JICA study cites Metro Cebu’s need for mass transport by 2050

March 7, 2013 11:23 pm 

CEBU CITY, March 7 — Metro Cebu needs more public transportation, possibly including a bus rapid transit (BRT), by 2050 to sustain its growth, a foreign funded study said.

Public transport will have to be rearranged and land use policies reviewed to link Metro Cebu’s towns and cities through mass transit, it said.

Strategies and targets for Metro Cebu by 2050 were presented in a recent workshop attended by members of the Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB) and the study team from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).

Among the ideas the study team raised was the need for Cebu Province and all 13 towns and cities in Metro Cebu to cooperate, perhaps even work under one administrative, metro-wide organization.

The vision for Cebu is that it will grow into “a vibrant, equitable, sustainable and competitive environment that embraces its cultural historical and natural resources,” the study team said.

It also listed six priorities for action, which include recycling all municipal waste and “realizing zero flood damage” in Metro Cebu.

A Metro Cebu master plan was also listed, as well as the challenge to create comfortable housing “where citizens can feel a sense of belonging.”

Shigehisa Matsumura, leader of the JICA study team, endorsed the strategies and targets to make Mega Cebu 2050 a reality.

He presented four development themes for Cebu’s leaders and stakeholders to bear in mind, namely, competitiveness, mobility, livability and metropolitan management.

Competitiveness includes developing tourism, enterprise, education, and the factors that will enable these, like a stable power and water supply and access to information and communication technology.

The target they gave, as an example, is making Cebu number one in Southeast Asia or in international rankings such as the Global Urban Competitiveness Index Rankings.

Mobility refers to ensuring accessible and efficient movement within Metro Cebu, which includes public transport, road network, gateways and traffic management.

One aim would be to deliver 100 kilometers of mass public transport infrastructure like buses, BRT and light rail.

Livability includes access to basic services, a healthy environment, and safety.

Another target is zero informal settlers, especially in hazardous areas, and access to water supply around the clock.

”Planning – formulating of a comprehensive metropolitan urban development master plan” is prioritized under metropolitan management.

Matsumura said he is optimistic that these strategies and targets will be met and implemented.

The Mega Cebu program of the MCDCB also now has a new catch phrase”: Mega Cebu, making waves.” “Waves” stands for “wholesome, advanced, vibrant, equitable, sustainable.

Roberto Aboitiz, president of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., emphasized the need to identify next steps.

He also expressed confidence in Cebu’s competitive advantage in human resources. (PNA)

HBC/EB/RE

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