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ROUGH CUTS | Lung cancer on the rise

Big news in Davao City: CCTV law revised. This is a very well though-of move by the City Council.
Unfortunately, the criminals in the city are either at pace or probably even a step ahead of the local lawmaking body.

By this time they too have already upgraded their schemes in committing the crimes they want to do. And oftentimes the criminals, especially the organized ones, even outwit the police, more so if they have “connections” inside the law enforcers’ group.


It is a good thing that the drivers’ groups in Davao City did not join the Piston that launched a 3-day transport strike in Metro Manila despite claims of the strikers that their stoppage is done nationwide. The Piston’s transport strike was slated to end yesterday even as another drivers and operators organization was set to start their own “welga” also yesterday – the Manibela.

We are not certain whether the drivers and operators in Davao City have joined the Manibela’s transport strike. We have yet to hear their manifesto or pronouncement.

However, if the local transport groups will remain unsupportive of their Metro Manila counterparts that would be the best option that they have taken. After all, there are other means of manifesting one’s disagreement on certain policies of government, especially when the welfare of the public that the drivers and operators are sworn to serve under their franchise is at stake.


So there are about four to five cases of lung cancer recorded at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) alone every week? If the same cases recorded in other public and private hospitals in Davao City and the whole of the Davao Region are added, then it is likely that lung cancer cases could reach as many as fifty every week. That would be a whooping number in each year.

What is the government, specifically the Department of Health, doing about it? Something has to be done if there is the intension to reduce the number. And we believe that this is where the need for an effective information, education and communications (IEC) campaign is of utmost importance. Other than the IEC perhaps government regulators should focus more on crafting policies that carries more teeth. By policies we mean laws or ordinances that will look into known causes of lung cancer and impose stringent requirement in the sale of items that can exacerbate the development of the illness.

Say, if smoking, use of prohibited drugs or substances, and drinking of liquor are major causes of lung cancer, then our government policy makers must ensure that laws and ordinances must be focused on regulating the sale or even prohibiting the merchandise’s disposal to certain sectors of the people.
In fact one very effective ordinance that the Davao City Council had passed several years ago is on the prohibition of smoking in enclosed places and mandating establishments to have designated smoking areas.

In the early months of the ordinance’s implementation and monitoring was still regular, it was found to have been religiously followed. There were several apprehensions done by the authorities on violators.
Today we have no idea whether the said ordinance is still being adhered to by establishments and the people who cannot do away with smoking as a vice.


Activist defeated senatorial candidate in 2022 Walden Belo openly manifested his hope that the dismissal of two drugs cases against former Senator Leila de Lima and the court’s allowing her bail in a third case, will positively affect his own cyber libel case. Belo is facing a cyber libel case filed by then Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte for the former’s claim that the lady city executive who is now Vice President of the Philippines knew of the drugs involvement of her former information officer at city hall. The former information guy was arrested in a drugs raid in a resort in Davao de Oro years back. Belo’s insinuation did not bode well with the then City Mayor who said that it was a direct affront to her integrity as mayor. Hence the cyber libel case since the losing senatorial bet’s statement was done through the social media.
Today Belo is hoping that what De Lima got in terms of the presiding judge’s opinion on the evidences at hand against the former senator and justice secretary will apply on his case as well.
Hope springs eternal, as the saying goes. And respondent Belo can cling to the saying.


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