Urgent problems in our city need immediate solutions

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By Fe San Juan Hidalgo

Citizen Fe

Monday, March 24, 2014


THERE are glaring problems that bother us, the citizens. These give us discomfort in our daily lives. I will expound on each of them in today's column: the drainage and sewerage system, the power supply, and the potable water supply. The citizens ' lack of vigilance against pestering crimes in our streets, our homes, in public buildings or just about everywhere.

I will start with this last concern. TV, radio, newspapers, barbershops, street corners and residences carry the news every minute of the day. Commercials and news about crimes are heard in different TV stations. My check list of stories usually carries one or two out of ten daily news that are good and pleasant. We notice the CCTV accounts of crimes as they are in progress. I saw one with a passerby seeing the crime committed just pass by unconcerned and seemingly hurrying instead of informing the nearest police station or law enforcer he meets nearby. The CCTV records a crime and it ends there. There are no communication systems in government agencies to witness the crime and rush to the scene to catch the criminal.

Crimes committed by hoodlums riding in tamden on motorcycles are seldom caught. There should be law enforcing officers in strategic crowded places. They may move around "incognito" then make citizen's arrest as they catch criminals doing the crime. Some cases are definitely an oxymoron, when law enforcers like cops are caught committing a crime. Imagine two cops caught in a drug session and gambling with bets to be able to buy the drugs. They must be caught and must be meted the punishment due them. This is the height of corruption among government personnel who have no integrity and morality, the dregs of humanity.

The criminals in the city are daring our ever- vigilant mayor, Rody Duterte, who rules with an iron hand and nips in the bud all kinds of crimes in our city. I remember him saying this warning: "You may enter this city standing but if I catch you red-handed commiting a crime you may leave it horizontally. You know what this means." Citizens' action and cooperation will contribute much if you report crimes when you see them. Be brave. Be vigilant. The life you will save is a noble unsolicited heroism.

I will expound now on the drainage and sewerage system in our city. This is a perennial problem in our streets when it rains cats and dogs even for a short time only. I am glad that the "drainage management unit" in the mayor's office has drawn concrete plans to solve the flooding incidents in the city headed by Ret. Col. Jimlani. So many low lying areas are flooded especially near the Davao river shorelines.

I wonder if there had been any upgrading in the piping systems in the city since its birth, 77 years ago. Our residence is strategically located between Marfori Heights and the far end of Ma-a road. One time when there was a typhoon, the heavy rains flooded both sides of our house which is located at the highest spot. The people settled in front of our house to escape from their flooded houses. We live in the Gold street section of Ma-a Road. I hope this area is on the blue print of the plan of the drainage management. Drainage and roads go together in planning. In our residence we had this extraordinary experience about the road. We are at the highest point of an inclining street. When vehicles filled with riders pass by, I hear the riders shouting with delight galloping over the incline down to the flat road.

During the election season where Gloria was presidential candidate, our road well- paved with no defect underwent a total renovation. Why? I remembered saying. "If it is not destroyed or defective; why fix it?" The complete overhaul was to lessen the incline by more than a meter. There must be a tempting kickback from the project's funds behind this. Giant backhoes started breaking down the road in front of our house. Such noise gave me the creeps reminding me of the infamous Maguindanao Massacre, Nov. 23, a day before my birthday, the 24th. After the seemingly unnecessary renovation was finished, which gave us inconvenience parking our car somewhere else and walking over the stony street for period of time; we saw our front main gate hanging a meter above the street. We had to construct a new driveway to enter our garage. Today, you will not believe this. There is a sign board on the flat road before our house which says - CAUTION DANGEROUS CURVE AHEAD. At least we can tell our visitors where to find our house. At present the flat roads in Ma-a street still get flooded.

The next major problem is our power supply. Rotational brownouts from one to two hours daily or in two days are experienced by us. This occurs anytime in a day without announcement. Everything powered by electricity goes dead the stoves, flat irons, computer sets, lights, TVs, radios, refrigerators, handheld gadgets like iPads, cell phones, etc. The strategists are insisting in enriching our coal-fired power plants. This is not the best option. Councilor Antoinette Principe said this, "Coal is coal. There is no such thing as clean coal."

It is a fossil fuel and exhaustible. It is the best contributor to global warming and climate changes which will ultimately result in the total annihilation of life on earth. We are overburdened with our dumpsite problems. With correct waste segregation, we can have organic biodegradable waste (biomass) and extract pure methane from these. Methane is a highly efficient fuel. I will harp on this because it is the best option; the solar energy. I had explained this in my previous column. Contact the company supplying energy in school buildings in Cateel to supply Davao, too. This will amaze you. The amount of free solar energy that hits the earth in a single day could power the world for 27 years.

Lastly, let us expound on potable tap water supply. We experienced water supply shortages these last few months. We sigh over days without electricity and water supply. There is a frightening news that earth will not have enough potable water supply by 2050 if we will not learn how to conserve water, prevent its pollution, a d take care of watersheds. This is a concerted program among the citizens, the government, and industry. The watersheds must be maintained well. No informal settlers may reside there. Forewarned is forearmed. Let us all heed all the reminders about the hazards we, ourselves, are doing in our present modes of living.

As we know, we have only one earth. Do not think there is another planet available for you. Our earth is the only one with an atmosphere containing oxygen, the life-giving gas. It has water in the oceans, rivers, lakes, etc. where we obtain another life-sustaining compound of elements that is the water. The solid part is composed of all the land masses, from the highest peak of Mount Everest to the deepest ocean bottom, the Marianas Trench where we tread and reside. All plants, animals, and human beings are found on earth, either on the land, in the water, and in the air. We get our food supply, materials, and services from plants and animals. Most significant is our sun. It gives us the energy, the mainspring of all life on earth. Let us all take care of our earth.

For comments, text cp no. 09202112534.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 25, 2014.

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