Election 2016: Agenda of the Digos City mayor
The Inquirer is coming out today with the 16th in its series on pressing people’s concerns that should be high on the agenda of candidates for representative, governor or mayor in the May 9 elections. The series should help voters in the provinces choose their leaders wisely. In line with our “ThINQ. Vote.” advocacy, we have asked candidates in certain provinces, cities and congressional districts to outline their concrete plans of action in dealing with specific issues in their areas.
Profile: Digos City
Digos is a second class city and remains a component of Davao del Sur province. Its topography ranges from hilly to mountainous with agriculture and trading as major components of its economy. It has 26 barangays, including the summer destination of Kapatagan at the foot of Mt. Apo. Being the capital of Davao del Sur, Digos City hosts a number of shopping malls and commercial centers and educational institutions such as the satellite campus of the state-run Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology.
Land area: 28,710 hectares
Registered voters: 95,060 (2010)
Population: 149,891 (as of May 2010)
CONCERN 1: PEACE AND ORDER
Motorcycle theft, robbery, drugs and street crime are among the concerns in the city. In 2013, Digos accounted for about a quarter of Davao del Sur’s 489 index crimes. It also holds the distinction of having three media men murdered in a span of nine years—broadcaster Racman Pace in 2006, Nestor Bedolido in 2010 and Sammy Oliverio in 2015.
Joseph Peñas (Liberal Party)
- One of the serious problems is drug addiction. We should intensify the campaign against the sale and use of illegal drugs by strengthening intelligence gathering, arrest and prosecution of suspects.
Josef Fortich Cagas (Nacionalista Party-Hugpong)
- Make a comprehensive peace and order plan.
- Proper utilization of the P35-million peace and order fund.
- Strengthen intelligence network.
- Identify notorious criminal groups and personalities.
- Increase monthly honorarium for barangay tanod.
CONCERN 2: POVERTY
In 2012, the National Statistical Coordination Board (now the Philippines Statistics Authority) reported that Digos City’s poverty incidence was 14.7 percent.
- Provide incentives, livelihood assistance and allowances to poor families .
- Create employment opportunities by strengthening ecotourism, sports and cultural tourism and commercial tourism.
- Establish livelihood programs and provide soft loans to small-scale farmers and small businessmen.
- Establish emergency employment program.
- Create a local version of 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
- Disperse economic centers based on present zoning ordinance to create business and employment opportunities.
CONCERN 3: EDUCATION
Digos has 117 schools offering pre-elementary to postgraduate education. The city’s functional literacy is 88.86 percent.
- Increase funding for scholarship programs so that more youth, especially from the barangay, can go to school.
- Provide better facilities by utilizing the P13-million special education fund.
- Increase and strengthen the Digos City education grants program.
- Increase day-care teachers’ honorarium.
- Provide adequate support to madrasah and alternative learning system program.
- Provide monthly skills training for out-of-school youth.
(Interviews by Eldie Aguirre and Allan Nawal)
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