Rama says Palace, DPWH heeded city on flyover feud

11/04/2011 -There were no victors or losers in the flyover debate as far as Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is concerned.

“It’s not winning. It only means that the President is listening to the people. It only means this current administration has the ear to listen to the cry of the people,” Rama said.

His predecessor, Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district, disagreed.

“In my point of view, it’s a loss for Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama ’cause it only means less accomplishment from him and a loss for Cebu since we lost a flyover,” Osmeña said.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson earlier placed on hold two flyover projects in in Gorordo Avenue and M.J. Cuenco in Cebu City.

The projects were suspended pending a review from the Regional Development Council’s (RDC) technical working group.

Singson ordered the suspension of the flyover projects in response to protests from businessmen, religious groups and other stakeholders.

The secretary said he will wait for the completion of a master plan before deciding whether or not to proceed with the projects.

Last Oct. 1, nuns belonging to the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul joined a multisectoral movement in organizing activities aimed at building public opposition to the projects.

Flyover opponents said part of the compound of the Asilo de la Milagrosa at Gorordo Avenue, the nuns’ home, sits on the path of the flyover projects.

DPWH officials earlier said they would redesign the projects to spare the the Asilo compound.

Osmeña said the suspension came because the Palace listened to the mayor’s request.

He said he agreed with the plan to first widen the road at the intersection in the area where the flyovers are supposed to be built.

“It’s not really in conflict with our stand because they are going to widen the road. I am even happy they will widen it. You’ll have to widen it first anyway before constructing the flyover,” Osmeña said.

Rama said he will write the Palace and Singson to personally thank them for suspending the flyover projects in his capacity as mayor and RDC chairman.

Rama has proposed a P10 million appropriation in his 2012 budget for the conduct of a traffic master plan.

He was confident that the private sector would also contribute financially help the city finish its traffic master plan.

Rama said the city's master plan could later be incorporated as part of a Metro Cebu master plan, a precursor to the proposed Mega Cebu program.

For their part, the Movement for a Liveable Cebu ( MLC) wants a permanent seat in the Regional Development Council (RDC).

Joel Lee, one of the proponents of MLC formerly known as the Stop Cebu Flyovers Movement, said they would conduct information dissemination on the barangay level on their proposals for a sustainable and livable Cebu.

“It has become a broad community topic. We want to prepare the people for greater awareness in the aspects of liveability and on what kind of participation we can have,” Lee told Cebu Daily News.

Lee said they will register their group with the Securities and Exchange Commission to give their group a legal personality.

He said public officials should actively consult the public in developing the city’s traffic master plan.

“ It can't be done with local government initiative alone. Trending environment, economy should also be analyzed not just the flyovers (Cebu Daily News)

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