Mati’s earthquake drill “satisfactory”

The earthquake drill of the City Government of Mati has been declared as generally “fair to satisfactory” by the evaluators who made observation on the implementation of the second city-wide drill for this year.

In an evaluation after the drill held at the City Council session hall Friday, July 26, most of the evaluators observed the lack of equipment from most of the participating schools, establishments, and government offices.

Evaluators also noticed the medical teams who failed to identify priority patients who need the most medical attention before transporting them to the emergency operation center located at the Mati City Sports Complex.

Evaluators also noted the lack of disaster action plan from a few of the participating establishments.

The Capitol where the provincial government holds office meanwhile received a “fair” grade due to the lack of seriousness from the participating employees who were observed to be chatting while the siren was ongoing.

The evaluator said that despite the impressive equipment of the provincial building, there is a lot of room needed for serious participation of the employees.

In the City Hall, the evaluator observed that the evacuation area identified by the city must be away from big trees that could possibly fall down. The evaluator also observed that there is a need to improve the buddy-buddy system.

The evaluator also observed the fast activation of the search and rescue teams in City Hall. The evaluator said there is an average of 5:30 minutes from the time of the first siren to the time the participating employees were able to reach the evacuation area. The evaluator rated City Hall’s performance as “fair”.

Joseph Pugatoryo of the Department of Interior and Local Government said that with the rating, there needs to be a lot of improvement and more drills in the City of Mati to ensure that the people would be well-equipped and capable in case a strong tremor happens.

“It’s better to be OA (over-acting) than be sorry,” Purgatoryo said.

Mati City Administrator Atty. Al Aquino who represented Mayor Michelle Nakpil Rabat also saw the need to conduct more drills especially so that Mati City would be the pilot area of the national earthquake drill and World Tsunami Day come November 2020.

Mati City sits at the end of the Philippine Fault System with the Mati segment having no movement for the past 400 years. The Mati segment, experts say, is ripe for an earthquake and could be the source of the Big One that would not only affect Mati but Davao City as well. (CIO MATI)

LETTERS FROM DAVAO: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Jun Ledesma

In his State of the Nation Address, Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte leafed through the pages of his performance report. Despite the magma of critical issues that were highlighted by organized coteries of critics that are out to discredit his administration, Duterte read through the pages among these were written in blood. He assured his domestic and foreign critics that there will be no let-up in his war against drugs. So Iceland and the rest of European countries that signed the UN Commission on Human Rights resolution to investigate what they claimed are human rights resolution in the Philippines can go fishing for evidence as they please. Not only has the angry Duterte said he will fight to the end of his term, among the first legislation he asked during the joint session of Congress is to pass a legislation that would revive capital punishment in the country. He made his message even simpler for the drug syndicates to understand and that if they escape the bullet for fighting it out with the law they will still end up in the gates of hell. That part of the SONA is for the Bad which in the context of Duterte’s message includes the drug lords and the 18 countries headed by Iceland that wants to conduct a probe the mythical 27,000 victims of extra-judicial killings in the country.

President Duterte did not mince words in describing the pervading corruption and inefficiency in the government bureaucracy. His words cut through the thick hides of those present in the halls of Congress. In the feat of frustration and disgust he wished for an earthquake with a magnitude strong enough to bring down the concrete walls of the Batasan to all those present in the SONA so that the nation can have a new beginning. Of course the hyperbole is characteristic of Duterte’s language but that gives us how the barnacles of corruption are still very much around not only in the government but in private enterprises. He specially made mention of the Bureau of Customs and the Department of Health. DOH? I thought it was only about the rip-off engineered by PhilHealth functionaries and Wellness! I got this persistent information the source refused to be identified for fear of reprisal from DOH. There is in fact another looming controversy involving anti-rabies vaccines. Twice DOH conducted a bidding for the supply of the vaccines but it comes as a surprise why no purchase had been made. Will DOH conduct another bid for a favored supplier to win, never mind if the anti-rabies campaign is a national program and who knows the supply had dwindled?

Talking of inefficiency, while President Duterte makes Davao his showpiece in terms of how government efficiently process documentations and how 999 quickly responds to emergencies, that, I concede is only true to functionaries under the City Government supervision. The national government agencies are another story. It can take eons for the Register of Deeds to transfer a simple land title of a 150 sqm-lot from the seller to the buyer.

These are among the Ugly residues of corruption and inefficiency that mar the image of our country.

President Duterte made special mention of PAGCOR which significantly delivered the biggest share of revenues to the government coffers. PAGCOR Pres. Andrea Domingo took a bow. I think the secret of Andrea is in the data monitoring. She must have finally found a way to track to the very last centavo how much revenues flow into the gaming enterprises especially off-shore gaming operators. It can be recalled that among the first order of the day issued by Duterte when he became President was to close the operation of online gaming following the scandal surrounding the Philweb operations. When she took control of the helms of PAGCOR Andrea moreover, put in place monitoring mechanisms that audit offshore gaming operations in a manner ATMs and food franchise operations work. What maybe excited the President is that the Philippine Off Shore Gaming Operations (POGO) which is played online cannot be accessed locally. “Magpasugal ka pa”, the President who hates gambling quipped during the SONA. I will not be surprised anymore if there will be a long line of POGO applicants lining up. If the Chinese haters thought that it is China who dominates POGO they better think again. They might just turn out to be a minority. In fact I can bet on that.

The National Bureau of Investigation under Dir. Dante Gierran also received an accolade during the SONA. There are matters of course that only the President and the NBI know so we should take the President’s statement at face value.

There are items in the President’s report that are still blank spaces simply because these would need legislation. Among these are the creation of the Department of OFW and the Department of Water. These are long overdue. DOFW because our foreign workers are the biggest contributors to the nation’s coffers. DOW because water is life and while we are visited by at least 20 typhoons that bring rains can cause devastating floods every year many parts of the country, particularly Metro Manila and Cebu are always on the brink of running out of water. In the preSONA forum in Davao City, I pointed out that while the participants were talking of disaster preparedness there is a louder prayer for natural disasters like typhoon and rains to avert shortage of water supply in our taps.

There are of course solutions but Metro Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System had ran out of ideas on how to address the problem. The concessionaires leave it to MWSS and mother nature to solve the shortage of water supply. The irony is that when it comes to supply of potable water there are overlapping agencies mandated to insure the sustainability of water. What happens however is that they play different roles and read different script which result in paralysis. Let’s name them. Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) whose members of the board are from other government departments and regulators. They hardly meet because they cannot muster a quorum. We are not surprise if they have conflict of interest. Then there is this National Water Resources Board which has regulatory and quasi-judicial functions on how water will be allocated. And then MWSS which has regulatory power over the water concessionaires in Metro Manila but the members of the board, I heard, are actually being paid by the concessionaires. So how can you supervise, exact sanctions or order these firms which feed you?

All these agencies should be collapsed and all their regulatory and quasi-judicial powers should be placed under DOW. Government through DENR should delineate the protected area from the watersheds which are identified as recharge areas of aquifers, rivers and lakes where surface waters are sourced from and cede these vital protected areas to DOW. These suggestions for starters.

I was hoping the President would take up the plight of the rice farmers but I do not mind it for now as he focused more on the strict implementation of agrarian reforms. But I still hope that he will give impetus on increasing the rice productivity of our farmers. As I write this I have it from unimpeachable source that there are more than 150 silos all over the country that had been idled when the regime of Cory Aquino took over. Silos or dryers are one of the vital infrastructures that could double rice productivity. But that is another story.


Grab takes down controversial post

Media Statement

We express our sincere apologies for a recent social media post that we shared involving six local female celebrities.

While our intent was to create relevant conversations, we failed to do so, and regret that the effect of the post was insensitive and offensive – something that does not reflect our values at Grab. While this isolated incident may have misrepresented our position on women’s rights, we remain to be a steadfast supporter and advocate of the welfare of women everywhere.

We are truly sorry that we offended these women and their fans. Grab will actively reach out to the six local female celebrities to extend our apologies on the matter.

We have learned significant lessons from this experience, and we are taking internal actions to ensure that we prevent this from happening again. Our prime focus remains to be in providing delightful and meaningful conversations between Grab and the Filipino people.

DCPO denies harassing protesters

Official Statement of Davao City Police Office

This pertains to the allegations of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Southern Mindanao accusing the PNP and LTO/LTFRB of interfering in the conduct of their rally in Davao City.

There is NO truth to these claims. The jeepney they claimed to have been waylaid unjustifiably by the PNP Davao was in fact duly intercepted by the PNP and LTO/LTFRB for grossly violating: OVERLOADING and OUT-OF-LINE, a clear violations of Law provided for by Republic Act 4136 or otherwise known as the Land Transportation Traffic Code.

In the light of this predicament, there is therefore NO iota of truth to the claim that the government is interfering on their rights to conduct peaceful rallies and assemblies as the law enforcers are merely enforcing the law which was clearly violated.

We also would like to reiterate that the Davao City Police Office has exercised maximum tolerance in all our dealing of lawful protest rallies in the past, as we always uphold and respect the rights of every individual including the right to freedom of expression, to peacebly assemble to petition the government but we must not also forget that in doing so we shall all consider the prevailing laws of our Country and exercise self-restraint as not to violate the rights of others.

We implement the Law without Fear or Favor.