RIDING high on the victory of his entire slate in the recently held elections, reelected Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard "Ahong" Chan has announced reviving the city's economy through tourism, fixing and repairing facilities damaged by Typhoon Odette, construction of Lapu-Lapu Expressway (LLEX), prioritizing events like Ironman 70.3, and fixing faulty drainage system.

He said these will be among his priorities in his second term as mayor of Lapu-Lapu.

In a media forum held Tuesday, July 5, Chan said he would immediately address the city’s economic problem through tourism, which he said is the “bread and butter” of Lapu-Lapu.

"Ang atong priority karon kay unsaon nato pagbangon ang panginabuhian, ang ekonomiya sa atong syudad... since nangaguba man ang atong mga corals. Our tourism industry affected gyud kaayo, so mao na atong gitutukan," he said.

He said as tourists are slowly coming back with the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions in the city, he is hoping that it will boost tourism in the locality.

Chan also vowed to provide livelihood to residents of the city and repair the facilities damaged by Typhoon Odette, which ravaged Cebu in December 2021.

"Ang Lapu-Lapu City wala ka repair dayon sa maong mga government facilities because wala tay budget. There is no approved annual budget for 2022... December 16 ang Typhoon Odette, kung na approve pa (budget), January nakapaayo na unta ta sa atong mga facilities," he added.

Chan said he is hoping that the City Council will approve the budget this week so that repairs for the damaged facilities can start already.

The City has been using the reenacted 2021 annual budget amounting to P2.7 billion after the proposed P3-billion annual budget for 2022 was not yet approved by the City Council.

Chan also said Tuesday that he will build a multi-purpose gym in every barangay that can be used as evacuation center in case of disasters like typhoon.

"Kinahanglan jud nga naa tay evacuation center, kay kung wala pa toy evacuation center katong nahitabo sa Typhoon Odette, ubay-ubay gyud siguro ang mamatay sa Isla sa Olanggo kay didto man gyud gibagsak, unya katong tanan nga nagpuyo sa coastal area, atong girelocate sa evacuation center, kay pagbagyo hurot gyud og kaguba ang balay, papas gyud, so dako jud og tabang ang relocation center," he said.

To solve traffic, the mayor said the skyway he had proposed would soon be implemented.

He said the construction of the LLEX will be done in January 2023, as the joint venture agreement has already been signed.

"The skyway is from the foot of the bridge, which is in the boundary of Pilipog and Babag, so, ari jud siya muagi sa Babag all the way to Cebu Lights Industrial Park, unya mu-cross siya adto sa mga koral sa atong airport padulong adtos aviation to Ibo, until sa airport," Chan said.

He said the implementation of the project will not only solve traffic but will also give economic benefits even to residents of Cebu City.

"From the airport to the SRP, it will take you seven minutes na lang, so dako kaayo og ikatabang sa atong ekonomiya. Karon nga wala pa ning skyway pag-abot sa Babag area, because the road is very narrow, mao nang kinahanglan jud ning project nato nga skyway," he said.

The mayor has also assigned people, with the help of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), to handle the preparation for the 70.3 Ironman, which will be held in August.

Chan said the area where the triathlon event will take place is now prepared and he already asked for assistance from the DPWH to fix roads that are dangerous to the participants.

That will be done within this month of July, he said.

He said he will also prioritize drainage projects that have no outfall in Lapu-Lapu.

"Murag 80 percent sa drainage nato walay outfall and it's useless because ang tubig naa ra jud sa ilawom, way kagawsan," he said.

Chan said he had already talked to his wife, Representative Cynthia “Cindi” King-Chan, to prioritize putting outfall in every drainage system to solve flooding.

"Usa pod sa hinungdan sa baha kay ang drainage nga ang iyahang slope padulong ngadtos outfall, wala mainsakto. Ang iyang outfall ngadto kung mag high tide musulod ang tubig sa maong bangag...kung magdungan og sugat ang tubig uwan ug taob, mu backfire ang tubig ug musamot ang baha," Chan said.

He said he has assigned a technical group to address the drainage issue and he hopes to see the problem resolved in three months. (Ryan Megabon, CNU intern)