Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama hoped that the contingents that participated in the Sinulog sa Lalawigan that was held at the Cebu City Sports Center last Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, will have a change of heart and join the Sinulog Grand Parade that will be held at the South Road Properties (SRP) on Jan. 21. The Sinulog sa Lalawigan contingents are opposed to the holding of the Sinulog Grand Parade at the SRP.
Rama stood pat on his decision about the venue. I doubt, therefore, if the provincial contingents will have a change of heart. The heat has been rather intense as I write this. And the SRP is a brutal venue in weathers like this. And even if it rains, the venue will still be unforgiving. The only ones who will benefit if the SRP will be the grand parade venue will be the establishments at the SRP. Last year, they made a killing as people chose to spend time in the air-conditioned establishments instead of exposing themselves to the elements while participating in or watching the Sinulog.
Contingents have learned their lesson. The safety and health of the participants are paramount. But it looks like Rama has other concerns in his mind. So what we will have this year will be another lackluster Sinulog. But everything is dependent on the mayor, so we’ll just have to accept it. I see two things happening from here on. That new officials will decide on returning to the Cebu City Sports Center or more people-friendly structures will sprout at the SRP enough for the provincial contingents to feel a bit of a comfort there and join again the Sinulog Grand Parade.
By the way, I read somewhere about the City’s ambivalence about the ongoing Bus Rapid Transit or BRT project. There are even calls to stop the project altogether. Considering the hassles we have gone through, I say halting the project would be the worst form of surrender. Problems with the implementation of the project have sprouted, true, but stopping the implementation of the project is not the solution to these problems.
On this matter, I say that the mayor should be hardheaded. Solve the problems encountered in the project’s implementation. And if the BRT failed in other countries, find ways to make it successful here. That is the challenge that city officials should take instead of them raising their hands in surrender. That is precisely the reason why the people elected these officials into office: to take the cudgels for the people’s sake.
This is not the first time that projects have encountered immense problems. I remember when city officials insisted on completing the underpass in Mambaling even if some problems had sprouted.
Those problems are still hounding us, especially when it rains heavily. But that is the price we have to pay for a haphazardly implemented project. So we should not stop until the BRT project is completed. After that, let us find ways to make its operation successful. I have a phrase for that: “come what may.”