ROUGH CUTS| Doable short term solution

REMEMBER a few columns back?

We asked, “Where have all those men gone?” And we were referring to a few trusted men of President Rodrigo Duterte when he was still mayor of Davao City, one of them is Mario Luis Jacinto.

We were wondering why none of their names came out among the new President’s appointees to sensitive positions in his Cabinet. Finally, yesterday we read the name of Engineer Jacinto appointed as Undersecretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and concurrent National Director of the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB).

With his appointment at the DENR/MGB the President made one best decision in his young incumbency. Jacinto is definitely a best pick. His appointment is like picking up a turtle to be thrown into the water.

Louie is a “natural” for the job he will be handling.

Congratulations Engr. Mario Luis Jacinto. May you be doing your new job the way you did your previous jobs in Davao City specifically when you were the Regional Technical Director of the MGB in Region XI. We can personally attest to your exceptional performance.

We are also extending our felicitations to lawyer Melchor “Boy” Quitain, city administrator of Duterte during his last term as the Davao City chief executive. We saw him on television last Monday when he was sworn in. Unfortunately though, we are clueless as to his position in the Duterte presidency.

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The unsolicited advice of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to President Rodrigo Duterte: “Don’t be impulsive.” It adds, “It is advisable for the GRP President to exercise a little more prudence and display more measured temperament as a way of appreciating the situation from a broader historical perspective in order to avoid such impulsive acts as imposing ultimatums by the hour on a conflict that has spanned nearly fifty years.”

Reading between the lines one can surmise that such kind of softly worded advice could only be given by someone who feels and understands the person being given the reminder. And he or she can be either the father or mother or other influential family members. But since the top guns of the CPP are not the President’s relative we have every reason to believe that the advice came from some people, or perhaps one of them, have at one time or another, exercised substantial influence in the molding of the character of the advisee; in this case, President Duterte.

So it can now be told that the way the CPP worded its unsolicited advice to the President it (the advice) could only have come from, or influenced by, his former professor at the Lyceum University who is none other than Jose Ma. Sison.

And this can be validated by the CPP-NDF’s subsequent reaction to Duterte’s calling off of his unilateral ceasefire declaration.

The CPP-NDF-NPA in a statement said, “The lifting of the truce won’t hopefully affect the preparations for the formal resumption of the peace talks in Oslo, Norway on August 20-27, ‘nor will it preclude the GRP President from reissuing such declaration simultaneously with similar unilateral declaration by the CPP and NPA on August 20’.”

Now, what clearer message that such statement from the leadership of the revolutionary group could have delivered to the consciousness of the Filipinos nation than their sincere desire to reach a peace accord with the government.

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We agree with the observations of some residents of Davao City that while Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio is still fixing her thoughts on big ticket infrastructure projects to address the growing traffic congestion in the city there are ways that are almost inexpensive and are clearly doable.

One of these is by clearing some city and national roads with obstructions that have impeded the smooth flow of vehicular traffic and endangered people movement.

For example there are roads where both sidewalks are already occupied by vendors of all kinds, prominent and notorious among them those selling ukay-ukay or used clothes or second hand shoes. Another are vendors of fruits that have allocated sidewalks along Ramon Magsaysay and Monteverde streets. Then we have seen for the longest time some vulcanizing shops doing their things along C. Bangoy st. specifically between the offices of a utility firm and a bank branch.

And we would recommend that Mayor Inday Sara forms a team to monitor some establishments along San Pedro, Ramon Magsaysay and Monteverde expanding their store space occupation by putting displays on the sidewalks right in front of their establishments. The team should also look into reports that some stores are “leasing” their frontage to vendors of this and that merchandise, in effect abetting the occupation of spaces intended for pedestrians.

Addressing the traffic congestion in the city by recovering portions of city and national roads as well as sidewalks thereof in the most expeditious and fair manner can be an effective short term strategy.

Very strongly, we are also recommending to the lady mayor to instruct her City Building Official to do inspections on the following roads: from Km. 22 in Los Amigos to Biao Guinga, and Catalunan Grande road from San Gabriel Village crossing to the front of the entrance of Elenita Heights subdivision. In these stretches the Building Official will definitely find houses built on top of the drainage canals or on road easements with its front posts already on the tip of the concrete pavement.

How this situation has developed virtually unnoticed by the city’s building office or by officials of the barangays, we have no idea. Or, are the illegal occupation of what are clearly prohibited places deliberately ignored by barangay authorities and the city’s building regulators?

Posted in Opinion