Wenceslao: Mega Cebu dream

THIS is a ritual that my wife started only a few years ago. She celebrates her birthday, and so do our son and a few others on her family’s side every April. The joint celebration has recently brought us every year to one of the many resorts that have sprouted in the province. We have been to Mactan and to some towns in the southern, northern and western parts of Cebu. This weekend was Catmon town’s turn.

In these travels, the biggest challenge is always the trips. One of my sons vomit during long trips when riding on vehicles other than our rickety car. That forces me to drive in these long trips, with the constant worry of the vehicle developing mechanical problems on the road. And there’s those challenging terrain and, yes, the traffic, compouned by the searing heat of the sun.

We already know where, going south, traffic would pose problems. It’s always Cebu and Mandaue cities and Consolacion town. We got another taste of that this weekend. Even then, one can even say what we experienced was probably not the worst in this route. We got through to Liloan town in more than an hour from Talisay. Still it was taxing.

The hope is for government to solve the traffic problem bedeviling Metro Cebu. But that requires leaders there forging a united front to provide solutions.It’s not even only the traffic problem. There are a number of others. The problems on garbage and flooding for example. But the problem is that Metro Cebu leaders are split because of politicking and this ego thing. One consolation is that many of those leaders are up for reelection early next month.

I don’t really know if voters, especially in the towns and cities in Metro Cebu, can extricate themselves from the personality politics they have been immersed in for so long ang choose leaders based on their capacity to serve the greater good. Metro Cebu desperately needs leaders who are creative in finding solutions to the metro’s myriad of problems, have the political will to implement these and are unifying instead of being splittist personalities.

Forget charismatic. A leader in a town or city may be charismatic, but what if he or she could not work in step with the other Metro Cebu leaders? I am emphasizing unity because most of the solutions to the metro’s problems transcend territorial boundaries. Mass transport system projects, for example, like the metro rail transit or light rail transit, can only be viable Metro Cebu-wide.

I remember noting this in one Mega Cebu forum held for SunStar Cebu editors and reporters a few years ago. The Mega Cebu dream can only be realized if it is shared by all Metro Cebu leaders. But what if it isn’t? That is why the May elections could be crucial to those behind the Mega Cebu initiative, which aims to address the major problems in the metro.

I just hope, though, that my hope for voters to vote based on the greater good and not on personalities would be fulfilled.

I really, really hope so.


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