Align pitch with priorities: Neda-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Sunday, March 10, 2013
TO GET government support for projects being pitched by the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB), the group presented their plans to the secretary general of the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) when he was in Cebu for an economic forum.
Secretary Arsenio Balisacan advised the board to make sure the projects they pitch are in the list of government priority programs and are endorsed through the Regional Development Council.
Balisacan, who was in Cebu Friday to give a presentation on the country’s economic performance, told reporters that projects that passed through the RDC get approved quicker.
MCDCB private sector representative Gordon Alan Joseph said they presented to Balisacan a background of what the MCDCB was and the work they have done so far.
Joseph said that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has helped fund the process of crafting a mission and vision for the MCDCB in consultation with all sectors of Cebu society.
He said Balisacan was not aware of the extent of the work they had done for the MCDCB and that they asked him how they could get the top tier of the national government to help them.
Joseph said they could not keep on relying on Jica and other agencies to help them push through with the Mega Cebu initiative, saying the masterplan for Cebu’s mobility, waste management, livability, sustainability and competitiveness all need government support. “These plans need counter-funding. Jica cannot spend for everything.
Infrastructure and development requirements need the support of the national government.”
Joseph said they decided to ask Secretary Rene Almendras to be their champion in the administration’s cabinet and help push for Mega Cebu’s initiatives. He said Almendras was a logical choice, him being a Cebuano and an important part of the cabinet.
Among the projects they hope to get backing for are the Cebu circumferential road, the widening of H. Cortes St., which Joseph said is long overdue, and an extension of the North Coastal Highway.
Despite the suspension of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Joseph said the board continues to function with Acting Gover. Agnes Magpale.
He is optimistic the upcoming elections will not be a hindrance to the board’s plans, saying in the end, all leaders have it in their hearts to see their local governments prosper and the plan to succeed.
The board, which consists of 14 local government units and a confederation of business organizations, earlier pledged to work together and plan for Cebu. He believes the majority will realize that a small LGU cannot exist on its own and that cooperating as a board without removing their political powers can strengthen their own LGUs.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 11, 2013.