Tale of two cities

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Monday, September 1, 2014


THERE has been, somewhere in memory, a similar title given to a piece such as what I have done. Thus, I do not claim any originality to the title phrase. But as to the content, I am sure that I am on safe grounds for the urban centers I am referring to here are totally real as they are neighbors, divided only by a channel of sea water with two bridges connecting one with the other, and a third one coming up soon as planned.

The front page story of Sun.Star Cebu on Thursday last week went: Lapu-lapu, Mandaue mayors deliver Reports; two cities dream big. This front page news item shows how close these two cities are to each other, And whether we like it or not, the said cities could be competing with each other in terms of social, economic, and even in political aspirations. For who knows what political wind actually divides them?

During their respective State of the City Address (Soca), the two city mayors did report quite confidently on their accomplishments achieved during their current term of office.

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For her part, Lapu-Lapu City’s Mayor Paz Radaza openly declared in the opening of her State of Lapu-Lapu report:

“This) Historic Resort City is no doubt one of the fastest growing places in Cebu. Investments are not just coming in, they are knocking on our door daily. Investor confidence and economic growth did not just happen overnight.

“When I assumed office, I endeavored to reach out to the business community. I extended my hands in partnership. I did not just tell them that I will work hard to create a favorable investment climate; I did not just assure them that my administration will espouse good governance and accountability; I did not just promise to serve the Oponganons well.

“I did the best thing I knew I could do. I walked the talk.”

On the other hand, Mayor Jonas Cortes of Mandaue City went quite straight for the “jugular.” In his Soca, “he announced a new vision for (Mandaue): to be the country’s primary source of high quality manufactured consumer products in 2020.

Also Cortes, who is a third term mayor, he said his city is up to the challenge of keeping itself above the competition as the economies of Southeast Asian countries become fully integrated next year.

“In pursuit of global competitiveness, we must bring to the rest of the world the best of Mandaue,” according to him.

In her report to the citizens of Lapu-Lapu, Mayor Radaza said that she increased investor confidence, good governance and accountability, practicing servant leadership and instilling transparency. And the strategy has paid off. Note that the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority has started to pay what is due to the city.

Not only small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are coming in but also big-ticket investors. They are all coming in.

(To be continued)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 02, 2014.

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