Finally, north Cebu City has new projects!
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - February 5, 2020 - 12:00am

I mentioned yesterday that our good friend, Cebu City North District Congressman Raul Del Mar has prepared a few billions worth of big-ticket infrastructure projects for the Cebu City North District, which is experiencing bad traffic simply because Cebu City wasn’t given enough money to fix our infrastructure. And with the rapid growth of Cebu City we are now having very bad traffic congestion.

I’m talking about the construction of skyways and/or tunnels in three most-congested roads in the first district that has gotten the biggest appropriation at P1.3 billion. This project starts from Gorordo Avenue-Salinas Drive-J. Luna Avenue-SM City Cebu, then Gorordo Avenue-Archbishop Reyes Avenue-Gov. Cuenco Avenue, and Cardinal Rosales Avenue-F. Cabahug Street-H. Cortes Street. This is where the bulk of our traffic congestion is located. Unfortunately, I need to sit down with Rep. Raul del Mar in order to identify what kind of projects we are getting.

Of course, when you talk of road projects in the North District my mind always thinks of my proposed project; the parallel road to Escario Street that goes all the way to V. Rama Avenue in Guadalupe. It was then that I found out that the second-highest allocation of the budget at P1 billion was set aside for the construction of Barangay Lahug-Barangay Guadalupe diversion road. No, the Department of Public Works and Highways did not want to officially name it as the parallel road to Escario Street. But at least I can say that next year this project will become a reality and reduce the traffic congestion we have along Escario Street.

Then there’s a budget of P635,971,000 that was allotted for the construction of three skyways on Sergio Osmeña Boulevard corner V. Sotto Street; on General Maxilom Avenue covering the junctions of M. Gotianuy Street., Rahman Street, and MJ Cuenco Avenue; and on P. del Rosario Street from the junction of Osmeña Boulevard to Leon Kilat Street. At this point I would like to know if this includes the main road along Mango Avenue and MJ Cuenco Avenue, which for a long time already needs a skyway to ease traffic congestion. Anyway, I intended to get all the details of these projects from Rep. Del Mar.

* * *

Unless an antivirus can be found and made ready for public use, I’m afraid that the world tourism economy will suffer a severe setback. China, after all, is the main focus of this medical problem which has now victimized 304 people and the first one to die outside the Chinese mainland was a man from Wuhan who died in Manila. On the positive side, at least the person who died contracted his virus in Wuhan and has not infected people in Manila. But we have to be careful.

Yes, I do carry an N-95 mask with me because of my kidney transplant I’m what my doctors say immunosuppressed. However, I only use it if I’m in a place that is crowded with people, otherwise I’m okay. I also carry what they call a nose filter, which is a filter that you stick in your nose and people won’t even notice that you are wearing it. I got it from South Korea.

With the global shutdown by countries having flights to and from China, this incident means bad news for the tourism economy here and abroad.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the new coronavirus has exceeded that of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002 and 2003 in mainland China. But the number of people who have recovered nationwide has also risen in recent days, suggesting that the fatality rate of the new virus is relatively low. The death toll in China now stands at 361, exceeding the 349 mainland fatalities from the SARS outbreak of 2002-03, which eventually killed nearly 800.

China's top leadership also admitted its "shortcomings and difficulties" in its response to the coronavirus outbreak as the state media said. I reported this when I learned that during the first week of January, China arrested eight medical practitioners who reported this virus was raging in China. Then on January 20, China’s state media acknowledged that the virus was already spreading. Fifty-seven new deaths were confirmed last Monday, the single-biggest daily increase since the virus was detected. The virus is now in more than 20 countries.

vsbobita@gmail.com

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