‘DON’TS’ for good of public
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
The many no-nos imposed on the public in Davao City is for general welfare.
These are for the good of the people, said Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in a recent edition of his television program Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa.
Two of Duterte’s don’ts were trailblazing policies that would be replicated by other local government units: The Anti-Smoking Ordinance and the Anti-Firecracker Ordinance which came into effect more than a decade ago.
The other taboos for Dabawenyos including foreign and local visitors and tourists are the Anti-Nuisance Ordinance that banned loud karaoke singing and motorcycles with modified mufflers, the Anti-Speeding executive order which limited speed in city roads and the Liquor Ban after 2AM.
Duterte’s most famous ‘don’t’ is the Smoking Ban which gained international attention and earned an award for the city from an international anti-smoking group. “I am protecting people from dying of cancer,” according to Duterte. The ban outlawed smoking in any enclosed establishment and all public places where people congregate.
The most maligned is the Liquor Ban with critics coming mostly from tourists and accommodation establishments like hotels and restaurants, the entertainment industry including videoke bars and other joints where intoxicating drinks are served. For drinkers, the last bottoms up is 2AM, with both seller and buyer of intoxicating drinks fined.
The Anti-Speeding order slowed down vehicles to 30kph in downtown roads and 60kph at the approavh to the city proper. Motorists initially opposed the order but Duterte stuck to his guns citing drastic drop in vehicular accidents. To enforce the law traffic enforcers guard streets with Speed Guns to shoot the speed maniacs breaking the limits who are slapped with stiff fines.
The Anti-Firecracker Ordinance, although a year-round prohibition against explosion and sale of firecrackers, comes into full action during Christmas and New Uear celebrations where exploding firecrackers is a tradition.
When it was passed, the Chinese community was the first to criticize the ban. Firecracker explosion is an age-old Chinese tradition to ward off evil and usher in prosperity during the Chinese New Year celebration in February.
Before the ban was passed, the Chinatown in Davao City was a war zone of explosions during the Chinese New Year, Christmas and New Year. The Chinese has accepted the ban and these days the events pass like the silence of the lamb every year.
In these days of deadly firecrackers killing or maiming hundreds during Christmas and New Year, Davao City had zero firecracker-related incidents since the ban was passed. ROGER M. BALANZA
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he is not the sole key to Davao City’s progress and stable peace and order.
On progress, Duterte said Dabawenyos should be credited for their friendliness that lures investors and makes business climate more conducive.
Dabawenyos are always smiling, said Duterte in his television show.
Duterte also said the Dabawenyos are also a disciplined lot and may not be told to follow laws.
We have stable peace and order because Dabawenyos are law-abiding citizens, he said.
Duterte is widely known for his iron-fist campaign against criminality which Dabawenyos credit for the city’s being one of the safest cities in the country.
From a city shaking from a communist insurgency that drove businessmen to safer grounds before Duterte became mayor more than two decades ago, Davao City is one of the most prosperous cities in the country today.
It has an annual budget of nearly P4 billion, one of the biggest for a local government unit.
Now considered as the business capital of Southern Mindanao if not the whole of Mindanao, an influx of big-ticket investments continues to flow into the city.