ROUGH CUTS| Better prepared than be sorry

IT’S ALL but the votes of the editors of New York Times publications that are being awaited for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to run away with the top spot of world’s 100 “Most Influential Leaders Award.”

As of the latest outcome of the on-line voting worldwide President Duterte tops all others with a commanding 5 percentage points. He is followed by such influential men as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Traudeu, Pope Francis, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberge and a few others all getting identical 3 percentage points score.

If this will not change after the NYT editors shall have voted, then it would be the first time in history that a Philippine leader will have acquired such lofty position among the world’s most influential people.

We have no idea how the President’s critics would react to such an accolade. But one thing is certain; those who voted for the President in such a very prestigious award must have seen the Philippine leader differently from the way his critics see him.

Be that as it may, there is no use arguing that if such an accolade will finally be given to the President it should be a cause for rejoicing by the Filipino nation. And those who do not agree with the President can join in the elation if they so desire. But will they?

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After the one week respite in traffic congestion in Davao City’s major thoroughfares courtesy of the Holy Week, people can clearly see that vehicular convergence is back.

We have personally witnessed this resurgence of the traffic problem last Tuesday, specifically at the stretch from the Quirino Ave.-Sta. Ana junction up to crossing Mamay road in Lanang.

Vehicles were bumper-to-bumper and this has been exacerbated by undisciplined drivers who dropped or picked up passengers even if they are not yet properly situated on the road sides. Yet, this condition of the city roads is happening despite the fact that it is class vacation time and thousands of students are not going to schools.

It is in this context that we feel our traffic managers both from the local government and the police office should now sit down to craft measures that can be readily implemented when classes resume this June.

We are certain that there will be substantial increase in the number of students coming from the provinces enrolling in Davao City schools. So, it would not be surprising if the traffic situation during the next school year could even be worst than that of the previous school year.

On the other hand, we are again eagerly looking forward to the City Engineer’s Office finally implementing its planned inspection of buildings in the city, including schools and related edifices. With what is happening now in certain areas in the country like Lanao del Sur, Batangas, and Surigao del Norte, and even in Davao, we can never tell when a “big one” would strike the city.

As they say, there is no substitute for prevention. Therefore, if the local engineering authorities know that there are buildings that are potential risks during earthquakes even if it is not strong as feared, preemptive and/or corrective measures can still be undertaken. This way serious damage on such buildings can be prevented. As a consequence there will also be lesser damage to properties or number of human casualties.

And talking of resumption of classes, it cannot be denied that several buildings in the city, especially those that are already years in age, are being converted into low-cost boarding houses for students coming from the provinces or rural communities in the city.

Considering the relaticvely lower monthly rentals of this kind of boarding establishments, it is likely that non-Davao City resident students would prefer to stay in such low-cost boarding houses than those that are a bit more swanky and expensive.’

And these are the kind of edifices that are highly vulnerable not only to earthquakes but also to fire.

So, gentlemen in the CEO, let the inspection begin now; not tomorrow or next week. Or, such move will end up being overtaken by untoward incidents if delayed any further.

Posted in Opinion