Swedish gov’t mulls tie up with Mandaue City on transport, waste management systems
CEBU CITY — The Swedish government is seeking a partnership with Mandaue City in Cebu for possible collaborations on transportation and waste management systems geared to make the locality a sustainable smart city.
Swedish Ambassador to the Philippines Annika Thunborg said there were a lot of ideas for partnership with the Mandaue City government and the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and these would be known after a series of meetings.
“We are very like-minded. Mandaue, as a city, has won different awards as sustainability and smart city development. I have been to different events where I have spoken and Mandaue City often gets a prize or a winner, so that bodes very well for the future,” Thunborg said in an interview.
Thunborg was one of the speakers at the MCCI Business Summit 2023. She talked about sustainability in the circular economy or the ways to reduce carbon footprint among industries just like in Sweden.
She said the transportation system is one area discussed for collaboration with Mandaue City.
“Another area is waste management and waste-to-energy and that we also discussed with (Cebu) Governor (Gwen) Garcia previously. Of course, as we know there is a lot of interest in moving towards a more sustainable waste management system in Cebu.”
Thunborg said Sweden is known for a very efficient transportation system which includes Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems, ferries, trains, and subway systems.
The ambassador said she was glad that Metro Cebu was starting to build its own BRT system, which she described as a first step to a sustainable transportation system.
“It is very important for Cebu to have a BRT system,” Thunborg said.
“Basically any city, regardless of where it is in the world, needs a different combination of public transportation. The aim is for the whole population to use the public transportation system and basically leave the car at home,” she added.
Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes welcomed a collaboration with the Swedish government, saying it is the goal of his city to become a “smart and sustainable” city.
“I am confident that we are on the right track, Mandaue is doing good, with a good partnership with the business sector, and we do hope to take advantage of the momentum. The momentum is on our side,” the mayor said.
Whatever plans the Swedish government has for Mandaue, Cortes said, would also need collaboration with the neighboring cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu.
“That is our goal. In fact, that is why we are establishing good relationships with our neighboring cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu. We have to go beyond borders because our neighbors’ problems sooner or later will be our problem, so we need to pool our efforts together,” he said.
The MCCI Business Summit 2023 is part of the Mandaue Business Month whose theme is “empowering business for the new era.”
MCCI is a business support organization composed of almost 500 member companies ranging from micro to large corporations, mostly based in Cebu.