Good governance: Behind Davao City’s liveability


by Alex Roldan

TOUTED as the financial hub of Mindanao, Davao city is steadily reaping the gains pushed by its potentials and opportunities. Obviously, this could not have been achieved without the able leadership of Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte whose no-nonsense policies effectively address the fundamental requirements of his almost 1.4 million highly heterogeneous constituency.
The maintenance of peace and order is foremost among the city’s priorities. It is not all about strengthening the capabilities of the police force to control criminality and illegal drugs, but  ensuring that the other aspects of maintaining orderliness in the city could be assiduously addressed, such as effective traffic management systems, disaster management, emergency response system through 911 and the anti-terrorism campaign.
The delivery of basic services is paramount in every aspect of Mayor Duterte’s governance. He fully understands the dilemma of the poor sector of the population while taking into consideration the city’s capability to respond to it. Medical assistance through Lingap Para sa Mahirap Program leads the way in the city government’s response to the people’s immediate medical needs. Health-related campaigns such as anti-rabies, anti-smoking, malaria control, reproductive health, maternal and child care, gender and development and the like have been  sustained and expanded.
Conscious of the growing population and the need for housing, the city government provided several relocation areas for poor and deserving residents.
Human resource development is indispensable in any city’s development. This is effectively addressed through education programs for all (including building Madrasahs).  To date, 599 day care centers are operating throughout the city. Educational assistance programs for all grade levels, vocational  and non-formal education continue to benefit more individuals. Scholarships to poor but deserving college students was launched early this year.
Harmonizing all the efforts and strengthening the economy inevitably sustain Davao City’s growth. Economic services are constantly being improved, particularly in the areas of  investment generation, tourism, and employment services. To further reduce the cost of doing business, innovations were applied to make an effective one-stop shop for all business permit transactions.
The city government believes in the potentials of the micro, small and medium enterprises to generate more employment.
Agriculture is vital to Davao’s economy. Mayor Duterte is focused on efforts that improve crop and fisheries production, and planting materials and livestock upgrading.
Central to Mayor Duterte’s policies is sound management of the environment. The city put up effective solid waste management, pollution monitoring, parks and playgrounds and the almost completed sanitary landfill.
This is what good governance is all about. And more.