ROUGH CUTS| The political arena to watch in Davao City

IT’S NICE to hear that the planned Davao mainland-Samal island bridge project is still among those in the pipeline for implementation by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). That is, if we have to take the words of the spokesman of the agency in a recent statement of his.

That infrastructure project has been a dream of Davaoenos a long time ago. It is believed that the full potential of the island garden city will come out once the bridge is in place.

And yes, we agree to the proposition of Davao del Norte governor Rodolfo del Rosario that locating the bridge’s approach in the mainland be in Panabo City because it may be less costly in the long run. Imagine how much will have to be added to the budget just to resettle families that will be affected by the acquisition of right of way if the bridge mainland approach will be somewhere in Sasa or Tibungco shorelines? Imagine how much will it cost the economy in terms of losses due to vehicular traffic if the mainland approach is to be located in either of the two areas in Davao City?

Of course we agree that for people coming from the south wanting to go to Samal, it will take a little more time to first go to Panabo City to cross the bridge. But then what are those little sacrifices compared to the economic gains that will accrue the neighboring island city and Panabo once the bridge is completed?

We are certain that it would be one very acceptable picture seeing three nearby cities growing together economically and structurally.

Now the ball is in the national government’s hands. We are hoping that once the technical study being funded by the government of Japan through the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) will be completed the project will immediately be started.

–ooOoo–

And talking of national projects, we are now starting to get confused with the pronouncement of the NEDA regional director as published in the local papers.

Why did she say that NEDA will seek the approval of the Davao City Council before the Sasa Port Modernization Project and the Davao International Airport Expansion and Maintenance Project be implemented? And NEDA will do this through the City Development Council (CDC) in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code?

Was it not that the said projects were duly endorsed by the Regional Development Council (RDC)? The local government of Davao City, we are certain, is a member of the RDC. Hence, we find it surprising to hear from the NEDA XI to say that it is going to coordinate with the CDC to seek the Sanggunian’s nod for the project implementation.

Somehow we are tempted to believe claims by those who oppose the projects that indeed there were no proper consultations with key stakeholders when the projects were decided upon. Unless the city government of Davao sent the wrong persons during the deliberations conducted by the RDC on the herein-mentioned big ticket infrastructure projects.

Meaning, those who represented the city in the RDC meetings taking up the said projects are not members of the CDC, or if they are, they fail to make formal reports of the issue to the proper offices of the city government such as that of the Office of the City Mayor and the City Council.

Or, is NEDA just making the necessary activity to comply with the mandated processes as required by law? We hope it is, and not the lack of coordination as alleged by those who questioned the projects.

–ooOoo–

The political scene in Davao City even at this close to the May 2016 election season, seem to have no sign of any excitement at all.

Yes, we mean the election for local officials especially for mayor and vice mayor. The noise is more overt with that of the national level considering the present posture of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who is being egged to run for President despite his declared disinterest.

Even in the congressional polls only the third district contest seems to have the focus of the people’s attention. This is probably because present representative Isidro Ungab is in his third and last term, and those who are aspiring to run for his post are mostly members of the congressman’s own party, the Lakas sa Tawong Lungsod.

In fact it is our contention that the derby is more intense in the course of securing the endorsement of the party’s top honcho, Mayor Duterte.

It is no secret that the strong aspirants in councilors Kaloy Bello, Bernie Al-ag and Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz are all partymates of the mayor and top vote getters during their council run. Add to them the brother of the incumbent in Engr. Albert Ungab who of course has the backing of the sitting congressman, the battle for the mayor’s nod will come out to be “classic”.

So, the third district will be the political arena to watch in Davao City.

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Posted in Opinion