Development and progress will not only be in Luzon.
The Golden Age of Infrastructure road map of the Duterte administration includes the “Queen City of the South”. The President a Cebuano himself knows that infrastructure projects should be dispersed not only in the Island of Luzon but also to the different parts of the country.
The ambitious BUILD, BUILD, BUILD ( as opposed to the Noynoy Aquino’s TEKA TEKA TEKA favored approach) will also include some vital infrastructure projects in the province Cebu. Veteran Cebuano columnist Bobit S. Avila of Philippine Star titled “DU30 making Cebu’s infra dreams come true” published last August 29, 2017, makes an account of what are the latest update regarding infrastructure projects for Cebu.
|Cebu Tourist Spots will get a major boost from the Infrastructure projects under the Duterte administration's ambitious BUILD, BUILD,BUILD "Golden Age of Infrastructure" (photo credit to owner)|
Five days ago, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar was in Cebu to bring great news on Cebu’s up and coming infrastructure projects that were denied the Cebuano people in the six years of the Aquino regime. This is part and parcel of the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure projects that was promised to Cebuanos by no less than fellow Cebuano himself, Pres. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte after he won his presidential bid in the 2016 elections.
First in the list of Sec. Mark Villar is the proposed 74-kilometer Metro Cebu Expressway Project, which should reduce travel from Naga City to Danao City from three hours to one hour and 25 minutes. According to the DPWH Secretary, they have already completed the feasibility study of the P50-billion Metro Cebu Expressway Project that he plans to implement in three segments. These are indeed exciting times for Cebu to be able to get such a huge infrastructure project after getting a big fat zero from the Presidency of P-Noy Aquino. Best of all, this infrastructure project would be completed within the term of Pres. Duterte! In short, we will see this road in our lifetime!
Last Sunday, I decided to travel to the Miraculous Simala Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lindogon, Simala Sibonga, which is 55 kilometers south of Cebu City, a trip, which in the past normally would have taken an hour and a half by car. But thanks to a segment being fixed by the DPWH in Naga City, the trip took us three hours! Somehow the DPWH did not issue a warning to motorists that going to the South would mean passing through bad traffic. Worse, there was no traffic enforcers to stop motorists from counter-flowing, while the rest of us lined up patiently! Where is the PNP’s Traffic Command? They are nowhere to be found! *
I haven’t been back to Simala since I prayed there before my kidney transplant operation a year ago. How things have changed and since it was a long three-day weekend, the place was crawling with thousands of pilgrims, I believe there were more people in Simala last Sunday than when I last visited the famous Lourdes in France. While the priests have created a huge castle-like shrine for the Blessed Virgin Mary from the money that came from the donations of the Catholic faithful, I exhort the priests that they should build a multi-story parking building so it would be convenient for pilgrims to park their cars. I’m sure a parking building is cheap to construct!
On the way back, I decided not to return to the standstill traffic along Naga City and before reaching the famous Carcar Rotunda I turned left to the newly opened bypass road on my way to Barili. It was the first time I used this bypass road. From Mantalongon, Barili I turned to the Barili-Aloguisan Road, where five kilometers were also being fixed. This was the road that tasted its first cement during the term of then Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia who is now Deputy Speaker in Congress. Then we travelled to the Toledo-Naga-Uling Road back to the South Road. *
This is how difficult travelling by car or bus is in the province of Cebu today. No thanks to Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III whose performance is below zero. But thanks to the Duterte administration, things are starting to move for the province of Cebu. Back to Sec. Mark Villar, he stated that the feasibility study for the construction of the Mandaue City-Consolacion-Liloan Bypass Road is now on-going. I submit that I don’t have any idea where this bypass road would pass, but for sure, such a road would surely reduce the bad traffic motorists suffer going to and from the north of Cebu.
Finally, Sec. Villar approved the proposal that I made way back in the year 2000 when I was the chairman of the Cebu City Traffic Operations and Management (CITOM) where we proposed to build the parallel road to Escario St. in Cebu City. Mind you when we planned this road, traffic wasn’t even a problem in Escario St.
Unfortunately, DPWH officials refused our proposal even if the Regional Development Council (RDC) approved it. Then six years ago, traffic along Escario St. became unbearable, yet DPWH officials still refused to allow this project and worse, they didn’t even offer any alternative to ease the traffic along Escario St. During the 2010 presidential campaign, I convinced Presidential candidate Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. to build this road and he made a promise to Cebuanos to build this road. *
Well finally Sec. Villar announced the P500-million budget to build a 1.61 kilometer four-lane road from Barangay Guadalupe to Barangay Lahug, which is a road parallel to Escario St. which should shorten the travel time to and from Lahug to less than 30 minutes, while today this very short stretch often takes an hour especially during rush hour. This roadway should decongest the bad traffic along Escario St. when it is finished. Thanks to Pres. Duterte for making my dream come true!