Chua: Cebu needs urban renewal
Grace Melanie L. Lacamiento (The Freeman) - June 22, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Now that the rainy season has finally commenced, flood scenarios in the province of Cebu has been apparently frequent and noticeably grave at present. With the integrated drainage and flood control program of the Mega Cebu regional plan, concerned stakeholders expressed optimism that such environmental issue will be addressed given the active cooperation of the government and private sector.

This is according to Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) chief operating officer Dominica Chua who was one of the speakers during the EKO Conference held last June 19 at Radisson Blu Hotel in celebration of the Cebu Business Month 2013.

In her presentation entitled “Mega Cebu: A platform for creating a Green City-Region”, she mentioned about the sustainable urban vision, strategies and targets for Metro Cebu by 2050.

She said that the province is currently showing signs of decay and is worthy for an urban renewal for a sustainable lifestyle.

Some challenges that she cited include increasing social, economic, and environmental problems, inadequate and aging infrastructure, decline of social fabric, continuing in-migration from rural areas and neighboring provinces and regions, complex trans-boundary urban issues and slow pace of growth and development.

The Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB) is currently working out with the masterplan of the project with the assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Study Team.

Established in 2011, the MCDCB is an unprecedented public-private partnership spearheaded by RAFI  business chambers, civic organizations and 14 local government units who have all shared a common concern and commitment to such project. 

It involves a 30-year integrated plan to a “Megapolitan Cebu Area” which covers the cities of Danao, Carcar, Naga and Talisay and the municipalities of Cordova, Minglanilla, San Fernando, Compostela, Liloan and Consolacion.

Chua who is also the vice-chairperson of MCDCB-Research, Program, and Organizational Development (MCDCB-RPOD) said that flood is considered to be one of the trans-boundary issues encountered by almost all barangays, towns and cities in Cebu.

She explained that although the vision for Mega Cebu is set for 2050, the master plan also involves immediate and medium-term gains that could help address priority problems like floods.

At present, she said that they are working with the Department of Public Works and Highways in conducting a comprehensive study and report on drainage infrastructure planning and development.

She added that they plan to come up with Metro Cebu Integrated Flood and Drainage System after the study which was actually modified to include not only lowland cities and urban areas but also rural and mountain barangays in Cebu.

After which, the system will be then implemented by the end of 2014 or early 2015, she said.

Chua further encouraged local government units to come up with flood control policies to be integrated into the master plan.

She also commended the active participation of the private sector and the support of the national government in the advocacy of MCDCB.

“This does not happen overnight. We really have to collaborate and work together. What we are doing now as part of our Mega Cebu plan is to engage our stakeholders and partners towards a common agenda and vision. That is to make our present Cebu a hub for sustainable lifestyle in the future,” she stated. /JOB (FREEMAN)

CEBU CEBU BUSINESS MONTH CHUA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS DOMINICA CHUA DRAINAGE SYSTEM GREEN CITY-REGION JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY LILOAN AND CONSOLACION MEGA CEBU MEGAPOLITAN CEBU AREA
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