CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña declined the offer of Gov. Hilario Davide III to chair the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB).
Davide made the offer last Tuesday, hoping Osmeña will reconsider his decision to end the Cebu City Government’s participation in the discussions for Mega Cebu, a project that seeks to make Cebu more livable and sustainable by 2050.
In his news conference yesterday, Osmeña said he is “flattered” and “thankful” for Davide’s gesture, but he would rather not participate in the MCDCB.
“I will just have to excuse myself. I have other things to do,” he said.
According to the mayor, he will just take care of the City’s infrastructure development. He also said earlier that he wants to work on the city’s traffic and garbage problem, among other concerns.
During his previous terms as mayor, Osmeña said he was part of several bodies that made him bring in many projects for Cebu.
These include the Marcelo B. Fernan Bridge, the Cebu South Coastal Road that stretched to Talisay City, the market in Talisay City, and the market and bus terminal in Mandaue City, among other projects.
“But it is very time consuming and the way it is now, I have my other priorities. Before, it was relatively easy for me because I did all the work and the body will just say okay. But this one (MCDCB)… they are dictating. I don’t like to be part of that. Sila na lang,” he added.
Osmeña earlier questioned the legal personality of the MCDCB to convene and said that as far as he’s concerned, it does not exist.
The mayor said, though, that there are certain components of the Roadmap Study for Sustainable Urban Development that he is supportive of.
According to Osmeña, it is a study initiated in 2013 by the MCDCB in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
He is particularly referring to the proposed 10 flyovers and 10 underpasses that will cost more than P7 billion. He wants these projects to be implemented during his term.
However, he lamented that flyovers and underpasses are being opposed by some groups like the Movement for Livable Cebu.
When asked for his comment on the move of the City Council to authorize Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella to attend the MCDCB meetings, Osmeña said he is not objecting to it.
Labella will only represent the legislative body and not Cebu City.
“It only becomes different if you are carrying the name of the City of Cebu,” he said.
The MCDCB, which is composed of 13 local government units, meets once every quarter.