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Drainage, road widening top Mega Cebu wish list 3/21/2013

An 18-km outer Cebu Circumferential Road, road-widening, the Cebu North Coastal Road and drainage systems top the list of projects recommended for government funding in Metro Cebu.

The Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB) en banc approved the priority list in their first quarterly meeting held at the Capitol Social Hall yesterday.

It was the first time the board meeting was chaired by acting Cebu Gov. Agnes Magpale.

Most projects are geared towards resolving traffic congestion.

These will be forwarded to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for budget action next year.

They include projects listed in the 30-year-old Metro Cebu Land Use and Transport Study (MCLUTS) that were never implemented.

The 18-km Outer Cebu Circumferential road from Pardo to Talamban is expected to ease north-south traffic in Cebu City's highways.

Also included is the widening of H. Cortes street and H. Cortes Extension in Mandaue City.

The Cebu North Coastal Road which will extend from Tayud, Consolacion to Lilo-an town is projected to ease traffic in the Banilad-Talamban road.

The MCDCB, co-chaired by businessman Roberto Aboitiz , yesterday also launched Mega Cebu 2050 – Making W.A.V.E.S to emphasize the need for coordinated planning among 13 local government units including cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay and Danao.

W.A.V.E.S stands for wholesome, advanced, vibrant, equitable and sustainable growth.

Ten areas of cooperation were identified for local government units, civil society, and the private sector.

This includes urban and land use planning and zoning; transport and traffic management; pollution control and solid waste management; flood control, drainage and sewerage system,; public safety and security; road improvement and infrastructure development; urban renewal and shelter; coastal resources and watershed management; health and sanitation and environment management and; climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

Engr. Fortunato Sanchez Jr. chairman of the subcommittee on infrastructure and utilities of MCDCB, presented three cluster projects to be included for funding by DPWH next year.

Second and third priority projects are distributed among towns and cities like Carcar City, San Fernando, Naga City, Minglanilla, Talisay City, Cebu City, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Cordova, Consolacion, Lilo-an, Compostela, and Danao City.

MCLUTS was the first comprehensive land use and transportation masterplan of Metro Cebu funded by the Australian government. MCDCB wants to update the masterplan to cover the period of 2000 to 2050.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, who sits in the board as chairman of the Regional Development Council (RDC-7) said the projects should also be submitted to the council for review.

DPWH Regional Director Ador Canlas said local officials should focus on lot acquisition and ensure that widened roads won’t end up as parking lots of commercial establishments and residents.

“We have included several widening projects to improve the traffic situation here and improve road capacity. Many of our motorists are using widened roads as parking space. We are not spending for their parking spaces,” Canlas said. /Marian Z. Codilla, Reporter

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