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Sunday, August 31, 2014

IT TOOK me some time to realize that I crossed the road from SM City to Radisson Blu Hotel then left the hotel on a taxi just before the heavy rain caused some serious flooding last Thursday. The realization dawned when the cab got stuck in an hour-long traffic at T. Padilla St. Bonifacio St. was not passable. Online, some friends posted about the flood around SM.

With the Hospital Management Asia conference at the Radisson Blu attended by over 1,000 local and foreign participants, I assumed images of the floods already circulated worldwide.

When the meter counted over P150, I decided to walk to Sanciangko St. I was later told about the flood at the back of USC Main despite that recent drainage project along Junquera St.


After this flooding episode, the blame game between Team Rama and BOPK partisans resumed.

I am not immediately conversant about projects proposed by the Rama administration allegedly not granted budgets by the BOPK-dominated council around Mahiga Creek or the creek in between Bonifacio and T. Padilla Streets.

All I know is this drainage project at Junquera St. caused traffic jams when it was still being built by the Rama administration. I thought we could say good riddance to floods at the area when the heavy rains come. Unfortunately, the flood last week demonstrated the project’s failure.


The Rama administration, with its promise of “tul-iron ang hiwi,” is already in power for four years. Recently, the erstwhile formidable unity of the BOPK cracked wide open. Mayor Mike Rama’s plan of selling portions of the South Road Projects (SRP) will finally push through. With this development, perhaps matul-id na gyud ang mga hiwi in the coming months.

But then, the city’s drainage problem is not just a matter of building bigger drainage systems or a congressman’s idea of digging a big water catchment area in major streets. Addressing the floods at Cebu City’s central business district would also mean confronting businessmen who decided years ago to expand their buildings over portions of a creek parallel to Colon St.


When the Philippines was still the leading economy next to Japan in Asia during the mid-‘60s, our congressmen found importations of used clothing an insult to Filipinos. The law they passed is still in force. This is the reason even used clothing donations from abroad for Yolanda victims are treated as contraband.

After some 50 years since this crazy law, we ordinary Filipinos know used clothing imports are not rags as this piece of legislation alleged. We know the donations for Yolanda victims are not rags and an insult to Filipinos.

But instead of thanking the generous souls who went out of their way to help, the DENR and the Bureau of Customs are now bent on burning their donations. Tabangan pa ba kaha kita sa sunod katalagman?


The bridge cities–Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu–recently marked their respective Charter days and Mayors Jonas Cortes and Paz Radaza presented their respective state of the city addresses.

Just some salient points:

Investments--Mayor Cortes cited the 1,740 new businesses that infused capital amounting to P4.2 billion. Mayor Radaza, on the other hand, mentioned 11,000 new businesses. Megaworld alone is pouring some P30 billion.

Infrastructure–Mayor Cortes repaired 2.8 kilometers of roads and built four kilometers of drainage lines. Mayor Radaza reported repairs and concreting of 26 kilometers of roads.

Good governance–Both mayors expressed their commitment towards better governance and accountability. They are both proud about the confidence investors have showed in terms of actual investments.


I like to reiterate what I said in a previous column that when she hosted dinner for the recent Geeks on a Beach, Mayor Radaza got the biggest applause when she mentioned the need for better Internet to spur innovation and growth.

Aside from finding practical ways of improving the Internet infrastructure in Lapu-Lapu City that should attract more investors to the city, the mayor’s daughter Cong. Aileen Radaza could add to the few better Internet advocates in Congress and the Senate.

While some businessmen with their congressmen friends are now talking again about charter change that would give more ownership rights to multinational corporations, we can achieve higher increases in investments if we improve our Internet infrastructure.

(Follow @anol_cebu in Twitter)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 01, 2014.


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