Bus scheme is inevitableBy Ricky Poca
Cebu Daily News
Remove religious images in government offices – that’s what Kabataan Partylist Rep. Mong Palatino proposed in his bill. He is invoking the Constitutional provision on the separation of Church and State. This proposal is not new; it has its origin in the United States. But many find the proposal impractical and insensitive to religious beliefs.
Majority of the population in the country are Christians; most of them belong to the Catholic Church. I can’t understand what got in to the head of the youth representative in filing this. Even the Muslim community is against the bill.
Besides, the status quo of having religious images in public places is not doing any harm to anyone and just serves to remind us that someone up there is our creator and savior.
In the United States, there was a proposal to delete the words “In God We Trust” in dollar bills. It failed. I hope the Kabataan Partylist comes up with better proposals that serve the interest and welfare of the youth, a more productive law instead of a negative proposal because as a Catholic, I will oppose this bill through my media engagements.
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Many public utility jeepneys worry about what will happen to them when the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) starts operating in 2015. But whether they like it or not, the BRT is coming because it is badly needed for a fast-growing city like Cebu where the BRT will be of great help to our transportation system. Sometimes people have to make sacrifices and give way for what is good for the majority. I believe jeepneys drivers can still survive but they have to reinvent themselves. Any attempt to stop the BRT would be futile; I am sure of that.
The BRT is the best thing to happen to Cebu City and we can’t wait for its operation to relieve us from bad traffic in the city. A mass transit like BRT is what we need today as we develop and grow at a fast rate. We must confront the situation directly because we can no longer delay it. The worse is yet to come if we don’t address the situation. What happened to Metro Manila will happen to us in the near future if we don’t act today.
Even with the BRT, traffic congestion will not be solved. Unabated population growth should be checked by government agencies and the people, migration of people from the provinces to the city should be regulated because we have many informal settlers in the city with little space to spare, not to mention the petty crimes that come with it.
I think the draft for a Mega Cebu should include how to address this problem. If we dont address runaway population, Cebu City will no longer be the most livable city in the country and many people will curse us because we didn’t address the problem when we could.
I’d love the city to be pro-active in dealing with problems like this. We can no longer be complacent with the challenges we have to attend to and which many of us realize belatedly.
We want to promote Cebu but haven’t agreed on how to address problems of rapid urban growth. Last week I had the worst experience of my life with bad traffic. I had classes in USC Talamban and went home in the afternoon. It took me about an hour and a half to traverse the road with so much traffic from USC Talamban to the Rama Compound in barangay Basak San Nicolas.
I swore never to experience that again and asked my department chairman to let me give up the two classes in Talamban because it was no longer healthy for me. I’m afraid my health can’t take the punishment.