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ROUGH CUTS | Will anyone take up the challenge?

Vic N. Sumalinog

IT SEEMS no one candidate either for mayor or congressman in Davao City shows indication that he/she is willing to include in his/her platform of government the plan to have the city divided into two local government units (LGUs).

     We are passionate about this proposition of ours to be picked up by any of the candidates because we believe that Davao City is too large in terms of size and population as well as income. Thus, it is our take that even if current and aspiring officials will say that it is still governable, it is easier said than done. 

     Easily, the disparity between the most rural areas especially the highland communities and those in the urban and suburban parts of the city is very distinguishable. The highlanders, because of the remoteness and distance of their areas from the centers of government service and commercial activities suffer from serious deprivation. Utilities services like water, power and communication; social services like health and education remain a difficult challenge for those who seek them from the hinterlands.

     While it is true that the current administration both at the national and local levels, are now doing its maximum best to reach out to these seemingly outback territories in the city, it still cannot be denied government services come in only in trickles and on an intermittent basis. Thus, it has become the burden of the extremely rural residents to seek these services out by going down to the nearest area where such services can initially be found, or worst still in the city center.

     And can anyone imagine how much a disadvantaged resident in, say Pangyan in the third district spends in going down to Calinan proper; or one fromTagurano has to shell out for transportation alone in going down to Toril center?

     The cost of travel from barangay Pangyan to Calinan and back is roughly P200. If the cost of food and snacks is added to it, then surely the person seeking something from a government office in the Calinan center will climb up to as much as P400. And the completion of transactions cannot even be assured in just one trip. In all likelihood, the cost of travel from Tagurano to Toril proper and vice versa could be the same more or less. How much more sacrifices have to be done and expenses to be accrued if the constituents from much farther up there have to transact in the government or private offices right at the city’s main center?

     That is the primary reason why we believe that if the government or those aspiring to be servants of the people by desiring to be elected to either mayor or congressman in Davao City, they should see the logic of dividing the city into two LGUs.

     They should also do justice to the guiding principles of a democratic government. That is, that the Philippines being one, our aspirants for city mayor and/or congressmen must assure their constituents their leadership is desirous to have a government “of the people, for the people, and by the people.” And we believe that they can effectively carry out this mantra if they can bring the government closer to the people or the people closer to where government operation emanates.

     Hence, in such a city as large, populous and resource-laden as Davao, it is only appropriate that our leaders should not show greed for turf and dominion over a large number of constituents. And we believe our leaders and those still aspiring to be the next elective officials can very well manifest the absence of this undesirable trait if they will not hesitate to include the creation of another LGU from the present One Davao City in their platform. Radical and unconventional though it seems, it is definitely beneficial to the people of a single Davao City.

     Will anyone from the present crop of candidates for Mayor or congressman in Davao City stand up and be acknowledged? It’s not too late yet.

     For comments and/or reactions we can be reached through our a-mail address:; Mobile No. 09392980435; or Landline 2372169.




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