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ROUGH CUTS | One monument of waste

The authorities in Davao de Oro could likely have some degree of hesitation when they finally ordered the termination of the search and rescue operation of those buried in the massive landslides in some Maco mountain barangays.

But we believe that it is the best thing that they could have done. It is already one week since the deadly incident. It will be a miracle if some of those covered by soil and big stone boulders still remain alive. Not only that they are deprived of air to breathe they also have neither food nor water to eat and drink. They could not even move their bodies.

So the decision to terminate though painful for both the relatives of the victims and the authorities who ordered the cessation, it is still the proper thing to do. With the rains continuously falling, the areas affected by the landslides could become dangerous for the rescuers, too. At the same time it puts to rest the anguish and expectation of the victims’ families waiting for the search and rescue outcome as days pass by.

The best that can be said by now is, “May the souls of the victims rest in peace in the kingdom of God and their bodies gloriously go back to where they belong – the earth.

We can only hope that the incident will finally serve lessons to people who disregard government warnings to abandon areas considered accident-prone, whether it is of floods and landslides, earthquakes or tsunamis and volcanic eruption.

We hope as well that legislations, whether local or national, be finally passed making evacuation from danger zone mandatory and those who violate will have to suffer certain punishment.

May we wish further that government regulators will be strict in the implementation of laws governing property development if only to assure future occupants and locators of their safety and security.
Take the case of the Jade Valley residential subdivision along C.P. Garcia Diversion Highway. The area was once part of the water way of the mighty Davao River. We are certain that government regulators for subdivision development both from the national and local governments could not have escaped knowledge of that fact. But for a thousand or much more reasons they still gave locational clearance to the developer.

So, with some thin layers of earth fill the location of a supposedly low-cost subdivision became an attractive come-on to the gullible buyers searching for affordable housing subdivision. And for the past two decades the resident-homeowners have been suffering for their erroneous decision.

Their latest perdition was last week’s flood that again submerged their houses with the rampaging water leaving tons and tons of garbage, mud, and other debris. If it were not for the houses still standing in that God-forsaken residential enclave, its condition these days could have easily made it qualify to that of a waste land.

For the uninitiated, they certainly will blame the flood for such conditions. But for the more discerning ones, who do you think will they lay the blame?


Whoever decided to construct that long-completed bridge spanning the creek dividing Barangays Catalunan Grande and Tacunan deserves to be questioned as to his or her mental condition.

Yes, the bridge about 15 meters long, was completed about two years ago. Yet, until now it is not used as there is no approach at the Tacunan side connecting to a road. Meanwhile, on its end at the Catalunan side, an approach to the bridge has been constructed but it is still to be connected to a 2-lane 4-meter road.

We could only assume that the government failed to acquire right-of-ways at both ends of the bridge. Bow if such was the problem at the time of the approval of the project why did the proponent/s still pursue the same? Why did they not just repair and expand the existing steel bridge instead?

We could not help but figure out scenes of the contractor and some other people laughing their way to the bank while the public continued to watch the “white elephant” of a project slowly turning into green with moss invading the concrete structure of the unused span.

If it isn’t a major waste of people’s money paid to the government in terms of taxes, what then is such infrastructure?



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