Monday, May 27, 2019

Hidalgo: Development projects in Mindanao

Citizen Fe

ARCHITECT Felimon Palafox, Jr. revealed in the 2nd Metro Davao Urban Master Plan Executive Meeting that the city should be a model center for urban development considering there is so much potential for land scaling.

It can also be the model for other cities in Mindanao. The master plan is designed to guide the city in terms of development in infrastructures and land usage.

I remember taking up this idea when I wrote in one of my columns on how Davao must have developed with no planning but based on what was urgent to build as the felt need arose. No strict planning on matters of zoning. Residential houses sprout anywhere near business centers and institutional centers. Recreational spaces grow in unusual centers. With this new Palafox' project plan, all these are considered.

The new plan will consider poverty alleviation and job creation and adapting the environment and climate change. A special body of seasoned planners will review and evaluate the proposed master plan.

The budget allocation for the master plan is P25 million while the contract with Palafox Architecture is P21.9 billion. Foremost in the planning is the zoning of districts. There must be sidewalks along major streets for pedestrians.

Among the planned projects is to elevate the Roxas Night Market as a 24-hour activity center. There must be green spaces for recreation centers. Future plans include a proposed Chinatown in R. Magsaysay, Davao International Airport, and the Davao-Samal Bridge.

Another program for progress is for the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) to improve more of its curriculum. It will prioritize and implement scholarship programs for poor, indigenous peoples (IPs), people with disabilities (PWD), rebel returnees and victims of armed conflict.

The last item, I am considering is the Senate pushing for solar rooftop technology. I can speak for the benefits of this program since I have installed in our house in Davao our solar energy apparatus. The panels are on the roof and the apparatus connections are inside our house. Mine is located near our kitchen. It provides solar electricity for the whole house especially during brownouts.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian sponsored the bill and Senator Grace Poe passed the Bill No, 1719 promoting the adoption of rooftop solar energy to be used in residential, commercial, industrial and government end-users.

Solar energy is comparatively cheaper than the Meralco provided energy. There are no monthly bills to settle. Solar energy is provided by the sun while Meralco source its supply from coal plants which contribute to the pollution of our atmosphere causing climate change. No home is spared from paying the stiff Meralco monthly bills.


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