Unity among Metro Cebu leaders urged | Inquirer News

Unity among Metro Cebu leaders urged

06:57 AM April 30, 2013

IS it possible for Cebu’s elected leaders to set aside partisan politics and work for a common vision of growth for Metro Cebu?

Some of the 10 candidates in Cebu City and the province who attended yesterday’s last round of the Mega Cebu Candidates Fora said yes.


Cebu City Councilor and vice mayoral candidate Edgardo Labella said the “more important question to ask” at this point is “are we ready to work together” and ‘not quarrel to impose one’s ideology.’

“I see no problem,” he said later.


One Cebu gubernatorial candidate Pablo John Garcia voiced his support, saying “No man is an island.”

Coordinated planning and a common vision of growth for seven cities and six towns in Metro Cebu is the goal of a Mega Cebu, a two-year effort to draw more collaboration.

“There has to be some compromise.  Leadership requires that you yield some political control” in order to have a “sustainable community.”

“What affects one area also affects the other,” said Garcia.

Yesterday’s forum heard the top priorities of three incumbents and seven aspiring Cebu city and province officials.

cular agenda? There is compelling reason for all leaders in Metro Cebu to work hand in hand so that dream of a sufficiently viable Cebu will be realized,” he said.

Common problems


Former Regional Trial Court Judge and Centrist Democratic Party (CDP) congressional candidate Donato Navarro said local politics should not be a hindrance to achieving unity among Metro Cebu leaders.

“We may have different concerns but we share common problems and we can work together,” said Navarro, who’s running for Cebu City’s north district.

Re-electionist Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama agreed, saying that governance should be participatory and “should not be dictated by one man” in reference to his rival, Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district.

The forum  asked for the top five priorities of each candidate.

Rep. Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district,  said he will focus on providing quality education in the countryside at par with that found in Metro Cebu and makes sure its aligned with needs of the market.

“That way students from these areas will not travel anymore to the city.”

“For those who wish to study agriculture related courses, no question asked, it is free (in Cebu Technological University) in Barili  town. Science, Math and English training for teachers as well to ensure that students are getting right and updated information,” the congressman added.

Garcia said he would also improve  health services, provide infrastructure, preserve  cultural heritage and include environmental protection in every program.

Rama, who showed  his own  Powerpoint slides, said he would advocate his “3 Bs” of barangayan, bayanihan and boluntarismo.

In his development framwork, he said he will  make  South Road Properties (SRP) “pretty”  coastal barangays ‘beautiful’ and revitalize downtown and uptown districts, and balance development in the uplands.

He said his administration will involve the citizens.

“It will be a governance of stewardship and shepherding, a servant leadership,” he said.

He and Team Rama congressional candidate Aristotle Batuhan support a third bridge connecting Cebu and Mactan Island to spur economic activity.

Batuhan said he would push for the creatio of a Department of Urban Housing to address the difficulty of housing for the urban poor.

Labella,  Rama and Batuhan said they were not in favor of adding  flyovers in the city.

Independent vice gubernatorial aspirant and businessman Glenn Soco said he will  push for a light rail transit (LRT), expand  the international port and review the Transaxial Highway plan of former vice governor Greg Sanchez Jr.

He also gave priority to education in the countryside, and small and micro enterprises,

Highway proposal

Mayor Rama said he will continue the closure of the  Inayawan Sanitary Landfill and enforce the segregation of garbage.

Labella said he will make sure that the Cebu City Medical Center will remain open.

He saidhe’s happy that it’s cleaner with more equipment arriving, but “It still needs more improvement.  But if you ask me if the hospital will be more effective if privatized? Possibly but then it will focus on earning profit.  How will the poor afford a deposit of P10, 000 to P15, 000 in a private hospital?,” he said. /Peter L. Romanillos and Doris C. Bongcac

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