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ROUGH CUTS | Protecting the Panigan-Tumugan Rivers

The latest fire that occurred in Bajada, Davao City was reported to be the 15th incident to happen in the very first month of 2024, according to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Region XI. Wow, what a record for the city! Yet, it is still over a month before the Fire Prevention Month which is March, sets in.

Is the situation a foreboding of what is to come on the very month when fire is expected not to happen? Again, “Let us to see.”


Some 48 motorists were issued citation tickets for violating the Speed Limit Ordinance now “strictly” implemented in Davao City starting last January 11.

That could mean thousands of pesos brought to the city treasury. But were there no other violators who were supposed to be issued citation tickets but were not although money changed hands? We are asking only as we know of many such cases in the past.

Of course we are expecting that when the City Traffic and Transport Management Office (CTTMO) headed by our idol community relations man Ret. P/Col. Dionisio Abude boldly issued a statement he will have the ordinance strictly implemented had his words sunk in into the minds of his traffic enforcers.


The P12-billion bulk water project of the Davao City Water District- Apo Agua Infrastructura (DCWD-Apo Agua) partnership is reported to be already on-line after a long delay. It is now serving a good portion of the city’s population. The partners are again making another promise of protecting the Panigan-Tamugan River, possibly to ensure that the two water bodies will not dry up.
How are they going to do it? Most likely they’ll do it by “planting trees…and hopefully not running” after the activities?

We believe that it is worth reminding the partners that the sources of the water that flows in the two rivers are tributaries from areas as far as the mountain ranges in the boundaries of Davao City with Bukidnon and North Cotabato Provinces. Just how wide or long is the range or coverage of their protection program and projects, we have no idea. That is why many are apprehensive that the partners’ program and projects of protecting the Panigan and Tamugan Rivers may not even make an iota of success in preventing the sources from slowly drying up or the water quality from deteriorating.

Let the partners be further reminded that even any successful water retention cum environmental project “show-cased” in areas within the peripheries of the facilities of the bulk water plant is no guaranty that its expected impact is attained in the up-stream as well.

Can the public possibly get to know the program and the projects of the two entities and where these are to be done so the people can have the opportunity to monitor if these have attained its purpose? We believe this simple request is easily doable.

Of course it is a totally different story if the program and projects are still in the minds of the managements of the partner firms’ think-tank people and still to be laid down on the drawing board.
We can only hope that one very important component in the success of any such program and project implementation – the engagement of the people in the community – is not relegated to the back burners. If their inclusion is negated then protecting the Panigan and Tamugan Rivers is just one wishful thinking.

There is a positive note however. One of the partners, through its social development arm, has long “been there… and done that”. We do not know with the other partner though. So there is something that people can hope for the best from the promised protection of the two river sources of the bulk water.


Is this something to rejoice for the family of a Social Security System (SSS) member who dies? We mean the report that burial assistance is now upgraded to a maximum of P60 thousand and/or adjusted according to the number of years of the demised as member and contributions paid, as well as the latest amount of his or her average monthly salary credit..

Say, in the previous guidelines, even a member who had just contributed one month, if he/she dies, the family get P20 thousand. Under the new rule, the beneficiaries of a member who dies with up to 35 months of contribution payments get a fixed amount of P12 thousand.

According to SSS XI acting regional communications officer Ms. Geneva Shaula Virrey, the new guidelines are also provided under SSS Circular 2023-009 which “aims to incentivize active membership.”
Well, how to interpret the word “incentivize” depends on how grim one’s thought can be.


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