Inquirer not precise, specific, accurate

Headline: Davao bus blast kills 6

Is it not better to be precise and specific? Digos bus blast kills 6

Davao and Digos have the same five letters and would surely fit in the front of the Inquirer. But why did the Inquirer editors use Davao instead of the more accurate Digos as the site of the bus blast?

Your guess is as good as mine. Using Digos would not be as dramatic, would not be as sensational, and, of course, would not sell as much.

Oh well.

For those not familiar, Digos City is 54 kilometers or one-and-a-half-hour bus ride south of Davao City. It is the capital of the provice of Davao del Sur.

Yet, these vital facts were not mentioned in the story. It would have helped readers better understand. For instance, it was mentioned that “Many of those in critical condition were rushed to the government-run Davao Medical Center in Davao City.

This would have been the opportunity to picture to the readers that Davao City was so much kilometers away from the blast site. Both the reporters and editors missed this chance.

Oh well.

5:45 a.m.

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Feeding our future

During the food crisis early this year, we batted for one common sense solution, that is, to plant more food crops to increase supply and stabilize the spiraling price increases.

The national government responded with a number of measures to address the crisis including massive subsidies and reviving the so-called “corporate farming” to entice big corporations – just like during martial law – to help in food production. Among those that responded was the San Miguel – Kuok Group combine which promised to put in $1 billion for the “Feeding our Future” program.

The Department of Agriculture is now identifying at least 1 million hectares for this project.

Davao city is the largest city in the country with over 244,000 hectares. Only about 10 percent of this vast land, however, is urban and urbanizing; the rest are forestal and agricultural. In the case of the forestal areas, much is actually grassy lands not yet classified as alienable and disposable. Thus, they lie idle and unproductive. Much of these lands are in Paquibato and Marilog Districts.

Marriz Agbon, who heads this national government program, once edited a local paper here and knows the city’s many potentials.

Unfortunately, Davao city s not in the priority list of areas for the “Feeding our Future” program. It is truly a waste of our vast land resources, our abundant water supply and excellent weather not to be included in this food production program.

I’m upset that the national government is not using its common sense in implementing this project.

7:38 a.m.

Earth Day clean-up

City Administrator Wendel Avisado is organizing two activities for the 38th Earth Day celebration:

Tree-planting at Eden, Toril on April 19; and

Coastal clean-up on April 22.

City Hall employees, members of the armed forces and civil society groups are expected to participate to help mark Earth Day with the theme “Tubig at Buhay, ating Pagyamanin at Linisin”

Pro-lifers at City Council today

Expect some fireworks today at the City Council.

Local pro-life advocates will troop today at the session hall to lobby for the rejection of the proposed Development Plan for Children.

The measure contains reproductive health issues which those from the Catholic Church oppose.

CNA

I hope this would be a lucky day for the city government and its employees.

Nego panels from both sides will sit down this afternoon to discuss its Collective Bargaining Agreement (CNA), last signed seven years ago.

Our city administrator lawyer Wendel Avisado will head the local government unit while Bing Alajar of the City Library will lead the Davao City Hall Employees Association (DACHEA), which has over 3,000 members.

I sit in the panel representing the local legislative body.

The renewal of the CNA should give the city government opportunity to provide security and better benefits to its employees, on one hand, and provide a more efficient and productive public service, on the other.