ROUGH CUTS| Mayor Sara’s decisive move

WELL, Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio did not let the issue stay any longer. And we mean the re-filing of the proposed ordinance amending the City’s Land Use Plan (CLUP) earlier vetoed by her father then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte now President of the Philippines.

Central in the proposed amendment was the deletion of the provision in the existing CLUP of the additional ten (10) percent of residential subdivision development projects with area of over one hectare other than what is already provided under national laws, to be used as “green space.”

As already known to the public the amendment was approved by the previous council and submitted for then Mayor Duterte’s approval, but was vetoed. Instead of overriding the mayor’s veto the council waited until Duterte’s assumption to the Presidency that he won in the May 9 election.

Councilor Diosdado Mahipus Sr. initiated the re-filing and based on reports, it was already taken up on first reading by the local legislative body.

But newly assumed mayor Sara must have sensed that pursuing the same planned amendment would bring back the controversy the deliberation of the measure has created. Thus, she was quick to put her feet down and rejected the proposed amendment outright.

While honestly we are for the taking away of the additional ten percent “green space” because we feel that such a loss in area in residential subdivision projects the developers will recover from the house and lot buyers by jacking up the cost, we appreciate the decisiveness of the lady mayor in not delaying her position on the issue.

In effect, her making known her opposition to the council proposal stopped the onset of new expectations from developers, as well as speculations on the part of the public about the intentions of the proponents of the amendment.

Lest Davaoenos forget, it was that particular proposed amendment that led to the bitter squabble in the city council between the proponents led by no less than Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and floor leader Bernie Al-ag on one hand, and the lone opposition in councilor Mabel Sunga Acosta who had the support of the city’s environmentalist groups.

The controversy was so heated up and emotional that even the appearance of the President of Ateneo de Davao University in one of the sessions of the city council to speak about environment in relation to the amendment was tainted with suspicion by the proponents.

With Mayor Sara’s dousing the proposal with cold water the issue is now put to rest.

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We strongly agree with new Department of Social Services and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo’s idea to put more money to the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure that assistance needed by indigent patients from the government comes in handy instead of adding to the hardships of relatives to secure it from other agencies.

Yes, Secretary Taguiwalo cannot be wrong in advancing her idea of beefing up the DOH budget so that there will be no more long lines of aid seekers in such offices as the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, the Philippine Health Insurance, the DSWD, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, and even the local government unit, etc. Clearly, this is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s desire to streamline and make delivery of government services to the people fast and easily accessible.

Really it is about time that it be legislated that money coming from institutions that are presently providing health assistance to the indigent population of the country be earlier committed and released annually to the DOH, one time or in trance, and integrated in its budget.

This way, relatives of qualified patients will not anymore be moving from one office to another just to be able to get help for medicine, room cost, and other hospital services rendered. Right now the patient’s relatives have to go to Philhealth to apply for assistance. PhilHealth though must be appreciated for putting up extension offices in major hospitals to make its services more accessible. But just the same, it is a separate stop.

Those relatives of patients who have nowhere to go for help brave to approach the PCSO or Pagcor. Some thicken their faces to seek help from Congressmen whose assistance given come from the money of the people including the patient in terms of taxes they pay to the government.

So, the wisdom of Secretary Taguiwalo is clear. Put all the money intended for assistance to the health requirements of the disadvantaged segment of the Filipino people in one agency. This way, both hospitals and the patients or their relatives have only to deal with one office.

We can only imagine the amount of time and effort saved if such idea of the new DSWD secretary be adopted and implemented accordingly.

 

Posted in Opinion