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Feature: Development costly for Dabawenyos

Davao City (21 November) -- Development may have pushed Davao City to a world-class city status but it has taken its toll on the city's environment which is evident in the flooding, pollution and other problems the city is faced with.

"There is no denying the fact that we need development to further the city's growth but it should not be made at the risk of destroying our natural resources including our environment," said councilor Rachel Zozobrado when she welcomed the participants to the elimination of the 2nd Jesus A. Zozobrado oratorical contest which started last Friday.

Zozobrado said Davao City was already a picture of a fully developed city and most people thought that it had already maximized its growth in 1997. In a span of four years, she said, this was proven wrong because commercial establishments started to locate in the city like there was no tomorrow.

She said housing developments in the city also started to mushroom leaving no place unturned. Even the most rural areas were a target for development both for commercial, housing and industrial purposes.

"While this is definitely a move towards the right direction for the city, it took a toll on the city's environment," she said. The recent flooding problems being experienced by Maa resident as well as residents of other subdivisions should be a concern for everyone, she added.

Our environment is clearly the recipient of a heavy burden while we the people of Davao are enjoying these developments, she said. "Dabawenyos should realize that while we are enjoying these developments we also set to lose with the environmental problems faced by the city," she added.

Zozobrado said there are reports that the city's once-clean beaches have been monitored with coliform and other pollutive substances that are bound to affect our water resources including our fish which we brag about in the export market. A recently concluded report by several agencies indicated that even our aquifers are already polluted and this should start to worry us, she said.

Zozobrado said the city is faced with environmental issues which clash with development issues. While we need these developments to veer us to the next century and to make us more competitive, she added, we also need to preserve our environment to have a more sustainable existence.

She challenged the students to be in the forefront of environmental protection even while still in school.

While our generation is faced with the task of finding a solution for our development and our environmental problems, she said, it is today's youth who would be inheriting these problems and these choices in a few years.

Zozobrado told the participants of the oratorical contest to become aware of the challenges faced by our environment today "so that you will be able to make the right choices when your time comes." (PR/PIA XI) [top]

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