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ROUGH CUTS | Signs of inequality

Will the Samal Island Davao City Connector Bridge Project (SIDC) be ever realized?
This is a hundred thousand dollar question seeking for one definitive answer.

The biggest hope for its implementation was when we have a Davaoeno sitting as President in Malacanang in former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Everything seems to be in order with funding for the project guaranteed with a loan from the government of China. But when the opposition – not to the bridge project but on its realignment – gets louder and stronger the hope started to fizzle down.

Then came the further straining of relations between the Philippines and China because of the West Philippine Sea issue. Whether the government admits it or not, the disagreement certainly played a role in the possible placing of the SIDC in the back burner.

Of course for now the most convenient and credible reason of the non-implementation are the existing cases brought by some adversely affected stakeholders against the project now pending deliberation by the Supreme Court.

Hence, the SIDC project realization will be totally dependent on the ruling of the High Court which is yet to come no one knows when.

Will the ruling come out during the last four and a half years of the current administration? Every one else’ guess is as good as ours.

Meanwhile, the bridge spanning Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental located at the Pangil Bay which is as long as the proposed one in Samal and Davao City and costs thrice less with funding from the South Korean government, is now about 90 percent complete.

Everyone in those provinces in Mindanao is eagerly awaiting for the bridge’s full completion.

On the other hand the people of Davao City and Samal, as well as those from the other provinces and cities in the Davao Region, are still waiting for the resolution of the cases by the Supreme Court, and hopefully the start of the construction.

Many, including us, may not anymore be lucky enough to see the first post to be erected. But we would still be happy that the generations to come after us may already enjoy the convenience of the bridge.
So cases of Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) have increased significantly in 2023?

According to the Davao City Integrated Gender and Development Division (IGDD) it recorded a total of 2,707 VAWC cases in the entire 2023, a 45.2 percent increase from the 2022 cases of1,864.

No, it is not true that men are getting more violent last year. Rather, we believe that given the awareness that humans are created equal, women are likely to attempt at fighting men in their own game. But given the fact that untrained women are the epitome of the so-called “weaker sex” naturally the fight will always end up in men’s favor.

However, as rightly claimed by the IGDD that women are now given easy access for lodging complaints against men, or children given assistance to complain against abuses by men on them, the VAWC cases naturally spike.

With situation like this now prevalent in Davao City, we believe the bigger challenge is how the IGDD could help deter the further spike of VAWC cases and not just do the monitoring.

It should have to conceptualize programs and projects that will redound to the change in men’s attitude towards women and children.


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