EVERY person gets out of his way just to ensure his security, at the same time, he will also find ways to make his life easier. But should security be sacrificed over accessibility?
Vincent Heights Subdivision is located at Barangay Angliongto, Lanang. Adjacent to this subdivision is NHA Buhangin. Separating them is a concrete wall where a small door-shaped opening is located in the middle.
This opening gives easy access to residents from both Vincent and NHA. This is because Buhangin, Catitipan, or any other similarly routed jeepneys drop off passengers at NHA Buhangin which is five minutes away from the opening while Sasa routed jeepneys drop off passengers at Damosa, located 15 minutes away by tricycle from Vincent Heights.
This small opening gives residents of both subdivisions the best of both worlds.
NHA Buhangin however is an easier route for Vincent Heights’ residents as the tricycles in NHA only require five passengers from different routes, while DAMOSA tricycles have their own route for Vincent Heights and require ten passengers.
This convenience comes with a price as Vincent Heights have had numerous incidences of theft or robbery where thieves have known to exit through the opening. In fact, many of the houses near the opening have twined barbed wires above their gates to prevent any thieves from entering their houses.
Alarmed by the situation, Vincent Heights Homeowners’ Association had a meeting and decided to conduct a survey of other homeowners to know if they approve to permanently close the opening, and hopefully diminish the number of incidences of theft in the Subdivision.
According to VHHA Vice President Mrs. Herminia Posadas, the survey was conducted earlier this year and it showed that majority of homeowners’ approves of permanently closing the opening, and have no easier access to different routed jeepneys.
After hearing the voice of the majority, VHHA addressed this issue to Home and Land Union Regulatory Board (HLURB) where they found out that all of the cemented roads and street lights inside the subdivision have already been endorsed by the government, leaving the barangay no power over the issue.
As for the permanent closing of the opening, HLURB said that every subdivision must have an area that connects them, for easier access and convenience. NHA Subdivision’s roads are tiny, compared to Vincent Heights’ wide, fully cemented ones.
In case of fire, fire trucks would have a difficult time giving help to NHA residents without the opening. Children who also go to Angliongto Elementary school, which is located at the mouth of Vincent Heights, would have a hard time travelling to the school by foot without the opening. With all these concerns and reasons, HLURB rejected VHHA’s proposal.
Some residents especially from Siargao Drive, the drive second closest to the opening approve of HLURB’s decision on the problem.
“It is easier for us students to use the opening than ride a tricycle from Damosa, as it is faster. We also have easier access to Bankerohan Market if we ride Buhangin routed jeepneys,” youth leader Babino Casanaan Jr. said.
As for the security of Vincent Heights residents, he said “It is up to them on how they would ensure their security; convenience is what I am after.”
However, permanently closing the opening is not the only way to help prevent crime in Vincent Heights. Much like Belisario Village, which is in the same barangay, they have two wide entrances, and both now have gates and security guards. Homeowners from Belisario Village all contribute to give the security guards their salary.
Having a gate and security guards would benefit Vincent Heights Subdivision, however it will not come to fruition without the full cooperation of not just VHHA, but also every homeowner who lives there.
Security in a Subdivision must be tended to by everyone, and not just a handful of VHHA officers. A collective effort is needed to solve this kind of alarming problem. (Behnice Joice H. Tesiorna)
Sunday Essays are articles written by students of Ateneo de Davao University for their advanced journalism class.