Editorial: Growing cities

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Monday, August 4, 2014

THE Cebu Provincial Government is celebrating its 445th founding anniversary tomorrow.

The celebration is a special non-working day in the province, and rightly so. It is one of the oldest in the country and is one of its premier provinces, too.

Also this month, or on Aug. 30, Mandaue City will have its 44th Charter Day celebration. While the city is lesser in magnitude as a local government unit (LGU), it deserves some recognition, especially now.


Mandaue is one of the cities in Metro Cebu whose growth has somehow been overlooked because of our bias for big LGUs, like the province and its main urban center, Cebu City. One other city like it is Lapu-Lapu.

The Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu cities that we are seeing now are vastly different from the ones of, say, a decade ago. From seemingly sleepy though largely urban enclaves, they have realized their potentials and are no longer just Cebu City’s very small brothers. (A former mayor had in the past used to position Cebu as everybody else’s “big brother.”)

Credit should go to the current leadership of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu for spurring the growth through aggressiveness and creativity, although to be fair, their past leaders can also be recognized for planting the seeds of the growth we are seeing now.

Mandaue is currently negotiating with the Province for the purchase of the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC), whose structure was damaged by last year’s earthquake. While others only saw failure in the CICC experiment, Mandaue’s leadership saw opportunity to make it work—and grabbed it. That’s what we mean by aggressiveness and creativity.

Lapu-Lapu has recently branded itself as “The historic Resort City” to attract more tourists and investors. That’s creativity for you. Its aggressiveness can be seen in its effort to hold on to the hosting of the recently successful Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3.

The effort to maximize both cities potentials are still in its early stage, of course.

There is still room for further growth. Suffice it to say, though, that for now, the effort can no longer be overlooked.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 05, 2014.


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