Time to restudy the benefits of the Ironman

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila - The Freeman

Yesterday was Islam’s Eid'l Adha or the Feast of the Sacrifice and thanks to the Duterte administration, he declared this a national holiday where businesses that operate have to pay holiday wages to their employees. While we respect the Islamic faith, there are just too many differences in Christianity and Islam. But there is no need to debate on this so let’s leave it at that.

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Last Sunday’s staging of the Ironman 70.3 in Cebu, which kicked off and ended in Mactan Island was generally peaceful, as the police authorities said.

During the event’s closing ceremonies, Lapu-Lapu Mayor Junard Chan said the city will welcome Ironman again in years to come. But I agree with many pundits that it’s time to reassess the Ironman event. I mean, who cares if a Reed Steffen of Australia won this event again, it really doesn’t matter to the great majority of the Cebuanos like me.

I really don’t know who the organizers or sponsors of the Ironman are, but I’m sure they know too well that the Ironman event causes traffic in Metro Cebu which already suffers from bad traffic daily. I dare you guys to do a plus and minus research on the Ironman and I can safely say that years ago, Ironman was a plus factor in our tourism industry. But today, it only worsens our traffic which is a hassle to a greater number of people. I’m not saying that it is time to scrap the Ironman, but they ought to show some kind of consideration to the great number of people who are affected by this event!

Just ask yourselves, how many people missed their flights because they didn’t realize that going to the airport during the Ironman event would be a difficult thing! This is not to mention that many people going to the south also had difficulty in passing through Talisay City. This is why an honest-to-goodness study of the implication of Ironman has to be done!

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I read in the news that the Mandaue City government is asking the Department of Public Works and Highways and the contractors to expedite road rehabilitation projects by working even during weekends and holidays. The city also suggested to contractors to coordinate with the office of the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue during implementation of road repairs in the city.

I fully agree that all road projects by the government or DPWH should be done on a 24-hour basis, just like what most western governments do. I saw this in Japan and in the United States where work is done even in the dead of night. At this point, I would like to believe that we should not simply make a request to the DPWH, but rather ask the 18th Congress to come up with a law that ensures that road projects should be done 24 hours. If work is being done on a major road, then DPWH should have the option to work only at night when traffic is light.

Here in Cebu City, the repair of F. Sotto Drive behind the University of San Carlos North Campus, which used to be the USC Boy’s High School, has been so badly delayed, we have not heard of any news report from the DPWH what their plans for that roadway are. I remember that this road project began during the time of former president PNoy Aquino and until now, DPWH cannot widen that road because the Iglesia ni Cristo refuses to have their wall destroyed for the greater good of the Cebuanos! Abangan!

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Last Friday night at the Cebu Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce meeting with Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella as their special guest, he gave a talk about what politicians have done to destroy Cebu. He said that before the war, Cebu had a mass transit system built by the Americans. Then before the invasion of Cebu, American B-24 bombers bombed the railway from Danao to Argao.

After the war was over, politicians and their families bought used American trucks and refurbished them to become our transport system and they made a lot of money. So when it came to rehabilitating the railway system for Cebu the politicians didn’t approve any funds for it. Hence, Cebu lost its mass transit system thanks to the politicians of yore. No, Mayor Labella didn’t name them.

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