The 20th City Council has been busy crafting ordinances that would further propel Davao City into development. However, discussing and passing an ordinance is not a walk in the park as there are also challenges the local lawmakers face.
Vital ordinances passed
Around the third quarter of 2023, several ordinances were crafted and passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod such as the New Speed Limit Ordinance of Davao City that was proposed by Councilor Luna Acosta. The ordinance aims to regulate traffic on city roads and bridges, setting speed limits for city streets and interior roads to 30 kilometers per hour (kph) while local and national roads have 40 kph. This ordinance ensures the safety of drivers and pedestrians.
In August, the council approved the construction and installation of a submarine cable in Barangay Bago Aplaya to enhance the city’s internet connectivity and the 2023 Supplemental Budget 1 (SB1), which consists of the General Fund Proper, the Development Fund, and the Economic Enterprises.
On September 26, the Less Paper System was approved on the third and final reading. The system aims to reduce the 70 rims of bond paper per session and it is in line with the goal of the Local Government Unit (LGU) to digitize government transactions.
This was also the year when the council decided to repeal the mandatory facemask ordinance of Davao City. On October 17, Councilor Richlyn N. Justol Baguilod, chairperson of the committee on health and proponent of the ordinance, said it is time that the government no longer impose the penalties for not wearing face masks since it is no longer mandatory in the absence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As weather disturbances such as earthquakes have been frequent in the city, the council also approved the Davao City Earthquake Disaster Response Ordinance on October 24. Councilor Edgar Ibuyan Jr., the proponent of the ordinance, expressed that the purpose of the local law is for building owners to put up Earthquake Recording Instruments (ERIs) to monitor tremors and help their establishments become stronger.
In the pursuit of better living conditions, the council also approved the amendments in the city’s CCTV Ordinance as well as the Anti-Spaghetti Wire Ordinance sometime in November. Both ordinances are a testament to the city’s slogan — “Davao life is here.”
Year of the youth
The year 2023 is for the youth as two vital youth ordinances were passed. Through former Davao City councilor and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation President Jaffar Marohomsalic, the Davao City Youth Development Council (DCYDC) Ordinance and the Davao City Youth Development Division-Local Youth Development Office (DCYDD-LYDO) of Davao City Ordinances were passed. The two ordinances are dedicated to addressing all youth concerns in the city.
Although numerous ordinances have been passed in the span of 12 months, there are more activities when all of the councilors are gathered under one roof.
Some parts of the city are experiencing difficulty in their water supply hence, Dabawenyos have been anticipating the full operation of the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project (DCBWSP), which was identified to solve the water dilemma in the city.
However, last August 8 and September 5’s city council sessions, Apo Agua Infrastructura Inc. and the Davao City Water District (DCWD) were notably absent.
On August 1, Councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera Jr. during his privilege speech, expressed his dismay after he was “unjustly barred” from entering the session hall during the first-ever State of the City Address (Soca) of Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte.
Meanwhile, on August 8, Councilor Bernie Al-ag resigned as chairperson of the committees on trade, commerce, and industry and on labor and employment opportunities for personal reasons. He was replaced by Councilor Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz as the committee's new chairperson on trade, commerce, and industry; and Councilor Bai Hundra Cassandra Dominique Advincula as the chairperson for the committee on labor and employment opportunities.
The year 2023 was also a year for change because after the long wait the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) were conducted. Then SK President Marohomsalic was replaced by the New SK President and Councilor Kristine Abdul Mercado on November 21. Marohomsalic served the 18th, 19th, and 20th city councils and dedicated his efforts to the Local Government Unit (LGU) from 2018 to 2023. RGP