Yokohama officials, traders eyeing projects in Cebu CityBy Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News
Yokohoma City officials and businessmen are in Cebu City for three days to explore a possible exchange in technology and cooperation between the two cities.
The Japanese visitors who included six city councilors and two businessmen visited the Mahiga Creek and the city’s coastal areas early yesterday morning.
They also dropped by the city’s waste treatment facility at the North Reclamation Area and met with the South Road (SRP) management before inspecting the SRP water purifying facility.
In the afternoon, they visited the Cebu provincial government and had a site inspection of the Inayawan sanitary landfill.
“We are looking at implementing projects that will help in the city’s sustainable urban development,” said Mayor Michael Rama.
Last month, officials from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) were also in town to study potential sustainable urban development projects which the Japanese city may be able to help.
Ryan Echevarria, Cebu City’s protocol officer said that the Japanese visitors are interested to help the city government in the areas of environmental management protection, flood control and improvement of the coastal areas.
Echevarria sad that more Yokohama City officials and businessmen will be coming to Cebu City from July 29 to August 2 for business matching.
Mayor Rama said that Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi may already be joining the next visit of Japanese officials to Cebu City.
“I hope that their next visit will bring business opportunities for the SRP because JICA is seated in Yokohama in Japan,” said Rama.
Also, the city government is expecting to get two buses as goodwill gifts from Yokohama.
Rama said in an earlier interview that JICA officials have already expressed concern on political bickerings among city officials and the lack of infrastructure at the SRP.
The city government is still paying P600 million to P800 million per year for its SRP loan which still has a balance of P4 billion which is payable until 2025.
Osmeña said the city government continues to make loan payments if the amount of its loan has doubled because of devaluation,
He said that it was “unfair” for JICA to tell the city government what to do with the SRP when “they did not even bring a single Japanese investor to the SRP.”