AFTER the water crisis caused by the failure of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) to satisfactorily serve its customers, here comes the traffic crisis. The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) has declared a traffic crisis in Metro Cebu. Provincial Board (PB) Member Glenn Soco, of the sixth district, sponsored the resolution declaring the traffic crisis. Soco said the traffic situation in Metro Cebu is worsening. Funny. Why has Soco only noticed the “worsening traffic situation” now when we have already experienced this long time ago?
I don’t know if it was a coincidence or was it really planned, because in the morning of that day when Soco delivered his privilege speech during the PB regular session, Gov. Gwen Garcia was seen walking from Don Gil Garcia St. in going to the Capitol to catch up the 8 a.m. flag raising ceremony. Had she not left her vehicle, she could have been late for the activity. Garcia’s photo landed in the front pages of our local dailies the following day.
Soco said that based on Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (Jica) study, Metro Cebu’s economy loses an estimated P1 billion daily from the traffic problem.
Soco did not offer specific solutions on how to address the traffic problem in the metropolis. His proposals were generic, like asking Congress to speed up the passage of pending measures, especially budgetary bills for the various projects, and he asked for presidential intervention like “emergency powers” to address the problem.
Be specific, Mr. Soco? Like what? Like road widening? Mass transport and opening of more infrastructure projects? Okay, good. Presidential emergency power? For what?
The chief executive even failed to address the traffic in Metro Manila when he is there all the time. But wait a minute. Is this the same Glenn Soco who was then the chairman of the utilities and infrastructure development committee of the Regional Development Council (RDC 7) that blocked various infrastructure projects initiated by the DPWH and some Cebu City congressmen aimed to, at least, help solve the traffic problem in the metropolis?
He blocked the proposed depressed structure to be built in Mandaue City near the second bridge because his friend’s establishment is affected. He blocked the proposed tunnel and skyways of Cebu City North Rep. Raul del Mar, saying there were no development plans. Ayaw palabi sa imong gibati diha sa PB, Boss Glenn, kay mahulog kag inconsistent.
I received an email from Roland Marquez, who shares his views on how to address the traffic congestion, which our urban planners may take consideration.
“My idea to ease traffic not only in Cebu City, but for the rest of the country are the following:
1) Install branches (hub) in all municipalities of all government offices, such as SSS, GSIS, Pag-ibig, NBI, NSO, Philhealth, LTO, etc.;
2) Improve district hospitals with substantial equipment and competent personnel with the same category of hospitals found in the cities. I’m sure the Philippine Government can surely address this concern;
3) Require all universities/colleges to build branches at least one in every district. I think it’s not hard for the governing agency on education to implement such proposal. We already have one in Dalaguete, Cebu and not sure if there is another one in Dumanjug and the rest of the districts;
The domino effect of these ideas are the following:
1) People in localities would no longer go to the city to follow up and transact businesses in any government agencies. They no longer have to spend for the cost of transportation, meals, hotels and others;
2) With the expansion of universities in localities, students and parents may opt not to enroll in schools in the cities to save the cost of allowances and safety for their children;
3) Sick people from the municipalities would no longer go to cities not only because of the long trip, but because they can now avail themselves of the services of district hospitals with at least the same quality as the hospitals found in the cities;
4) And even the petty criminals and beggars would no longer congest the city. They may opt to go home to their respective provinces because opportunity is getting scarce since people are no longer coming;
5) This would also balance the economy among municipalities and cities. Eventually, this will ease the traffic congestion in the cities, not only for vehicles, but for people as well.
The good thing that is happening right now is that big department stores and retailers are expanding their markets in class A/B communities thru their branches. The same also with banks and pharmacies, but these are not enough. Why can’t the rest where most of these are very doable and controllable by government?
Mas maayo pa kang PB Soco, Mr. Marquez, kay mitanyag pa ka’g solusyon. Siya wala gyud. Salamat.