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ROUGH CUTS | Invite them to the Council in session

Early this week we read in Facebook a statement posted by First District Councilor Tek Ocampo, a former media personality, calling the attention of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and its contractors to justify the practice of destroying even still very serviceable roads to give way to some repair projects (kuno).

His observation is no different from ours which for the longest time we had been bringing out to the public’s consciousness. In our observation however, there was one more thing that had not been mentioned in the councilor’s call to the infrastructure agency of government and to its contractors. In a succeeding chat with the councilor, we told him that he should also bring to the attention of the DPWH why it is overlaying asphalt of several newly concreted roads. The asphalt has in fact created risk of road accidents as in the case of the C.P. Garcia Diversion Highway from Maa Crossing up to the junction at the relief road from San Rafael. The asphalt overlay has become corrugated due to the heat of the sun. The contour makes it risky for motorists.

We told Councilor Tek that we could not understand why the DPWH spend so much money from the taxpayers in having the roads cemented, and in a short while spend some more to overlay the roads with asphalt. We said that it is some scheming way of double jeopardizing the taxpayers. The money spent for the overlaying of asphalt coujld have financed other important projects like farm-to-market roads, school buildings that have been complained of by the Department of Education as sorely lacking, and many more.

Councilor Tek also told us in the same chat conversation that he received reactions from people in some municipalities in Davao Oriental claiming that his observation on the DPWH scheme is also prevalent in their area.

Earlier, after reading the councilor’s open statement we suggested to him to invite representative from the DPWH and the contractors to appear in the City Council in session to shed light on the issue. In our later chat Councilor Tek said he intends to bring our suggestion to the chair of the proper committee in the city’s legislative body.

If the invitation will push through we further suggest to Councilor Tek and to his colleague-members of the concerned committee to inquire from the DPWH why the agency constructed a bridge spanning the creek that serves as boundary of Tacunan in the third district and Catalunan Grande in the first district. The bridge has not been opened to vehcular traffic since it was completed some three years ago. It has no approach at the Tacunan end even as its Catalunan side is already with concreted access although still unconnected to the existing barangay road.

Many suspect that the problem of the lack of approach at the Tacunan end of the roughly 15 meter bridge is the acquisition of right-of-way. Then why did the DPWH implement the bridge project in the first place? .

The appearance of the DPWH official/s could be an opportune time for them to inform the public on why the agency wasted the people’s money in such a white elephant. The people of Davao certainly deserve to know.


In only the first week of the supposed Fire Prevention Month of March, already two fire incidents occurred in Davao City. First was the one in Panacan. The second was at Barangay 36-D along Quezon Blvd. Last Thursday afternoon.

In both fire occurrences the damage and the areas as well as the people affected could be considered minimal.. Meaning, the response of firefighter and residents within the vicinity of the fire-struck areas were quick and appropriate..

Maybe it is about time for the government to change the celebration theme from Fire Prevention Month to Fire Suppression Month. As can be observed in the last two fire incidents in the city it appears that the minimization of the fire damage was the result of the quick and effective response of firefighters and the presence of mind of those directly affected. Had they panicked and lost control of their wits, then the damage could have been severe.


Mayor Baste Duterte calls on the national government to help local government units (LGUs) to thwart acts of terrorism. He made the call during the rites remembering the deadly blast at the vicinity of the old Sasa airport on March 4, 2003. The blast killed 22 innocent people most of them either meeting their arriving relatives, or sending off departing love ones.

We however doubt if his call will have any positive result. In the first place the Davao City mayor knows that he is calling on the national government headed by one he personally called a “lazy and uncompassionat President.”

So will the “lazy” national government executive take any effort to respond to the mayor’s call. Or, will the President prove the city mayor right in his description of the man in Malacanang? This one is worth waiting. “Let us to see.”

But if only to give mayor Baste one good idea to guide him in his efforts to prevent terrorist from sowing havoc in the provinces and cities like Davao, it may be worthwhile for him to read thi wisdom of one modern philosopher: “If one wants to find a helping hand he or she can find it first at the tip of his own arm.”


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