Editorial: The boom-A A +A
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
YET another mall is opening tomorrow, Friday, the much-awaited SM Premier Lanang; which has had its temporary walls torn down since over a week ago and allowed commuters and motorists to gawk and gape as they pass.
It’s huge. It’s said to be the biggest in Mindanao (so far), it also promises horrendous crowds, just like when the neighboring mall, Abreeza, opened and practically clogged the whole of J.P. Laurel Avenue.
If there are still those who do not believe Davao is booming, then go and gape. No investor, especially from one that intends to sell to the retail market, would pour in so much if there is no such boom.
But with the boom will always be the ills that go with urbanization. First off, terrible traffic. No amount of assurances that J.P. Laurel will not be clogged up once a mall opens will ever deliver that assurance for as long as J.P. Laurel remains to be the four-lane squeezed out to the max as a six-lane street that it really is. The loading and unloading bays outside malls don’t work. They are only good for 20 meters or so, thus clogging traffic at the entrance and exit of the bay.
Major decisions and actions have to be made.
Or, we can wait for deliverance.
In the meantime, we suffer the inconvenience of a highly urbanized city and ponder on where we went wrong why the Metro Manila we so abhorred to copy a decade or so ago is now upon us.
But of course, we shouldn’t wait for so long.
How government deals with how the city is growing beyond anyone’s expectations is the true test of the vision of the leaders we will be choosing in the year to come. We are hoping that the city will choose well.
That the people will not only choose their leaders for the charismatic personalities they are gifted with but by their visions and track record of action to push that vision into reality.
Otherwise, we can always go Metro Manila and Cebu’s way as they get choked up in horrendous traffic and crime and other social ills just because no one came up with a workable solution long before the cities reached congestion stages.
Do we still have time? Yes, if actions are started soon. Will we have the money? There are always means to raise the funds needed from official development agencies funds to loans and other grants. This is the time for real technocrats, as opposed to bureaucrats, but not just any technocrat but those with the heart for inclusive growth and development.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 27, 2012.