OBO must fix best Western Hotel corner
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - August 19, 2019 - 12:00am

For our special presentation on our talkshow “Straight from the Sky” we bring you once again, MEGA Cebu, which is often know as the Metro Cebu Development and Coordination Board (MCDCB) which began in 2011. Basically, the original concept thought of by our dear friend, the late Mr. Roberto “Bobby” Aboitiz, was to expand Metro Cebu and turn it into Mega Cebu with his concept called “Bugsay” or paddle. Of course MEGA Cebu had its birth pains, especially when then Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña refused to join the group, believing himself as the sole person to promote the growth of Cebu. Then two years ago, we lost our dear friend Bobby Aboitiz.

But then, last May 2019 Cebu’s political landscape changed when the old politicos failed to get themselves re-elected and today we have a new crop of political leaders who want to truly to coordinate with one another with the private sector to solve the present problems of Cebu. This is why I invited Ms. Evelyn Nacario “Natz” Castro, a director of MCDCB, and Ma. Teresa Alambra, assistant NEDA-7 regional director, on this show to present what is happening to MEGA Cebu with the new political landscape.

Ma’am Natz Castro immediately gave us the top ten priority areas for MEGA Cebu, which is urban and land use planning and zoning, transport and traffic management; pollution control and solid waste management; flood control drainage and sewage management; urban renewal and shelter provisions; public safety, health, and sanitation; road improvement and infrastructure development; coastal resources, watershed, and environment management; and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. This should give you an idea that there is a group avowed to fix the problems of Cebu in cooperation with each other. This is the Bugsay principle.

So watch our talk about what MEGA Cebu is up to these days on SkyCable’s channel 53 at 8 p.m. with replays on Wednesday and Saturday same time and channel. We also have replays on MyTV’s channel 30 at 9 p.m. Monday and at 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday.

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I read in the news that the Cebu City government has ordered a stop to the construction of a proposed hotel in Barangay Capitol Site after it allegedly damaged portions of nearby roads. The Office of the Building Official (OBO) led by its new chief, Architect Florante Catalan, issued a cease and desist order to the proposed 13-story hotel with commercial facilities until it can rectify its safety issues. I’m really glad the OBO is now strictly monitoring many of the construction sites in Cebu City.

Let me remind you that years ago, when the Best Western Hotel was under construction along the corner of Escario Street and Juana Osmeña Extension, the road that brings me to my home, half of the road collapsed, and with it the SCATS traffic signal light on Escario Street. With half the street gone, we had to suffer the worst traffic congestion for many months before the hotel was able to restore the road and strengthen it.

Today, one issue has remained unsolved in Best Western Hotel, where they built a black corner wall, which is raised to the level of its ground floor, which is higher than the road. That black wall puts a blind spot on motorists turning right into Juana Osmeña Extension. I hope that Catalan will look into this and force Best Western to remove that wall for the sake of safety of our motorists.

Allow me to remind you that that corner makes it difficult for pedestrians to converge on the corner while waiting for the go signal so they can cross the street. Hence, it is imperative that OBO and CCTO work together on this case with the Best Western management. Mind you, Persons With Disabilities on wheelchairs find it difficult to use that sidewalk and to think that years ago, Cebu City’s sidewalks were PWD-friendly! Many corners would slope into the road as suggested by JICA many years ago.

Unfortunately, this has not happened at the corner of Escario Street and Juana Osmeña Extension. As Mayor Edgar Labella, promised us, it is time for change and since nothing was done to that corner since the time the hotel was constructed, the time has come for change. It is up to Best Western to look and care for the pedestrians and work things out themselves!

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