Editorial: When slow work means untold sufferings

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DURING the closed door interview for the Hiyas ng Kadayawan, Sama tribe candidate Cesa Mae K. Tangkih broke down in tears when asked what their tribe’s most pressing concerns are, and during the pageant night – apparently now in better control of her emotions – she spoke out in a heart-rending speech about their state of living since April.

Cesa Mae, like more than a thousand other families in Isla Verde were evicted from their homes by a big fire that crossed through three barangays in April.

The city government had all the plans for a better neighborhood in the area – road networks, better apportioning of lots, water systems, etc.


But since then, the City Engineer’s Office seems to have been slacking.

Todate, the resident of Isla Verde have to live in along unlit temporary wood bridges and one and only water source. No one in authority seems fired up enough to hasten the work, considering that the area is not private land and thus can be apportioned the developed at the pace the city government deems fit.

“Even if we will not have electricity yet, anyway we only use electricity at night for lights and we can use flashlights and solar for that, but we cannot live without water. We cannot pray without water, we cannot cook without water,” she said.

As it is, the less fortunate who cannot afford solar and flashlights will have to huddle in the dark in their temporary shelters, every night, and risk another fire.

Think too, how crime-prone a dark settlement is.

It defies logic why anyone who is responsible for apportioning and making the permanent bridges and walkways would not be fired up to work on the project as fast as possible, considering that around them as they measure and survey are people in ‘trapal’ shacks. It becomes more illogical because the city prides itself with compassionate government officials. Having been observing how the fire victims have been sent to cramped evacuation centers and then made to wait this long for the promised better land development scheme, we see not a sliver of compassion, not even a hint.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 02, 2014.


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