Editorial: Mega challenge

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

MOST of the candidates who attended a recent series of forums organized by the Mega Cebu group pledged to work with other local governments, for the good of the metropolis.

Some even went on to say that the group—that is, the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB)—should pursue its vision without waiting for congressional support.

Two years ago, it took a memorandum of agreement to officially create the MCDCB, which bands together national government agencies, civil society leaders, the Province and 13 towns and cities, from Danao in the north to Carcar in the south.


Should they win, the candidates who pledged to support the Mega Cebu vision face a long list of challenges. But they also possess an advantage that previous attempts to create a metro-level authority in Cebu lacked: the necessary support of business leaders and civil society groups.

As far back as 1992, proposals had been made to create an authority that would oversee projects and set directions for Metro Cebu. Something always stood in the way, often the objections of politicians wary about letting others have a say on the affairs of their turf.

A metro authority created by Congress would, in theory, have the security to think beyond a three-year term in pursuing the difficult and painstaking work of development.

Sadly, that never came to pass.

Yet even then, it was becoming obvious that the challenges growth would bring—among them increased traffic, a housing backlog, and a need for better infrastructure—would be too much for any single local government to solve. Floodwaters that swept over the denuded mountains of one city would not confine themselves to that city alone; the garbage spewed by one town would often end up in another community’s backyard.

Among our pressing needs are for mass transport, better access to quality education, jobs, stable power and water supply, and environmental sustainability. The candidates who win on May 13 will have to address all these challenges, whether or not they committed to support the Mega Cebu vision. But it would be better for all concerned if they did.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 01, 2013.


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