The Working President

The Working President
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte "destined to become president"

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rody Duterte in the eyes of a Manileño as commented on forums.





Duterte and Binay have been local chief executives for long, and have children in public office. Both began their political careers after EDSA ‘86, and both of them won their first elections in 1988. Both served under five Presidents since, and both have led local governments. Both have never lost an election.

The comparison, however, ends there. Duterte has the distinction of having served as a Congressman in the House of Representatives, while Binay has not one day of service in either the lower house or the Senate. Binay, however, served in the Aquino cabinet and was one time chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority. On this note, Duterte surpasses Binay due to the former’s legislative experience.

A look at Binay’s Makati and Duterte’s Davao shows us a larger backdrop in comparing the two. Binay’s supposed success in Makati is clearly the result of having inherited it as the financial center of the country upon his assumption into office. He has just allowed it to continue. It cannot grow any further as a city. Duterte’s Davao, on the other hand, is a Southeast Asian success story almost similar to the rise of Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew. Both Davao and Singapore rose from violence and dirt into the clean and safe cities they are today.

Regarding current challenges, Makati sees no need to produce food or ensure steady water supply, and to my knowledge, has no rebel fronts, NPA kutas or other forms of insurgency. There are no fisherfolk or lumads claiming ancestral domains. I wonder if Makati has a City Agriculture Office? As Makati Mayor and MMDA Chair, Binay has never had to deal with NPA rebels or other insurgents, and never felt the pressure to ensure stable food and water supply for his constituents. Davao, on the other hand, has 244,000 hectares in its territory, and almost 2 million residents compared to Makati’s half-million population in a dense 21 square kilometers or 2,157 hectares. Davao City is half the size and 3 times the population of Brunei Darussalam and a third the size of East Timor. It has the world’s largest Chinatown and is host to a kaleidoscope of cultures and faiths unseen in the rest of the country.

Davao can feed, water and clothe itself with the coming 200 plus megawatts of power coming from hydroelectric power and other sources, and has a deep water port and an international airport with coming upgrades through which direct trade with neighboring countries can take place. Davao is virtually a self-supporting country where almost a hundred Makatis can fit!

Having limited experience, Metro Manila mayors like Binay are relegated to ensuring proper garbage collection (a task which many even fail to achieve), street lighting and beautification, and free entertainment every election day, everything else that gives life to its constituents is up to MMDA and Malacañang.
Binay never had to deal with peace negotiations and release of captives from the hands of rebels. Duterte’s history, on the other hand, is filled with the successful negotiation of released captives.


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