Osmeña junks offer to head MCDB

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - July 21, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Mayor Tomas Osmeña has declined the offer of Governor Hilario Davide III to head the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDB).

Yesterday, Osmeña thanked Davide, his ally in the Liberal Party, for the offer, but said "it's very time consuming."

Osmeña said earlier Cebu City will no longer attend meetings and gatherings of MCDCB, especially for its Mega Cebu program.

He described the program "a waste of time and resources" and "it does not exist."

Because of his pronouncement, the Team Rama-dominated City Council authorized Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella to represent the legislative body in the gatherings of MCDCB.

The City Council acknowledged the importance of the city's involvement in the Mega Cebu project since it discusses the solutions of common problems among local government units under Metro Cebu.

Osmeña said he will not object to the Council's decision.

"That's ok. Anyone can attend. I don't have any objections but it comes different when you're carrying the name of the City of Cebu," Osmeña said.

He said Labella should not bring the name of the city government when he does attend the meetings.

During its regular session, the City Council clarified Labella will only represent the legislative body so that the city will not be left behind in its programs and discussions.

Osmeña has stood firm in his decision and said he can accomplish projects on his own.

"I don't want to be part of that. Six years, what projects have they done?"

When he was Congressman, he said, five companies showed interest to his proposal to transfer the airport to Cordova town.

"I just want to tell you something that the biggest players in the Philippines responded because what I have to say makes sense. What I see out of Mega Cebu is all dreaming. It's a wish list. Floating in the sky," he said.

MCDCB was created in 2011 when local government units in Metro Cebu, national government agencies, private stakeholders and others signed a Memorandum of Agreement.

The City Council highlighted the conduct of the Roadmap Study for Sustainable Urban Development in Metro Cebu, which showed that the population in Cebu would reach about 2.5 million in 2010 and is projected to reach for over five million in 2050.

Other issues under the study were the future water deficit, salinity intrusion, nitrate and E.coli contamination, and peripheral urbanization in the watershed areas.

Osmeña said he is amenable to some components of the Roadmap Study for Sustainable Urban Development in Metro Cebu, particularly on the construction of flyovers and underpasses in Metro Cebu to address traffic congestion.

The Movement for a Livable Cebu, however, is opposing these projects.

Marc Canton of MLC said the group is disappointed that the mayor backed out of the MCDCB.

"We at MLC had hoped that he would consider including efforts by our own group of volunteers at MLC, and the MCDCB which includes civil society, business, 13 LGUs plus the province, 20 NGOs, and 17 national government agencies, in working together towards a sustainable development plan for our city and province," he said.

Even with Osmeña's pronouncement, Canton said the organization will never leave Cebu behind, adding, that the group is extending its hand of friendship and cooperation.

Canton enumerated some efforts of members of MLC to help the city and the province.

He cited the Cebu-Cordova Bridge as proposed by Architect Yumi Espina of MLC, the construction of Cebu City Medical Center as designed by Architect Mico Espina of MLC, active in the consultation on the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit, the Green Loop which will include the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu and the municipality of Cordova; among many others.

Canton said MLC is also involved in several committees and sub-committees in MCDCB. — (FREEMAN)

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