Editorial: We are who we are

WE always try to show our best to visitors, so the effort of local government units hosting the two-week Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit meetings to improve the look in their jurisdictions and put order into such aspects as traffic is par for the course. The Apec Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) 3 will start this Saturday.

Even if typhoon Ineng has entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR), the weather bureau Pagasa said the weather during the weekend will be generally fine. “Wa gyuy flooding anang panahona,” said Engr. Oscar Tabada of Pagasa Mactan. That’s a jab, of course, at the failure of the Apec Summit meetings host to solve drainage woes.

It is doubtful if fine weather will be assured throughout the stay of the delegates in Cebu, however. In that case, it would be good for the organizers to pinpoint alternative routes in case the roads that will be used by vehicles ferrying the delegates from one venue to another gets flooded again during heavy downpour.

And yes, the traffic. Since the meetings will be held mostly in Cebu City, personnel of the Cebu City Traffic Office (CCTO) will have their hands full ensuring that delegates won’t get caught in the usual traffic gridlock ordinary commuters go through daily. The same goes for the traffic office in Mandaue City where the traffic mess is worse.

Traffic officials already conducted dry runs on how to manage the traffic during the Apec meetings, but reality is different. There is no assurance that smooth flow of traffic can be assured in the two weeks that the Apec delegates are here. So contingencies need to be mapped out.

There is also the attempt of the Cebu City Government to clear the city of mendicants. The Cebu City Anti-Mendicancy Board has started rounding them up but reality bites. The truth is, rounding up mendicants is merely dealing with the symptom and not with the root of the problem. So the mendicants are still very much around and will be there in the streets in the two weeks that Apec delegates will be here.

What we are saying is that we can only do so much in preparing for the Apec meetings. In the end, who we really are would be what the Apec delegates will see.

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