TIMESMAN| Unprecedented gesture

JANUARY was the month when my Nanay brought me into this world. Of the six siblings I am the only one left living. They died years apart including our parents. My Tatay was the first to leave at a very young age of 49.

Since this is the first month of the year and the first issue of the TIMES for 2018, I see to it that my readers will not miss me in this issue. And like a member of the family that greets the rest in the household upon rising from the bed with “Good morning,” I would like to wish everyone a happy and a very prosperous New Year, the year many economists predicted to be a robust year for the country’s economy.

-oOo-

A week before the NCCC Mall tragedy at the corner of MacArthur Highway and Maa road happened on Dec. 23 that burned to the ground the whole establishment and killed 37 persons working inside and placed the damaged properties to about P1.6 billion, I received a text message from the NCCC management reminding me that my discount card will expire end of that month and if I will not renew my membership the points earned from purchases will be forfeited.

I texted back NCCC by saying: “Cancel my card and forfeit the points. I am now patronizing a new shopping mall much nearer to my residence in the north side of the city.”

I didn’t know that the earned points I waived (small it maybe yet still a sign of generosity)) might be a part of the P1.6 billion loses of the management. Sayang!

Anyway, the kind gesture shown by NCCC Mall management that it will still absorb the 600 workers affected by the fire in its other operations while the victim-workers will continue receiving their regular salaries and benefits even if the company’s flagship mall was destroyed, is worth mentioning in this corner.

I salute NCCC for this unprecedented support of its employees and their families, a kind gesture that other business establishments are lacking or may not be able to duplicate at all.

-oOo-

The plan of the city government to demolish houses of informal settlers along the river bank affected by the floods every time waters from the Davao River spill over nearby residential areas is not new to this corner who used to reside in a private lot next to houses that the posts are already submerged on the water.

The plan to clear the riverbank of informal settlers has been among the proposals of past city mayors – Porras, Santos, Lopez, (OIC) Respicio, all dead, and Rodrigo Duterte who is now in Malacanang,

But more than six decades passed and illegal constructions of houses on both sides of the river bank from as far as diversion road to Bucana has continued because the plan was never implemented.

The hectares of lands along Guillermo E. Torres Sr. Street (Sandawa) from Generoso Bridge to Basalo compound on the south side of the Davao River was bought by the city government of then Mayor Luis Santos from the Huang family in the early years of martial law at the cost of P45 per square meter.

Then First Lady Imelda Marcos planned this as a resettlement area (now known as SIR) for fire victims of Washington-Trading then. But the original beneficiaries especially sold their rights to well-off occupants as these beneficiaries decided to settle near the riverbank.

This is now the call of Mayor Inday Sara to make good what her predecessors failed to do. We are behind her on this.

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The fate of the resignation paper of Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte is now in Malacanang and whether President Duterte will act on it – accept the resignation of his eldest son or not – is anybody’s guess.

As a father, this is a hard decision to make because this is when we will decide if blood is thicker than water.

As what we heard, after 15 days that the President will not act on it, the young Duterte is deemed resigned.

Posted in Opinion