Presidential frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte means to give Filipinos more affordable food, 911 emergency services, and help for abandoned or neglected seniors, as well as abused children. This message of hope emanates from the crime-busting mayor’s stump speeches showcasing his accomplishments in Davao City, implying that what he’s done for Davao, he will do for the rest of the Philippines.
Leading up to the May 9, 2016, presidential elections, Duterte has repeated his message mainly to Filipinos of limited means hoping for a new leader to ease their pain. He unabashedly refers to Davao as “Exhibit A” where concrete examples of his accomplishments are in clear evidence.
A Facebook post by Duterte publicist Manny Piñol underscores a means for increasing food production. Duterte unveiled his Food Security Agenda on April 21 at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City, to feed a growing Filipino population projected to reach 105 million in the next decade. Calling it his “moral obligation” to provide “Available and Affordable Food” to all Filipinos, he released this statement.
“I do not understand why we have to import food items which the Filipino farmers could very well produce with guidance and assistance from government.”
Duterte brought forward experts to extrapolate on the means used by farmers for better food production. Israel agriculturist Eyal Ben Ari explained how his Gur Lavi Corporation does green house farming, California-based tilapia fish farmer Rocky French gave his assessment of fisheries in the Philippines, dairy farmer Rene Almeda reviewed the merits of the national dairy program, and agriculturist Isaac Bangcaya spoke on improvements to rice and corn farming. Duterte is poised to go full bore with his agricultural agenda as soon as he is elected president.
According to Business Mirror, another Davao City uniqueness attributable to Duterte is the 911 service patterned after that in the United States or Canada. It is a tried and proven means by which emergency matters can be conveyed to the proper authorities.
Through this service, Duterte has provided his constituents with the best possible means of dealing with a bad situation. Dialing 911 links the caller to an emergency dispatch center or Public Safety Answering Point, which sends first responders to the critical location.
Another Davao City uniqueness pertains to Duterte’s protectiveness of its abandoned senior citizens. According to Edge Davao, the management staff of Abreeza Mall, Davao’s high-end shopping center, feted 20 residents of Co Su Gian Home for the Aged to a lunch and movie in September of 2015. This act of charity for the old and neglected gave them a means of escape from their humdrum routine for a day.
Once in obscure existence at Barangay Cabantian, Buhangin District, Davao City, Co Su Gian (so-named after the private donor of the house and land) rose to public attention when Duterte got entwined in its affairs. With Social Services taking it over from a philanthropist, the home was inaugurated on March 14, 2012, by means of a ribbon-cutting ceremony officiated by then City Mayor Sara Duterte and Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
As mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Duterte’s devotion to the Co Su Gian home for the aged has never wavered, lending support to its 57 senior residents neglected, abused, or simply abandoned by their families. In response to the mayor’s concern, private groups have made charitable gestures toward the home by means of rice, canned goods, and clothing donations.
An offshoot to the success of Duterte’s Co Su Gian experiment is the sheltering of abused children by means of a building next door. According to Sun Star, this intervention center for sexually or physically abused children is called Balay Dangupan, founded at a different location in 1994, before being given its new home in the Co Su Gian compound in 2015.
Thankful for support rendered by Duterte, Center Head Myrna S. Dadang told an interviewer that she can accommodate 50 children, but has so far catered to a minimum of 25 children and a maximum of 35 children. The reason for the median range is that she discharges children using a psychosocial assessment as a means of determining them ready for release.
Filipinos at the brink of choosing a new president are caught in the crossfire of candidates maligning each other with scandalous accusations. Action-man Duterte, whose openness leaves him no means of defense from the political mudslinging, has adopted a take-me-or-leave-me attitude. Voters have no recourse but to let the mayor’s achievements speak for themselves.
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