ROUGH CUTS| The DA is showing the way

GOOD thing that the Davao City government will soon be entering into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Agriculture (DA) in connection with projects that will further enhance the development of agriculture in this part of the country.

     If our readers can recall, some columns back we wrote about the various farm-to-market roads that will be upgraded or opened up in Calinan and Paquibato districts which were budgeted to cost several millions of pesos. In fact one road project under the DA initiative is that one somewhere in the second district that has a bridge component in it. These projects are under the so-called Infrastructuire Development Component. In that article we heavily quoted Councilor Marissa Salvador Abella since it was she through her chairmanship of the Council’s Agriculture Committee, who is in the forefront of the consultation activities with the DA.

     Well, under the infrastructure project component of this nationally funded initiative with the DA as the lead agency, the recipient local government will cough up a counterpart of 10 percent while the rest of the funds will come from the national government.

     The other component under this DA program is the Enterprise Development where the cost sharing is 80 percent to be shouldered by the DA while the remaining 20 percent will be coming from the LGU.

     Compared to the big ticket projects as the Sasa Port Modernization Project and the Davao International Airport Expansion and Maintenance Project which is in billions of pesos, the projects emanating from the DA will definitely pale in comparison in terms of cost.

     But we can now say that the national projects under the DA umbrella are the ones that follow the ideal process. There is no doubt that consultations were conducted and coordination with the local government executives appear to be pretty much in order.

     Certainly, undertaking these processes is most ideal. That is probably the reason why we have not heard of any opposition from certain sectors of the Davao population like what is happening to the big infrastructure projects we have mentioned here earlier.

     From the latest we have heard of the DA-initiated projects, the city council has now approved the third and final reading of a resolution-ordinance introduced by Councilor Abella authorizing the City Mayor to enter into a MOA with the DA and to sign the agreement for and in behalf of the city government.

     We congratulate the DA’s regional office for generously giving Davao City the opportunity to avail of such projects with only a very minimal counterpart to complete its funding.

     Yes, we are looking forward to the time when other national government agencies will follow the lead of the DA in proposing projects to the LGUs so that misunderstanding will be avoided and there will be no delay in the project implementation.

–ooOoo–

     A few days back hundreds of thousands of volunteers all over the country trooped to the different coastlines to do massive clean-up activities. As a result tons and tons of garbage were collected from the seashores and brought to the different on-land dump sites.

     Such gargantuan efforts by the volunteers really deserve the highest form of appreciation from the people especially those who depend on the sea for their daily existence.

     But does this very seldom done coastal clean-up really address the issue of sanitation on our shorelines? Does it really help improve the cleanliness level of the sea water?

     For us, such activities, even if done on a regular basis, say monthly or quarterly, are far from enough.

     We believe that there is nothing to argue if we would say that as long as there are no meaningful environmental initiatives the local government will undertake, the garbage coming from the upland and lowland residential areas as well as from the urban commercial and industrial establishments will continue to “invade” the coastal areas.

     Primarily, there has to be some ordinances that will instill discipline to the population in the matter of disposing their garbage. And if imposition of high penalties is necessary, then so be it, just to ensure that what is asked of the ordinances on sanitation and environment will be complied with.

     Actually we believe that the larger component of garbage accumulated in our seashores are those plastic and other floater wastes that are thrown by people directly residing along river banks, and similar waste items thrown by undisciplined individuals and establishments right into the drainage canals.

     And this throwing of the garbage is done on a daily basis. Now, with waste water from the drainage moving all the floaters and/or light garbage into the creeks and rivers the waters of which eventually empty into the sea, it will only take very little time after every clean-up to re-accumulate the same volume of garbage as it was immediately prior to the start of every such activity.

   And if government is really serious in its desire to have non-environmentally-challenged coasts, perhaps it has to focus more on measures that will help bring a change in people’s attitude and their level of discipline.

     We all know that we only have one planet to live. And if we will not do something to slow down its degradation it’s as if we are killing ourselves slowly but surely.

                                                                                  -30-

Posted in Opinion