NOW it can be told. The country is well on its way back to normalcy after the almost three years of pandemic caused by the CoViD 19.

We need not go far or wait for announcement from the government. We know that it could not go reckless unless it will also receive official statement from the World Health Organization (WHO).

But right here in our own Davao City commerce and movement of people are almost unrestricted with only protocols like wearing of mask and as much as possible maintaining of social distancing are the ones still being strictly imposed. But apparently these acts are seemingly getting to become people’s habit.

The most recent indication that normalcy is in sight is the recent report quoting the President of Halifax Hotel Corporation, Mr. Francis Ledesma, who said that the management is now scheduling the reopening of its Marco Polo hotel in Davao City anytime soon. What is left, according to an interview conducted by veteran media man Serafin “Jun” Ledesma, is the completion of the refurbishing of the only 5-star hotel in Davao and the recruitment and training of the new staff that will help man the its operation.

Yes, we know that management of corporations as prestigious as that of Marco Polo would not have considered re-opening had it not been assured that the pandemic is now slowly but effectively controlled by the government. Clearly the brains behind the reopening are certain that the country’s tourism industry as well as the whole of the economy is now getting back on its feet and with a vengeance.

Hence the Marco Polo Hotel is again casting its lot in what could be a more vibrant tourism and travel industry ever after almost 3 years of hiatus.


Like at the national level where there is already positioning and expression of preference by senators and congressmen to chair or head this and that committee in the two Houses of Congress, the situation is also similar at the local level.

Chairmanships of the different committees at the Davao City Sangguniang Panlungsod will be hotly, though silently, contested by the councilors especially the choice ones like the Committee on Ways and Means and Finance, Appropriations, Public Works, Education and others. Most likely there are some “juicy perks” accorded to chairmen and members of these committees other than the usual honoraria every time the committees meet.

Then there is also the designation of such prestigious positions in the SP like the Floor Leader and the assistant Majority Floor leader. The Presiding Officer of course is by law a domain of the Vice Mayor and he can only temporarily relinquish the responsibility if he is out on official business, sick leave, or that he would want to actively participate in the deliberation of certain items presented for discussion in the local lawmaking body.

Of course all these are determined in caucuses that the incoming council membership will be conducting for the purpose. Whatever will be decided in those caucuses will be announced in the next Council’s opening session for affirmation purposes.

This early we already have some inkling as to who ware likely be chosen Floor Leader. Our bet is that the top choice could be third district councilor Alberto Ungab. The councilor who might be closely breathing on Ungab’s neck in the race to the post could be First District Councilor Edgar Ibuyan Jr.

As to the chairmanship of the different Council committees we would rather not speculate. We have no complete idea on the new SP members’ line of expertise and education. There are committees however that the chairmanship can be considered a given. For example that of Education is clearly a domain for educators in the SP membership. The information body as we have said in an earlier column could be fit for those coming from the information dissemination line of work experience. That of the health committee could not be more appropriate than being assigned to a medical practitioner or more or less have some experiences in related fields. And we know who these are from among the incoming Sangguniang Panlungsod members.

Anyhow, our wait for eventually knowing who will be the action men and women in the city council will not anymore be a long wait. The winners in the last local election will assume on June 30, a little over a month from now.

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Source: Mindanao Times (