Disciplined citizens, needed for peace and progress

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By Fe San Juan Hidalgo

Citizen Fe

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


THINKING of what I will write for my column today, I did not find one particular issue as my theme. This is unusual for me. I read all the daily broadsheets and tabloids as well as listen to the news on TV and decided to write about a potpourri of events. I will start with the good news followed by the bad news which usually outnumber the good and a third topic on the persistent warning news on the "silent killers" around us which we have not taken seriously until now.

The first good news is about the vitalized efforts of the city government to improve the general essential facilities of the city. The city is regulating infrastructure projects with the city's Water Resource Areas (WPAs) and Conservation Areas (CAs). They intend to take more productive discussions and decision-making sessions with the City Development Council (CDC). A group of Davao environmentalists asked permission to attend the meeting. Items to be taken up are the rules to safeguard the environment. Included here are the easement rule on boundaries specially the shore lines and watersheds, preservation of forests, the safety of existing watersheds and the creation of new ones to meet the growing demands of Davao's population. Another task is the planning and rehabilitation of the old drainage systems and the provisions for the creation of new piping systems to provide fresh and potable water supply to the city.

The city's proper zoning system is the gigantic task to be undertaken by experts of the government agency responsible for this. Definite designations of strictly residential areas, business areas, industrial areas, factories are planned.  Institutional areas as schools, churches, government offices, parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities are given designated spots in the city. Roads and transport systems are planned also. We noticed that Davao city is obviously showing that no such zoning system existed in the early periods of the city's growth.

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Zoning must be strictly followed. Laws regulate this with existing penalties. We saw what happened in Boracay when a resort was wrecked because of this offense. Before building they must have the clearance permit from the Environmental Management Bureau. In the rehabilitation areas of places destroyed by earthquakes or typhoons no buildings are permitted in the shorelines easement limits or in land slide prone areas.

Another good news is the plan of the city to sign an agreement with a Korean firm to study the feasibility of a railway system of transportation. This is commendable. It will lessen pollution in the city. More commuters can be accommodated and time and station stops will be on schedule. We hope to have this mode of transportation to augment our buses and jeeps. Another commendable action of the city mayor is the funding of the selected Moslem pilgrims to go to Mecca by providing them with 3,870 million pesos for travelling expense.  Our constitution provides for the right to choose your own religion and ideologies. The Christians also have their Lenten season with our traditional Holy Week respected also by the administration.

Now the bad news. These bad elements are found countrywide. Street crimes such as murders, robberies, drugs, and carnapping, and youths committing crimes in broad daylight. The youth commit crimes with impunity, anyway they are not apprehended and imprisoned but are just brought to the DSWD for rehabilitation. I hope this law is repealed.

There is corruption in the government, in the law enforcers themselves.

There is the problem of squatters, people begging in the streets, the idle lazy people drinking liquor and getting drunk. Gambling and creating trouble in the streets happen. Corruption in the customs importing restricted goods illegally also happen. All these crimes are being solved by our iron- fisted mayor but the lawless elements seem to be daring him.  To him, anyone caught red-handed doing a crime and resisting arrest by using a weapon will meet his end right here. With the full cooperation of our vigilant upright citizens, let us help in preventing crimes by nipping them at the buds. Educate the children. Admonish the parents to take care of their children. Report a crime you witness to the law officers.

My third item is this. There is practically no day when we do not read the news of the environment workers about toys, school supplies, cosmetics, condiments, food stuff, clothing, raincoats, and boots containing toxic elements such as lead, mercury, iron, cadmium and other less known contaminants. I shudder when I read about babies’ feeding bottles, pacifiers, beddings, their clothing, their toys that are also with the toxic elements. Asbestos in our ceilings are toxic, too. Our jewelries, our clothes, even our tooth fillings have toxic elements. Our cosmetics such as lipsticks, whitening creams, slimming tablets have them, too. These are what I call "silent killers".

We do not listen. The FDA, the ECO workers and the most active Green Peace painstakingly monitor all stores, malls, the small sari-sari stores because the cheaper toys and stuff are more saleable.
Much had been done already and we, as buyers should check the logo of permits to sell goods that are not contaminated with toxic substances in fatal amounts. Just for added warning on these toxic substances: Brain development is affected, cancer, Parkinson’s, stunted growth especially children, effects on liver, asthma, shorter life span, the kidney is affected also.

Fake medicines are deadly, too. The soulless manufacturers must be apprehended and jailed. Let us all contemplate. How safe are we in this world where we live in? Let us be vigilant. The remedies are depending on us. Follow the laws. Let us not be cheated. It may mean your life. Just think, the life you may be saving is your life. For comments text cp no. 0920 2112534.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 24, 2014.

Opinion

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