ACTING Cebu City Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia aims to prioritize the improvement of water outflows as a way to achieve the administration’s vision of making the city the next Singapore.

Vice Mayor Garcia, who is acting mayor while Mayor Michael Rama is in Canada on official business, said the role of the Waterfront Development Commission (WDC) is to remove any structures obstructing the flow of water going to the city’s coastline.

This plan would also help clear the way for the waterfront to feature medium-rise buildings and a monorail system.

Clearing structures means removing informal settlers living along the three-meter easements of the city’s rivers and other waterways.

Garcia said the clearing of structures along the city’s waterways includes a relocation component for those affected by it, such as the construction of medium-rise buildings (MRBs) for socialized housing.

Garcia said they may put these MRBs in Barangay Pasil or Inayawan.

Last Aug. 19, Rama issued Executive Order 3 for the recovery, restoration, enhancement, development, and protection of the city’s waterfront, which stretches from Barangay Mabolo in the north to Barangay Inayawan in the south.

Garcia said the WDC will conduct a multi-sectoral meeting on Sept. 2 to lay out the plans for the recovery of the city’s waterfront.

Garcia admitted that the program cannot be done easily and may take time, but he is confident that a significant impact on the city’s waterfront can be achieved.

South boulevard

According to the city’s Public Information Office, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has presented a plan to create a Cebu South Boulevard across the South Road Properties.

The plan was presented by the DPWH to City Planning and Development Officer Joseph Michael “Yumi” Espina.

The proposed boulevard would be similar to Osmeña Blvd. It would cover the waterfront areas of Barangays Inayawan to Mambaling, with four lanes on each side and a wide center island for a monorail system.

Espina said that for the project to be realized, close coordination between the City Government and the national agencies like the Department of Transportation and DPWH must be established.

“Our only request is that we could have better coordination and communication on these projects because this is very nice and would certainly align with the mayor’s plan for a Singapore-like Cebu City,” said Espina.