Davao City Project 911: Al’s unforgettable legacy
By ROGER M. BALANZA
If Alfonso “Al” Aboitiz should be remembered by Dabawenyos, it would not be for the role Davao Light and Power Co. played in their city’s fast-paced development.
As the Davao City’s sole power provider, DLPC’s capability to provide electricity to the fast-growing local industry is acknowledged by the business community as the biggest come-on.
But economic progress stands on shaky ground without stable peace and order, which happened to be at the core of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
Aboitiz would play key role in the crucial effort to maintain the city’s peace and order stability in 2001, when DLPC, where he presides as chief-operating-officer, offered to the city government its computerized data-bank on the city’s physical profile.
The profile, basically an account management system, provides a picture of every street and barangay with a DLPC electric post.
Anti-crime operations and response being a race for time, the profile could guide police, fire and emergency units to a scene with a flick on a computer that would provide locations for say a crime or fire scene.
Mayor Duterte had immediately grabbed the idea, leading to the birth of the 911 Emergency Response Center. 911 would now become an institution, playing center to the peace and order campaign, making Davao City one of three areas in the world—alongside the US and Canada—with a fully integrated computerized response system, with a police car, fire trucks or emergency team responding to calls for assistance in just a few minutes.
In 2003, 911 was awarded by the League of Cities in the Philippines in 2003, as one of the Top 25 Best Practices in the Philippines. Other local government officials in the Philippines are now trying to adopt a 911 project in their cities, but Aboitiz, together with Mayor Duterte, should be credited for this centerpiece of the city’s peace and order campaign.
If DLPC would continue to remain as Davao City’s sparkplug for continuing progress, Aboitiz left a major imprint in the city’s peace and order campaign through his contribution to 911. Even as Aboitiz, 48, died in an accident on Saturday in Cebu, Dabawenyos should remember him for his role in their most valued possession—that 911 will continue to nurture—which is stable peace and order.