FUNDAMENTALLY wrong with outgoing mayor Tomas Osmena’s administration was that he limited himself to what he wanted to do and listened to nobody sounding off on what needed to be done. Unlike forward-looking yet already highly-livable cities in the world that prepare to attain their clearly defined vision, Cebu City’s vision, if any, was all in the mind of its mayor. It could, therefore, prepare only for a nondescript future.
By being open to the idea of a Metro Cebu Development Authority incoming mayor Edgar Labella telegraphs his intention to do what needs to be done (efficient delivery of basic social services ) and do it, as is required of reasonable public officials, in coordination with local government units that share of these problems.
Yet Cebu City is capable of doing much more. But first it should have a defined vision so it can deliver both needed and (later) wanted services in the context of that vision which in broad terms should be the development of its full potential as the Queen City of the South.
Attaining this vision entails the provision of soft and hard development infrastructure that would make Cebu City a mecca for business investors. Cebu City workers would then be fully employed and able to live in decent homes, feed, and educate their children.
It further entails giving every child free quality basic education. This is, however, impossible now with the number of school children we have to accommodate every year. Hence Cebu City, to attain this part of its vision, must fully implement the Reproductive Health Law and stop citizens from multiplying, irresponsibly or ignorantly, like rabbits. Pope Francis’s words not mine.
One more thing. Cebu City should consider positioning itself as Green Queen City of the South. We control flooding and dispose of our waste properly, not only to make the city livable, not only to attract tourists and investors in the tourism industry but also, and more importantly so, to leave behind an ecologically robust place for our youth to live and thrive in.
Incoming governor Gwen Garcia, whatever her vision is for the province and she should have one, might consider positioning Cebu as the greenest island this side of the Pacific. Tourist arrivals will surely go off the charts.
Come to think of it the need of a green vision applies to the whole country. Sunstar might, therefore, want to position itself as a network of green community papers, strongly advocating for protection and rehabilitation of the environment.
We cannot talk of development without caring for the environment. We can’t have Mother Nature get rid of us to survive our destructiveness. We also owe it to our youth not to leave them with an ecological wasteland.