Espinoza: Politics is the priority?

Free Zone
Espinoza Free Zone
Espinoza Free ZoneFile photo

The current and recurring problems of traffic congestion in Cebu City’s major thoroughfares are no longer unusual or accidental. It’s a product of a lack of attention by the city leadership as the executives are now so engrossed in politics, especially that the midterm polls are next year.

We’re only talking here about the problem of the almost daily stream of heavy traffic. Sanitation, like the improper collection of household and commercial wastes and the lackadaisical enforcement of environmental laws, is another issue that the Cebu City Government seems not to care about.

The daily sight of the indiscriminately dumped garbage on the roadsides anywhere in the city and the inadequate collection of garbage by the City Government is a testament to the City leadership’s lack of care on matters of public service.

These issues may not be as high profile as corruption by government officials, but they would certainly be a hot topic and could be used by those intending to run for elective posts against incumbent city officials.

The four-hour or so traffic gridlock on the Cebu South Coastal Road at the South Road Properties on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, was not the first time that it happened on this major thoroughfare. Most motorists choose to take it in going to the city and beyond because it’s a wide road.

In short, the Cebu City Government through its transportation office, which is now called Road Management Authority, or RMA (that could be jokingly read as Rrrrrma), should have been ready for this kind of eventuality.

The good Mayor Mike Rama must have gotten this idea of RMA when he was in Melbourne, Australia wherein the RTA (Road Traffic Authority), which is equivalent to our Land Transportation Office (LTO) here, manages and enforces road traffic laws. But certainly it’s not appropriate to compare the RTA to our LTO, whose enforcement arm is not as strict when it comes to enforcing Republic Act 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

Mayor Rama, instead of discussing solutions to the city’s everyday traffic problem and the garbage issue, talked about amending the City’s charter to allow city voters to vote for the governor during his radio program “Ingna’ng Mayor.” Perhaps he has ambitions to be Cebu’s governor.

Mayor Rama has a good but highly ambitious vision for the city of becoming Singapore-like and later Melbourne-like after his month-long stay there. But without putting into action all his good intentions for the city, it’s simply nada and just another lip service.

What foreign and domestic tourists look forward to when visiting or touring other cities and places is cleanliness and easy access to mobility. So what are the priorities of the city executive now? Transfer his residence to Aloguinsan, a southern town of Cebu, and run for governor? This could be misunderstood as running away from the city’s humongous problems.


Cebu City is not alone though on the traffic problem. Cagayan de Oro, the city of golden smile, has its share of traffic gridlock on its major streets. But Cagayan de Oro is widening its major roads and opening new roads to disperse the traffic, which Cebu City can’t do due to lack of space.

We’re here in Cagayan de Oro attending the 75th Philippine Airlines Interclub Golf Tournament 2024 where several golf club teams, local and international, converge for a four-day competition in the senior division at the golf courses of Del Monte and Pueblo de Oro.

The city’s traffic problem could be well managed though if the city leadership is serious about the issue and places the right people to manage and strictly enforce the city’s traffic ordinances.


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