Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu mayors back Mega Cebu proposal

November 10, 2011 10:48 pm 

CEBU CITY, Nov. 10 -– Mayors of the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu said they support the Mega Cebu idea proposed by business and other parts of the private sector, but are concerned about its sustainability.

They also asked whether their cities would be included in the Mega Cebu plans.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza expressed doubts the Mega Cebu proposal will work given the present political set-up in Cebu.

While they are being urged to join, Radaza said her main concern is whether the proposal will lead to projects that will benefit her constituents.

”We don’t intend to be isolated and do things only on our own. What is important to me is how it will benefit our constituents,” she added.

Challenges like urbanization and the quality of life, as well as inadequate infrastructure and declining competitiveness, are among the areas a plan for Mega Cebu should address, business leader Roberto Aboitiz said in a forum last month.

The plan would be good for the next 30 years, he added, and address challenges that cross boundaries, like reducing the risk of disasters and adapting to climate change.

Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes said that while he supports the Mega Cebu project, he fears the proposal might end up like the now-defunct Metro Cebu Development Projects (MCDP).

He said that when MCDP was disbanded, infrastructure projects that were supposed to be placed in Mandaue City also stopped. Then the flooding worsened in the city over the years, he said.

Cortes said the succeeding development boards have not entirely solved problems in the local government units, such as traffic.

”That is a grand dream, but how can we expect cooperation, how can we have a unified traffic system if Mandaue City’s jeepneys aren’t allowed into Cebu City?” he added.

Cortes referred to the Cebu City Government’s decision to prevent Mandaue jeepneys from entering Cebu City’s main roads, including the downtown area.

Cortes said some mayors are considering the idea of letting national agencies, instead of politicians, handle the task for creating a good development plan for Cebu.

These agencies include the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Public Works and Highways. (PNA) DCT/FFC/EB/re

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