Editorial: Leveling up-A A +A
Monday, April 28, 2014
RAISING the marketability of Lapu-Lapu City as a tourist destination can be considered as among the better conceived goals of Mayor Paz Radaza in years. Surely, the city hasn’t reached its maximum potential in terms of luring in tourists despite the estimated almost a million foreign and domestic tourists that visited it last year.
But while Radaza has been actively promoting the city as a tourist destination under her administration, its growth has largely been private sector-driven. Owners of the city’s resorts can be said to have been providing the lure to tourists with some help from the city government in certain instances and despite it in other instances.
The local government unit can truly be an important adjunct in promoting Lapu-Lapu as a quality tourist destination if its officials can also deliver in terms of governance. The city’s population has grown much in the past and the delivery of services needs to outstrip that growth.
There are, therefore, challenges for the Radaza administration other than popularizing it as “Historic Resort City.” And these challenges have to do more with substance.
Here are some aspects of governance that the mayor needs to focus on:
Fight against corruption. There is a lingering perception that potential investors would be milked by corrupt officials once they put up projects in the city. This might no longer be happening but the perception persists, and it could prevent the entry of investors especially in the tourism sector.
Peace and order. Maintaining peace and order is always a problem for an urbanizing area like Lapu-Lapu City and neighboring Cordova town. While tourists can be safe inside well-secured resorts, they may not feel that way outside. There has been a lull in the commission of sensational criminal incidents but petty crimes are still a problem in the island.
Infrastructure, traffic. Road network expansion and road repairs need to be given constant attention considering the city’s growth. The existence of damage roads does not improve the city’s image to tourists. As for traffic, bottlenecks continue to bedevil some routes, especially during major activities in the city.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 29, 2014.