He did that despite his being “lazy and wanting in compassion?”
But what could have raised many a Davaoeno’s eyebrow is the presence of Vice President Sara Duterte in most, if not all, of the activities attended by the President. What did that mean? Apparently the VP has still the trust of the President and possibly “all is well that ends well” between the two top officials of the land.
In Philippine politics, however, the games are played differently in public from those down under where the players want their ulterior motive achieved.
So, the likelihood is that some politician’s main actors could be playing charades using the gullibility of their avid supporters and the expertise of their paid hacks and social media influencers.
We commend second district Councilor Diosdado Mahipus, Jr. for his proposal in the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) to establish safe evacuation areas in Davao City for victims of disasters to be brought while the calamities still rage.
Mahipus Jr. is thinking of either temporary evacuation centers or permanent relocation communities where relocated families from disaster-prone villages in the city can have their permanent residence already.
Honestly, we believed that the Mahipus proposal is a long overdue response of the local government to an already decades-felt problem of many residents in Davao City and of the local government itself. And if the second district councilor is thinking of the more immediately needed evacuation center, maybe he can explore the possibility of making use of that “white elephant” of a project – the P300 million abandoned sports dome along the C.P. Garcia Diversion Road in Ma-a.
While the most mentioned reason for the abandonment is the location of the dome said to be on top of an earthquake fault, the many relatively strong temblors that hit the city over the past many years have not destroyed even a section of the abandoned edifice.
Maybe the 2nd district dad can ask for the support of structural engineers and geologists to check the integrity of the abandoned structure and the underground of the place where it is constructed. Easily, with its size the dome can accommodate hundreds of families that will be evacuated in that building.
And if Mahipus, Jr. wants to have as evacuation sites total communities, maybe he can look into hundreds of hectares of vacant lands in Tacunan some of them already offered to the city for relocation purposes. After all Barangay Tacunan is in the high grounds and unlikely to be flooded. It is also safe from earthquakes as there are no tall and huge buildings that could add to the destruction of communities should such natural disaster strike.
We are strongly behind Councilor Mahipus, Jr. in this proposal of his. Carry on Councilor. You are really a “chip of your father.”
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