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Davao’s Malacañang

AS of this writing, the group of Presidential Adviser on the Visayas Michael Dino is preparing for the take-over of the Malacañang of the Visayas for occupation and work. The building is an iconic structure in the landscape of Cebu City, just via a five-minute stroll from City Hall in the wharf area, as it used to be a Customs Office. There is a plan to name Provincial Coordinators to compliment the Visayas Office.

The inertia inaugurated by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to convene his first Cabinet Meeting in the Malacañang of Mindanao (Davao) is a breath of fresh air contrasted from the over-centric governance in Manila. The seat of government is where the President of the Philippines decides to hold office.

It will be historical for the Duterte Administration to remind national agencies and bureaus in the capital, the real work that require expediting and accomplishing is not in Manila, but the greater country outside the National Capital Region. It is the provinces, and the “provinciano” that demand the greatest attention of many government front-line services.

If President Duterte decides to remain in Davao and create a Malacañang for Mindanao, I am all for it! In brief it achieves in one swift action what are the 3 “Rs” for our Southern Archipelago – “Representation, Recognition, Reform”. No less the highest official in the land with his office implanting his presence and imprimatur to bear down on a national recalibration for quicker political action and countryside development.

If the problem and promise is in Mindanao, where should the doctor be? Let the Cabinet members fly to Davao when necessary e.g. a regular meeting is held. A Cabinet Cluster may be operational in Manila. There is Skype and Viber for the President and all government functionaries. The very reason to expedite Internet speed as espoused by President Duterte with a warning to telecom companies.

A move welcomed by an abused and frustrated public. President Duterte may travel to Manila only for very important State Duties. But let him stay where he is most comfortable and effective. Besides, with Manila’s traffic and pollution. (Erik Espina)