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ROUGH CUTS | One noble measure, but…

THE MEASURE being deliberated upon by the Davao City Council has a very noble purpose. That is, to ensure the sustained operation and expand the capacity of a privately established foundation catering to the needs of the highly disadvantaged elderly population of the city. By “disadvantaged” we mean those old citizens in the city who have no one to turn to – not even families who are willing to give shelter, feed, and take care of them in the remaining days of their lives.

We are referring to the proposed Ordinance introduced by 3rd District Councilor Wilberto Al-ag seeking to set aside funds as well as create plantilla positions of personnel to be assigned to the Co Su Gian Home for the Aged in Cabantian, Buhangin District. This home for the aged is presently housing, feeding, and taking care of some 50 elderlies whose immediate families cannot do so due to extreme poverty or deliberately dodging such responsibility.

Ironically, the facility was established by a Chinese national – Henry Wee – whose country, China, the Philippines is locked in territorial conflict with. Wee’s family has long been in Davao City and doing business in the area. Fortunately, Chinese nationals are among the leaders in advancing Davao City’s and the Southern Mindanao Region’s economic development since time immemorial.

Al-ag’s (Nonoy) proposed measure is set for discussion in the second reading. The author is, without doubt, hoping for the measure’s smooth sailing.

We believe, however, that there are issues that may have to be settled to avoid any legal conflict in the finalization of Al-ag’s ordinance. Is the said home for the aged still a private foundation? If it is, are there no legal impediments in setting aside public funds to help run the facility? Will funding – partially or in full – the operation of the Co Su Gian Home for the Aged not violate any rule or regulation of the Commission on Audit?

If it is not so much for Councilor Nonoy may be he can look into the mechanics being used in the granting of annual subsidy by the City Government of Davao on the operation of the Boys Town in Maa. We are certain it can give him important inputs in fine-tuning his measures to help the operation of the Cabantian-based home for the aged.


The next mid-term election is less than a year away. In this poll, the electorate of Davao City, just like those in the other local government units all over the country, will be electing their next mayor, vice mayor, councilors (in the case of cities and towns), and governors, vice governors, and board members (in the case of provinces).

In Davao City, the likelihood is that the election for city mayor will be boring again since the possibility is that it will still be a Duterte who will surely run for the highest post. That is, Baste running for re-election, VP Sara, Congressman Pulong, or even it could be the father, former President Rodrigo Duterte.

Still, any of the four will most likely be without any opposition candidate. We are certain that no one Davao City politician would ever dare fight the Dutertes knowing that they are like a granite wall blocking any such ambition.

With the Dutertes in such a huge advantage any aspiring politician whether clothed with extreme popularity or backed with so much finances, will risk their dreams to be nipped in the bud. Rather they would prefer to wait for the opportune time or just join the ruling family’s bandwagon and further build their names up using the Duterte influence.

It is our take, however, that they could be into a long, long wait before that opportune time comes. The new generation of Dutertes is also fast emerging in the city’s political scene.

So, the possibility is that the political squabble will be more intense in the contest for councilors in the city’s three districts. But again, as experience has proven, the candidates closely allied with the ruling political clan have the better chances of making it through. They will surely be carried in the local administration’s machinery.

Of course, there are more notable among possible opposition families in the local political scene. The most prominent is the Nograles of the late former House Speaker Prospero Nograles. But even if any of former Congressmen Karlo, his brother, and incumbent PBA Partylist lawmaker Marga Nograles is goaded to run against any of the Dutertes, and backed to the hilt by the current national administration, we are sure he or she will still be hesitant to do so. In fact Karlo has been part of the Duterte national administration first as Cabinet Secretary and later as chairman of the Civil Service Commission (CSC). He’s been reappointed to the same post under the current President.

But then Philippine politics is as strange as fiction and politicians are the fiction’s willing characters. So politics in this country is always a process of “expecting the unexpected.” And there are no permanent friends or enemies. The only permanent is the interest of politicians.

Want to know of the latest example? Look at what has happened to the UniTeam of the Marcos and the Duterte alliance in the 2022 elections.


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