Shameful

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By Gary Covington

Looking In

Monday, July 28, 2014


SUNDAY, we learnt that the proposed ordinance regulating videokes and vehicle sound systems is facing 'unfavorable legal opinion' and I'll ask what on earth legal opinion has to do with noise pollution?

This is an ordinance which should rid our streets of motorcycles and tricycles with their boomboxes disturbing the peace of residential subdivisions whether it be midday or midnight because, at the moment, these hooligans and their 'sounds' couldn't give a damn. It's an ordinance which should clap a stopper on the neighbors with their videoke amped up to the max so that the entire street strains to hear its televisions or, worse, nightshift workers try to sleep.

The ordinance has been under discussion for six months after an initial approved first reading and it's gradually being watered down to uselessness. What does it matter what time a videoke is cranked up, be it 9 in the morning or 9 at night? And why a list of exemptions as long as your arm? It's lola's birthday or 'commemoration by any civic, or non-government organization, or any special occasion'. It's an ordinance heading to be worse than useless which makes me wonder about
the SP and its committees and councilors. Maybe we should hold mid-term elections and get rid of this batch - remember, they serve the people - and swear in a new lot, a motion seconded by Tuesday last's disgraceful spectacle of a council with nothing better to do than harangue a young
woman to tears.

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Her crime? If we ignore the malicious tittle-tattle whispered into various ears, if we ignore the mass of alleged and rumored and unverified, it appears she or her company were a little late in paying the correct city taxes - that's all, nothing else has been proven – but she was obliged to endure over an hour of holier than thou browbeating. I was expecting the Sergeant of Arms to appear with a basket of rocks so the assembly could stone the woman from the building. It was an issue which should never have reached the chamber and this from the premier council of Mindanao and of the fourth most populous city of the nation.

There was a line in a newspaper gloating over how the 'council maintained strict political will' by revoking the woman's business permit. Political will easy enough when the issue is a young woman finding her feet in a generally man's world of business. Political will, you'll note, which evaporates, leaks through the floorboards, melts away, when a serious issue is brought up; our city's squatterdom by the sea; replacing jeepneys with a modern mass transit system; penalizing developers who are destroying our public roads with their heavy equipment. That wasn't political will on Tuesday. Jumping on the bandwagon. Grandstanding. And it was shameful.

Change of topic and there went Rammasun, a tropical depression which roared across the western Pacific pummelling the Marshall Islands and Micronesia. Ramussen, a good strong typhoon name which means Thunder God in Thai (Had to look that up) until it entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility where suddenly it became Glenda, all curlers and cardigan, a name bestowed on a terrifying whirlwind of destruction by our very own Pagasa, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and
Astronomical Services Administration.

Glenda. Why such a weedy name when there are so many muscular ones about? Gustav - staff of the gods. Grizel - battle maid. Gabriela - warrior of God (Had to look them up too)? Glenda, it turns out, means holy and good which, no doubt, went down well with the folks watching their roof whirl off into the darkness or furniture washing out the door. Wake up Pagasa - open a few books on the gods of destruction and catastrophe. There's a few about.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 29, 2014.

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