Editorial: Cebu City barangays’ role in achieving ‘Singapore-like’ vision

·2 min read

During the implementation of the quarantine rules when the cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) were still surging, the Cebu City Government had encountered several problems, one of which was the lack of cooperation of some barangays. The Department of the Interior and Local Government had to intervene to force some barangay officials to obey the City and national government’s rules.

This current goal of Mayor Michael Rama to make Cebu City like Singapore is not impossible for a visionary person, but it is difficult to achieve in a short period of time. Compare the city’s infrastructure to that of Singapore; the former’s is far from that of the city-state. Singapore’s success did not happen overnight—it took years before it achieved its current status, one of the smart cities in the world.

The city government’s burdens would be eased if all barangays cooperate, including the residents. Change starts in the community.

Disposing of garbage properly, making sure that informal settlers do not return to riverbanks and ensuring that no more structures are built along riverbanks.

The City has duties to guard all the rivers, but the barangays must also do their part in helping the local government.

It is also not easy to correct the mistakes from the past. Some of these errors include the construction of structures along the river and making some waterways the basins of dirty water from subdivisions and piggeries.

Even if Rama were to serve Cebu City for nine straight years, achieving a Singapore-like status could still be far from reach; however, there could be visible changes in this period.

Following the law and maintaining a clean environment are part of the baby steps in Rama’s Singapore-like vision for Cebu City.

Mayor Rama has said that all great things can be achieved in unity; the barangays play a big role in this.

But if the city and barangay leaders themselves break the law, do not listen to the public and are disunited because they are afraid to hurt their political party or personal interests, Rama’s Singapore-like Cebu City vision would become just the nonsense talk of a populist politician and the ultimate losers would be the ordinary people.