Ordinary folks are skeptical how the tough battle between the two political giants will actually benefit them.
By ALEX D. LOPEZ
DIGOS CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — Residents see a tough election fight come May 13, 2013 as the province’s governor and the city’s mayor battle it out for the city’s mayoralty post.
Incumbent Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas filed his Certificate of Candidacy at the local Comelec (Commission on Elections) office on Tuesday.
To this, reelectionist incumbent Mayor Joseph Peñas said, “Nalipay ko nga ang mohagit sa posisyon sa pagka-Mayor sa Digos mao ang numero unong politiko sa Davao del Sur (I am glad that the mayoralty post in Digos City will be challenged by the number one politician in Davao del Sur).” Penas filed his candidacy on Wednesday.
Ordinary folks, however, are skeptical how the tough battle between the two political giants will actually benefit them.
A vendor, who asked not be named, said every election, prominent names in the local political arena closely compete, whether in the provincial or city positions.
For Raul, a tricycle driver, “Bug-at gyud ang mamahimong laban (It will be a tough fight).”
But as early as now, he raised howl over how local public officials failed to address some of the issues that affect ordinary folks like him.
Tricycle drivers were dismayed with the local government’s inaction over their long-time complaints.
“Tricycle drivers continue to ply using expired franchises and we’ve been asking the city government to check on this,” he said, adding that their complaints fell on deaf ears.
“Lugi mi kay nagbayad man mi ug nagpa-renew sa franchise samtang ang uban wala (It’s not fair because we paid and renewed our franchises while the others did not),” he lamented.
Tit for tat
Mayor Peñas claimed accomplishments during his first term in office, saying most were concentrated on the development of infrastructure projects and support to the barangays like concreting and asphalting of major road networks.
Cagas was quick to debunk Peñas, saying in a statement released to media that “no major developments were introduced to benefit the people” since Digos was converted into a city, 12 years ago.
Cagas, a veteran politician, has served the province in different political positions.
He was a representative of Davao del Sur’s first district, a position currently held by his son, when he spearheaded the conversion of Digos into a component city through Republic Act 8798 which was approved on July 15, 2000.
Lawyer Allan Kadon, the Comelec registrar, said the city has about 85,000 voters, a number which might increase after the registration of voters resumes.
Digos City has a total land area of 28,710 hectares. It covers 26 barangays, nine of which comprise the Poblacion, considered as the urban center.
It has an estimated population of 159,569, based on the 2010 data from the Local Governance Performance Management System of the Department of Interior and Local Government.
The city’s financial profile includes PHP 398,608,792 (USD 9,552,210) in Internal Revenue Allotment share; PHP 100,179,489.64 (USD 2,400,690) of local-resourced revenues; PHP 265,983.36 (USD 6,373.99) income from other revenues; and a total income of PHP 499,054,265 (USD 11,959,300). (Alex D. Lopez/davaotoday.com)World