COMMENTARY: Critical issues to address

Oct 13-19, 2011

There are critical issues that must be addressed by local government officials and law enforcement authorities in bustling municipalities in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley. In the recent years we have witnessed growths and fast-paced urbanization tempo of few towns in the two sister provinces. Noteworthy to be cited as rapidly urbanizing and experiencing high growth rates are Kapalong in Davao del Norte and Nabunturan in Compostela Valley. For these, the two towns can be likened to be new non-city economic tigers. 

We are particularly citing these municipalities for their marked and higher economic growths experiences since the most recent years and most particularly this fiscal year as we observed by the naked eyes. We are excluding the key cities of Tagum and Panabo as they attained higher level of economic growth and urbanization a long time ago. Sto. Tomas is not put in the limelight as it has growth sparked by the first expansion of cavendish banana production in the late 70s and 80s while Monkayo and Pantukan experienced their own economic and demographic rises during the Diwalwal and Boringot gold rushes towards the mid 80s. Compostela, on the other hand, has its own robust agroeconomy founded by its vast rice granary and later by corporate cavendish banana production before the banana growership expansion. Kapalong’s marked growth is observably due to import banana expansion that seasons up its already vast agricultural frontier, while Nabunturan comes true to become a smaller commercial and service center as it is the centrepoint of the Comval mainland and becomes the host of provincial institutional arrangements and provincial governance since when it became Comval’s capital town in 1989, and in the most recent years, has its fast and high economic bustles as kicked up by the secretive small mining booms in its Mainit-Bukal-Tagnocon mining triangle. 

True indeed, economic growth is a boon and a blessing to the populace. There is always however the other side of growth and this are the problems that come as a consequence of such growth. Coming upfront as a critical issue to address is the peace and order situation in these two municipalities. If tabloid reports can be the gauge, reports about killings made by perpetrators who remain to elude police arrest and justice even if sporadic are certainly cause of concern by civil and police authorities. As we heard reports about proliferation of illegal drugs (read: shabu) and loose firearms in these municipalities, but in the most recent months we have not heard about buy-bust operations and operation bakal made by the police, if again the tabloids are to be the gauge. These, besides the massive Last 2 gambling. 

Greater fear is sown if the public eye sees silence and unconcern of civilian authorities particularly our elected local officials who instead of addressing these problems that attack the vigor of our youth and the moral fabric of our towns choose instead developmental rhetorics and pogi-point deliveries. Still greater fear is sown if the public eye sees police inutility and silence in stumping down the illegal drug and loose firearms problems that come to bug and mar the growths of these new tiger municipalities. Our greatest fear is when the public eyes see instead great conspiratorial experimentation of our authorities in these two rising pueblos with their inaction and unconcern to these critical problems of the day.   (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)



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