Considering Mega Cebu
The creation of a region called Mega Cebu proposed by businessmen led by Roberto Aboitiz and Bunny Pages is worth mulling over.
The proposal may take time to find anchorage in law and clinch support from leaders and constituents in 13 Metro Cebu towns and cities.
But it is a call to a fresh form of unity that Cebuanos need, not least because of the challenges they face amid a wobbly global economy.
Collaboration in crafting a development master plan can stamp out unhealthy competition among the Mega Cebu 13, which share many things like the Mactan Channel, east coast and a major thoroughfare from the North Road in Consolacion town to the South Road in Carcar City.
No one can deny that these localities are becoming more homogenous in terms of issues that need urgent action such as garbage, drainage and health management.
Geographically, the 13 have evolved into a conurbation, a merger of towns and cities through population growth and physical expansion.
In a Mega Cebu, the 13 can make up a citadel, a development hub so to speak for the entire Cebu archipelago, so that all other towns and cities need not be exposed to the risks that urbanization carries.
This is not to suggest that the relatively rural localities should be left to degenerate. Rather, they ought to be encouraged to develop without having to mimic every other feature of a metropolis.
Even Carcar City need not try to look like the industrialized Mandaue City but should instead look at capitalizing on its dozens of centuries-old houses and other structures to become a permanent heritage city.
Bogo City outside the mega region in Cebu’s north can explore becoming a model city for dependence on alternative energy since it has lots of biofuel sources.
The mega region, meanwhile, given the realities it already faces, can be left to strive after the best practices in urban and land use planning and zoning, transport and traffic, pollution and flood control, public safety, road improvement and infrastructure development urban renewal and shelter, coastal resources and watershed management and climate change adaptation, among other things.
The metropolis sorely needs all this. It’s up to the concerned congressmen now to outgrow what political immaturity clings to them and consult their constituents prior to crafting a law to create the Mega Cebu body.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.