THE demolition of the wall of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda)-Central Visayas on Salinas Drive finally started Thursday.
This will pave the way for the establishment of a sidewalk in the area, particularly from the stretch near the Archbishop Reyes Ave. flyover up to the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
Mayor Michael Rama led the ceremonial breaking of the wall, together with members of the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), the Movement for Livable Cebu and the Kahayag sa Sugbo, among others.
“Although this (demolition of wall) is long overdue but as the saying goes, it’s better late than never. This is what we call breaking a wall and that means bringing safety and security. This will bring to a horizon that we will no longer be worried about accidents happening to you, to us and to our parents, senior citizens and children,” he said.
The mayor proposed setting back the Tesda wall last year yet.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional office will construct the sidewalk in the area. A DPWH contractor has already completed the replacement wall that has been set back.
The mayor said the agency should finish the sidewalk as soon as possible, considering all road work will be suspended when the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings resume next month.
Asked what will happen to the existing trees on the affected stretch, Rama said these will not be removed.
“We will be requesting people to adjust with the trees,” he said.
Rama also instructed the Cebu City Transportation Office to cut by half the existing iron railing in the area, saying it’s too high.
Meanwhile, Rama said he wants the City to restore the sidewalk on Gorordo Ave.
The Kahayag sa Sugbo, the group tasked by the mayor to restore sidewalks in the entire stretch of Gorordo, has identified 15 structures that encroach on the sidewalks.
Kahayag head Eli Espina said affected families had asked the Land Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to validate the survey conducted by the DEPW.
Espina said they will meet owners of the 15 structures next week to discuss the clearing operation.
“That restoration of sidewalk will be a priority no matter what because there is a chokepoint there,” Rama said.