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Opinion

The Mega Cebu meet was no joke, it was serious!

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Freeman

As we already wrote yesterday Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Sec. Mark Villar told the members of Mega Cebu at the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. Eduardo Aboitiz Studies Center during a meeting last Wednesday July 6 that "The government of President Rodrigo Duterte will be responsive in dealing with calamities like the recent widespread flooding in Cebu. You can expect that the DPWH and this administration will be very aggressive, very visible, especially during this time when we have major problems and even calamities."

When I checked what was written in my Facebook page, I noticed that there are still skeptics out there who believe that Secretary Mark Villar came to Cebu to get "pogi" points. Maybe those netizens were followers of Mayor Tomas Osmeña! I don't blame them simply because that is exactly what six-years under the presidency Benigno "PNoy" Aquino III has done to this nation where his propagandists move heaven and hell to earn "pogi" points PNoy.

Here's a case in point. If you recall what happened during super typhoon "Yolanda", when PNoy heard that Region 8 Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria being interviewed on radio and television and estimated the death toll to reach 10,000, the first thing that PNoy did for the victims of  typhoon Yolanda was to fire him, who was a typhoon victim along with his men.

Clearly, PNoy did not want the Yolanda casualty to reach that figure even to the point that he asked the National Disaster Risk Management Council to stop the count at 8,000, this is why when you open the Wikipedia and look for the death toll of "Yolanda" it stops at 8,000 dead! But in truth, an NGO wrote me a response to my article saying that they brought 20,000 cadaver bags to Tacloban City and it was all consumed in two days. He was trying to get "pogi" points by saying that the world's greatest natural calamity did not kill 10,000 people!

Anyway, what the skeptics do not know is that the Duterte administration intends to fast-track infrastructure development during the six-year term of President Rodrigo Duterte to pump-prime the economy by pushing for construction works 24 hours a day, seven days per week. This was the report we got, not from Secfetary Villar, but from Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno who told reporters: "We are considering 24/7 construction for all major Metro Manila projects and maybe projects in Cebu and Davao. Don't be surprised if constructions are going on in the middle of the night."

This two reports only tell you one reality, that in the Duterte Cabinet, both DPWH and DBM are talking to each other and they are dead serious in pushing for infrastructure development for many projects, and Cebu is a priority and a prime target. Now compare this to the six-years of "puasa" or the infrastructure neglect by the Aquino regime where Cebu only gets P2.4 billion in rehabilitation projects, and yet he claims to have done so much for Cebu when the reality is, he did nothing! This is why Governor Hilario Davide III had zero performance because PNoy gave him nothing!

Another fellow that totally missed the point in that Mega Cebu meeting was Mayor Tomas Osmeña who said that the meeting was "a joke!" He questions the relevance of discussing the drainage problem of Liloan, Cordova, Lapu-Lapu, or Consolacion during that meeting, which to my mind is visible proof that the Osmeña that I used to know hasn't changed. He still thinks that he is an "island." He obviously doesn't realize that as a resident and voter of Cebu City, I expected my City Mayor to attend that meeting at least to show to us that he is serious in solving our drainage problems with the DPWH Secretary who went out of his way to come to Cebu. 

Mayor Osmeña should realize that we live in the age of interconnection, where even competing Telcos like Globe and Smart do interconnect with each other. What's wrong with attending a meeting where we Cebuanos get to know the drainage problems of Metro Cebu? If there is a big joke at all, it is that we have a Mayor who doesn't care to help fix our problems.

But first things first. To date, Mayor Osmeña has not spelled out his three-year infrastructure plans to the people of Cebu. Transparency is the hallmark of the Duterte administration and unfortunately this is not the case with Mayor Osmeña who is starting on the wrong foot. He may have his infrastructure plans in the back of his head but what good is that if the public is kept in the dark whether these plans and programs are feasible or not? Let me say it here, the more Mayor Osmeña keeps away from Mega Cebu, the more he isolates himself. And soon, he will be the problem that needs fixing and fixing a narrow-minded politician is an impossible task to do!

 

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