Third District Faces Same Old Problems

May. 12, 2007

Third District: This major district faces the same old problems but, according to residents, the candidates seldom talk about these, let alone present solutions. Officials, meanwhile, say they would only support candidates who can promise money for projects. That means support for the administrations bets.

Veggie District. Vegetable farmers in Marilog want better roads so they can sell their crops easier. ( photo by Cheryll Fiel)

By Cheryll D. Fiel and
Jetty Ayop-Ohaylan

DAVAO CITY — Floods, the absence of a covered court and a lot to build a barangay hall, gangs. Wilmar Al-ag, the barangay captain of Poblacion, in Toril, complains about these things all the time.

The solution to these problems, he tells, is to choose a congressional candidate in the third district who can solve these problems.

And Al-ag thinks that Isidro Ungab, a city councilor from the district, is that candidate.

Go for the Winner. Wilmer Al-ag, barangay captain of Poblacion, Toril, thinks it would be good for the people to vote for the administration. ( photo by Cheryll Fiel)

Ungab used to be a bank manager. When I started my business, I had a 10,000 loan from his bank and, in five years, my loan grew to 3 million pesos, Al-ag says, and adds: That’s how close we are.”

Besides, he hastens to add, he is supporting Ungab because Mayor Rodrigo Duterte says so.

Al-ag claims that former congressman Ruy Lopez, whose brother is now running for Congress against Ungab, is a close friend but theres a problem, he says, in the fact that Lopez is with the opposition.

The problem with Ruy is his being part of the opposition. He may have some budget but it is not enough to help the barangay,” Al-ag points out.

Glecerio Sumalinog, of Barangay Datu Salumay in Marilog District, agrees with Al-ag. For him, its all about expediency. We really have to choose those candidates who can easily facilitate approval of projects, he tells

Residents like Gloria Ubas of Talomo agree with Al-ag ( photo by Cheryll Fiel)

Sumalinog, who lives near the Bukidnon border 80 kilometers from the downtown, grumbles about the status of the roads in the farflung villages of his barangay. The roads are really bad, the vegetables are no longer of good quality when they reach the market in Davao City. The farmers could hardly even pay their fare back, he complaines.

Sumalinog said a good road for them is the same as an opportunity for a better livelihood for the people, especially because the main source of income of people in his village is vegetable farming.

Because of this, Sumalinog, like other officials in the city, makes it a point to campaign for candidates that he thinks could have access to the funds that would solve these infrastructure problems.

Like Al-ag, Sumalinog is supporting Ungab because “the mayor says so.”

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