Cooperation deal brings Yokohama businessmen, officials to Cebu City-A A +A
Thursday, July 5, 2012
YOKOHAMA City officials and businessmen visited Cebu City yesterday, following the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed last March between the two cities for technical cooperation on urban sustainable development, particularly in environmental management.
The delegation included six city councilors and three businessmen, who went to different locations in Cebu City, such as the Mahiga Creek, the waste water treatment facility in the north reclamation area (NRA), the water purifying facility in the South Road Properties (SRP), and the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill.
Councilor Mitusru Kajimura, through an interpreter, said it’s so nice to visit Cebu City, but he has some comments on the places where they visited yesterday.
Kajimura, who headed the delegation, described the environment in Mahiga Creek as bad and said the drainage must be improved.
The Yokohama councilor also observed that the water treatment facility in the NRA was not functioning when his delegation went there.
He said they will try to think about these concerns, and if possible they will do something to help in solving them when they go back to Yokohama.
Kajimura also likened the SRP to Minato Mirai, a large seaside urban development in Yokohama.
He said, however, that the SRP must improve its infrastructure and facilities, such as waste water disposal and the water purifying station.
There is an existing water purifying station at the SRP, but Kajimura believes it cannot serve the entire area.
“Some businessmen in our delegation are interested in the SRP, but the infrastructure and facilities there are not yet ready. It must be completed,” Kajimura said.
He disclosed their visit also serves as a sort of advance party for a group of businessmen who will visit the city at the end of the month.
Mayor Michael Rama, for his part, didn’t expect the Yokohama officials’ visit to bring a specific project but he sees “much sunshine after the rain.”
He was happy when told that two Yokohama buses will be donated to the city, and that the group of businessmen will be visiting Cebu from July 29 to Aug. 2.
The mayor was also glad when he learned that Yokohama officials expressed their concerns on the city’s problems.
Meanwhile, Rama took potshots at Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) after the congressman criticized the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) for interfering the affairs in the SRP but hasn’t brought any investors in the reclaimed property.
It was JICA that suggested to the mayor to put up a management office in the SRP who will look into its operation.
“When it was OECF, it was good because he was able to secure the loan. When it became JBIC and didn’t subscribe to his liking, they’re bad. Now that Jica has been telling, they’re again bad. You know they can only be good if they’re attuned to his thinking, and that’s bad,” Rama said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 05, 2012.