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ROUGH CUTS| MDDA is still without IRR

At the height of the flooding in almost all provinces and cities of Mindanao in the early weeks of January this year, we were a little bit of boasting when we said that Davao City is lucky enough for having been spared from the disastrous calamity. But we were proven wrong. 

Early this week the City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) reported that a total of twelve low-lying barangays in Davao City were flooded after the major rivers swelled due to strong rains that continued to fall for almost the whole of last Tuesday night. Among the city’s natural waterways that overflowed were the Davao River in the central district, and the Bunawan and Lasang Rivers in the north sector.  

As always when the Davao River swells, the Jade Valley just within the vicinity of the Maa Bridge was immediately inundated and those whose houses are only a single floor were the first to absorb the brunt of the raging floodwater. Good thing that the “lucky ones” at Jade Valley were kind and accommodating enough to allow villagers whose houses were submerged by the water, into the second floor of their residence.  So the local government of the city did not have many evacuations to be done in that particular residential enclave.

Of course, it was a different story in the case of the overflowing of the Bunawan and Lasang Rivers. Due to the huge number of families affected and the houses that were submerged in water, there were a lot of evacuation to be done by the functionaries of the barangays, the rescue units of the CDRRMO, and for the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) to attend to starting early in the morning of Wednesday.

The flood which rendered the highway in those northern parts of Davao City into a sudden water world, became unpassable to vehicles large and small. So, we learned from the city’s traffic management office and from some of our friends who were stuck in the area either going north or coming into the downtown that motorists have to wait until dawn on Wednesday to be able to extricate themselves from the traffic mess brought about by the submerged highway.

We are, however, happy because other than destroyed houses, and some businesses temporarily closed while the owners were cleaning the house or building interiors, there was not a single fatality reported. Of course, we cannot help but be sorry as well because of the disruption in some livelihood activities of the ordinary Davaoeno just to do away with the mess that the flood brought.

Again, we do not doubt that the local government authorities as well as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will again be busy and noisy as well, talking of this and that flood mitigation projects.

We found it to be the norm every after major flood in the city occurs. But soon after talks about anti-flood projects will die down with the people left with their mouths widely gaping while wondering what happen to the much talked about flood mitigation projects.

This situation reminds us of a joke usually said or referred to when the weather is likely to bring rain anytime of the day. The joke runs this way: “A worried housewife frantically calls her husband and instructs him to fix their roof as the rain was about to fall anytime. The lazy husband simply shrugs off his shoulders and tells his wife, ‘Ah, you have nothing to worry dear. Anyway, the roof will only leak when it rains.”


 And here is one for the Ripley. 

Remember the law that creates the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority (MDDA)? The bill was signed into law by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jt. sometime towards the end of the third quarter of last year.

It was very welcome news in the entire Davao Region as the law was expected to start the harmonization of the development programs for the entire Davao Region. But according to the law’s author, Davao City 3rd District Congressman Isidro “Sid” Ungab, for the MDDA to take effect its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) have to first be in place as these will be the basis of the MDDA operationalization.

Sometime in November last year, we had a conversation with the congressman through Messenger apps and we were informed that the Council that was to craft the IRR was still to be constituted and its members to be appointed. Whether the appointment is to be done by the President or by a special unit of Congress, we have no idea.

The MDDA creation which created a loud decibel in this part of the country suddenly fell silent although Davaoenos were all eagerly awaiting the constitution of the Council to prepare the IRR.

Early this week we again inquired from Congressman Ungab about the status of the IRR for the MDDA and he was quite sad in telling us that until this week the Council has not yet been constituted. Therefore the IRR remains in limbo.  Ungab said he was again following it up with Malacanang hoping that finally warm bodies will be had already to work on the IRR of the MDDA.


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