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Continue road reform

/ 04:00 PM September 27, 2011

The Road Revolution activity last Saturday  drew flak from commuters and businessmen because of the inconvenience  caused by the closure of Colon Street and two other downtown roads to car traffic.

It  prompted chairman  Jack Jakosalem of the City Traffic Operations Management to say  Citom would  be  careful about allowing  a repeat activity.

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I think the inconvenience to the public was expected and  were  birth pains in the bid for a more fair  sharing  of public roads by pedestrians and cars.  The Cebu city government should not be discouraged by the initial public reaction but must accept it as a challenge  to stage a better Road Revolution with less inconvenience.

The public has to  cooperate in order for the Road Revolution to succeed.  In the long run, business will thrive if the goal is achieved:  “Those with less  in wheels should have more in roads.”

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The activity was  a service to the people especially those without vehicles because at least for one day,  ordinary residents  lorded it over the streets and enjoyed walking in a healthier atmosphere without the fumes of motor vehicles.

Critics who complain have a short-sighted view of what would eventually be good for them.

Mayor Mike Rama should support another Road Revolution and convince Cebu City  residents to participate.

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I am happy that this early Congressman Tommy Osmeña has announced  his intent to put up a flyover in  Cebu City’s south district. That gives  people ample time to think about the project and prepare for its implementation.

But why do congressmen  unilaterally put up infrastructure projects in their district  without consulting the local government unit that is affected?

In Cebu City, we have two  proposed flyovers in the north district that are opposed by a traffic management board and yet the proponents and the Department of Public Works and Highways  chose to ignore their objections.

Why?

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Will logic and common sense no longer play a role in deciding what  to implement? Will  voices of the people be ignored in implementing government projects in our city? What right do congressmen have to insist on a project that is objected to by stakeholders and experts in urban planning?

Is it not logical for  congressmen  to consult the local government in implementing  projects funded by their pork barrels?  Let’s see in the flyover controversy whether  President Benigno Aquino III is true to his word that the people are his boss.

The issue is so  simple. The people of Cebu City want to be consulted before any national project is  implemented in their beloved city because  it is they who would eventually be affected.

The flyover in Mambaling  was built without consulting the city government so  there is going to be a problem when it comes to implementing the proposed Bus Rapid Transit in the south district.

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The President’s  revelation that  buko juice is in demand  among Americans is good news.  Promoting coconut water will bring economic progress in the countryside where many coconut farms are found.

But the government should also do its job by planning or designing a program to promote coconut plantations to  provide enough supply to meet international  market demands.  This will encourage city folk with roots in the province to go back to their roots, plant coconut trees and earn money.

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TAGS: Buko juice, Commuting, Flyovers, Government, road, Road Revolution, Road Transport
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