Thursday, January 8, 2009

May 2009 be the year of Group of 8 at SP Davao City

Quietly, 2009 slipped in to greet Davao City a better year ahead.

An active Ma-a Homeowner chided me for not including the Group of 8 in the SP in my Christmas greetings. Mea culpa. The Group of 8 is the name given by the Maa Homeowners to the 8 councilors who, even if they are not 1st District councilors, voted to protect the lives and properties of residents living below the environmentally critical Maa hills. They disapproved the PALC application of DMC-UPDI and Crown Communities.

To these Group of 8 Councilors, we salute you.

I and the Maa Homeowners wish the Group of 8 Councilors a 2009 that will provide them the best playing field where they can be true public servants of a deep sense of accountability. May you continue to confirm our right to live peacefully and healthily.

To those Councilors who went on official business and decreased the necessary vote for PALC disapproval, we also wish you a 2009 of better challenges. May you discern the shadows from the path and be with us both in spirit and action.

Indeed, this year will test if the SP is right in approving the PALC.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Greetings from MariaLinda

It is that time of the year when faith is most tested. With the approval of the PALC, the Federation must have more faith in their conviction that their basic interest - the human right to live peacefully and healthily- be protected.

May the Christmas essence anoint the PALC approving councilors so they may see reason and feel a deep sense of responsibility and accountability to the very people who they took oath to protect with legislative seals.

Best Christmas to DMC-UPDI, Crown Communities and the Brgy Ma-a Federation of Home-owner Associations !

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

City Council voted YES on PALC Approval

As expected by most of us who have watched and participated in the fight for disapproval of the PALC, the Davao City Council voted YES for the PALC at 11-8-2 for DMCI and 12-8-1 for Crown Communities.

These Councilors will be judged by history as having turned their back on Davao City, particularly Ma-a and immediate neighboring barangays, on the matter of Shrine Hills Development. They certainly do deserve a red mark on their report cards from us.

Now that these Councilors, by voting YES, have given their assurance that DMC-UPDI and Crown Communities will do responsible housing development at Shrine Hills, then on their shoulders should also lay the burden of seeing to it that these developers do practice it. Davao City and the world will watch how they will fare. They cannot hide behind legislative walls and procedures.

Still, the struggle is not yet over for the Federation and other concerned citizens and organizations. There are other avenues available to make DMC-UPDI and Crown Communities practice responsible housing development. If the Federation stops its vigilance, these developers will shelve the mitigating plans they have boasted to work on. Without doubt, eyes and ears will remain focused on these Developers and these YES Councilors for the coming months.

How the Councilors voted for DMC-UPDI application for PALC:

How they voted for the Crown Communities PALC application:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

VM Sara said there is no solution to the Shrine Hills Drainage

Grace L. Plata wrote on Sunstar November 19, 2008 that "DAVAO City Vice Mayor Sara Duterte said it is difficult to find solutions and eventually approve the Preliminary Approval and Location Clearance (PALC) application of Shrine Hills developers with the drainage pathway emerging as the main contentious point."

Stacey Baird, one of the more active residents of Maa on the Shrine Hill struggle, personally wrote the Vice Mayor stressing that the non-resolution of the key issue of drainage is more reason for non-approval of the PALC. He added that drainage should be in place well before any other construction movement (italics mine).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dangers of Shrine Hillside Developments

by J. Stacey Baird

I am concerned, confused, and frustrated about the safety of Shrine Hill subdivision development against landslides and run-off. I live in the potentially affected area of earth movement and flooding from Ma-a Shrine Hill developments. I also have good friends there.

I am confused by differing expert opinion on the stability and risk of Shrine Hill development. Of course, I know experts can differ but when someone else tries to make decisions for me which will result in benefit to them, I somehow feel they could see things differently than I do.

I am also confused and fearful because of what seem to be dilutions or loopholes in safety assurances by some geologists. I don't understand the true long term safety of the place. In other words, they say, it would be safe if you . . . . or, it will be safe until . . . . or if mitigating measures are strictly enforced and maintained . . . . I ask whether proper maintenance over 10 to 100 years is likely?

Article Continues.....

Big Step

If anything, this advocacy of the Federation resulted to one big step - the City government is now more inclined to regulating property development activities.

a timid step

DMCI had started talks with the Federation, beginning with the Trinidad Greenhills Homeowners Association, on the flooding issue. A timid step but, still a step forward.

A Spendthrift?

Now that I have spent some time in updating on the issue, one development on the matter that caught my attention was the threat by DMCI to sue the Federation for asserting the homeowners' rights over their respective properties beneath the hill. Its rights end where those of the Federation members begin.

I just discovered that drowned among the many messages in my mail box, during my long absence, was the comment in the form of a link to newspaper article on the matter of legal action by DMCI. Pity, I was not around to post it so the legal threat lost its bite or the lack of it.

Obviously, DMCI's reluctance to discuss openly with the Federation on the latter's danger issues with their project makes it suspect. It seems it does not want to spend for mitigating measures against any untoward incidents to the neighboring subdivisions. But any responsible property developer will. Yet, it avers that the subdivision will be one of the best in the City.

Still, it has no other recourse but to listen to the complaint and attend to the mitigating measures acceptable to the Federation membership because the group is unflappable. It is good business sense to think beyond one's geographic area.