ROUGH CUTS| Bustling Catalunan Grande

WE ARE one with Central 911 chief Emmanuel Jaldon in saying that a good number of barangays in Davao City are not complying with the law on Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) especially on existing plans of the local government which, unfortunately we have yet to see copies being shared or presented to the public through the media. (Why can’t they city put it in pamphlet form and distribute to the media and the barangays for the public’s reference?)

     The officials of the 20 percent of the city’s 182 barangays who Jaldon said, are not complying with the requirements of the DRRM law or Republic Act 10121 of 2010 must be firm practitioners of making the sign of the cross only when the lightning strikes.

     Yes, these officials are perhaps the most complacent in the whole of the city. Perhaps they believe that their barangays are not vulnerable to any form of disaster because of location, say far from rivers, without any embankment, or probably they believe that they are the “chosen people” of God.

     But no; no one can claim of any level of safety from vulnerability to natural and man-made disasters. So, we see it more imperative for Mr. Jaldon to “force” into the consciousness of the officials of the barangays concerned that time will come their complacency and hard-headedness will eventually get back at them. After all, these officials are the loudest to cry for relief assistance when time comes that their barangays are struck with disasters.

     And if we have to make a recommendation maybe it is worthwhile for the Central 911 head to convince Davao City Mayor Inday Sara to include in her evaluation of the performance of barangay officials when the reckoning comes, their religious compliance with the DRRM law, over and above their loyalty to her.

–ooOoo–

     We have witnessed the evolution of Barangay Catalunan Grande from a sleepy, rebel-influenced community in the 80’s to a bustling village that it is today.

     Apparently the growth was triggered by the influx of residential subdivisions in the area owing to its relatively safe location. It is nestled on a flat on top of the mountains between barangays Catalunan Pequeno in the west and Matina Pangi in its eastern side. Thus, it is not vulnerable to flash floods or landslides.

     With the coming in of new residential enclaves the population of Catalunan Grande is fast booming. Hence, there are also businesses mostly catering to immediate household needs that are sprouting in the barangay centers. A bank has opened its branch in the area. There is already a franchisee of a global food chain, a wet market. More and more drug store branches are opened to service the medicine needs of the residents. Restaurants are also starting to locate in the area. And in fact one in the property of the Vilelas seems to have been enjoying community patronage as can be seen by the number of people taking their dinner there. This phenomenon is happening despite the distance of the eatery from the downtown area.

     But as they say development also has its trade-offs. And the most apparent of these is the growing vehicular congestion on the only road leading to the barangay from the city proper up to its neighboring areas in Tacunan and Mintal, or even Tugbok.

     It is also possible that most residents in the subdivisions seem to have extra disposable income. Thus, many of them now have their own personal rides contributing to the road congestion. Moreover, many private vehicle owners from the upper barangays prefer to do “short cut” in their trip to the city’s downtown by using the Catalunan road in the process saving some three kilometers of travel, and of course expenses on gas..

     So, what is happening now is between 7:00 to 9:00 in the morning, and from 5:00 to 7:00 in the afternoon vehicles coming from the city and those going down move on turtle pace especially on the stretch from the St. Francis Seminary junction to the jeepney terminal at the SGR Subdivision.

     There are talks that the city government in coordination with the barangay council, is planning to convert the Catalunan barangay road into a 4-lane highway.

     Assuming that the project will push through, we still have doubt if it can fully address the traffic problem. Why, because the present scenario is that the road shoulders are being used as parking spaces for vehicles owned by transients or owners of business establishments in Catalunan Grande’s central area.

     When these road shoulders will be developed as the additional two lanes to make it a 4-lane highway, these will still be used as parking areas for vehicles.

   Perhaps the best remedy that can be adopted is to open a new circuit road that will traverse the peripheries of the subdivisions with ingress from Monte Maria to the outskirts of Skyline and exiting at sitio Toril.

     We are certain many will benefit from such a project and the barangay will have a relief road that could also open new residential areas in what, as of now, are isolated from the progress emerging in Catalunan Grande.

     With the Vice Mayor and his barangay captain wife residing in that blessed barangay, the suggested alternate or even add-on road project is not a remote possibility.

–ooOoo–

     EVER WONDER…

     Why is “abbreviated” such a long word?

     Why the sun lightens our hair but darkens our skin?

     Why is it that doctors call what they do “practice”?

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