Editorial: No-build zones, where?

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Monday, May 19, 2014

DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte has given fair warning, the illegal residents under the bridge now have to leave lest face the iron hand that he is known for. It appears that the dwellers are challenging the mayor since the mayor already met with them twice and the Davao City Water District has already given them the financial assistance they were demanding.

There is no reason now why those dwellers should insist on staying. They have been consulted, they have been helped. More than that, law enforcement has to come in.

There will always be people who will challenge authority, and apparently here are some of those, upping their noses at the majority of law-abiding citizens, staking claim on areas that shouldn't even have residents.


Now, what?

"Undangi ninyo ang gobyerno. Ayaw ninyo hurawa kay ang Task Force Davao ug Davao City Police Office inyong makalaban diha (Stop threatening government or else you will be facing the Task Force Davao and the Davao City Police Office)," the mayor said. "Patilawon ta mo ug sakit kaayo. Ayaw hulata muinit akong ulo (Don't wait for me to lose my temper because I will make sure you will be hurt big time)."

Tough words indeed. Let's wait for the action.

The greater action and lesson, however, are in ensuring that areas under bridges are not made into dwellings.

Bridges are danger zones, and calamities time and again all over the Philippines have proven that riverbanks are no-build zones. Our laws say riverbanks are no-build zones. That our riverbanks and areas under bridges have dwellers shows a large chink in the armor of law and order and political will in the city. A lot still needs to be done.

In the meantime, let's shed a light on that area under the Agdao flyover. There are now residents there, too. No action today will mean something like what's happening at the Generoso Bridge II in the near future, as a problem left to fester will.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 20, 2014.


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