A GROUP of progressive Visayas clergy members yesterday supported the call for a moratorium on flyover construction in Cebu City.
The Visayas Clergy Discernment Group – Cebu, in a statement, said the issue is linked to a larger concern for “pro-people development through participatory and good governance.”
The statement was signed by head convenor Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo Aliminaza of Iloilo.
The Archdiocese of Cebu has yet to issued its stand on the flyover debate.
Three batches of diocesan priests, who recently finished their annual retreat with Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma as retreat master, were asked by Palma to reflect on the flyover controversy.
They have yet to issue a public statement.
Rep. Cutie del Mar and her father Raul have vigorously endorsed the construction of two flyovers in Gorordo Avenue and M.J. Cuenco despite objections from environment lobbyists, Cebu City traffic managers and local urban planners.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) last week issued a suspension order of work on the two flyovers and set a public hearing on Oct. 28.
The VCDG-Cebu statement said “The Church is not against development but she sees to it that in every human effort towards progress the well-being of the people, especially the poor, shall be held paramount.”
The group said that government leaders and agencies should study the over-all picture of the social problems and determine its root causes in crafting a development plan.
After stakeholders, including nuns of the Asilo dela Milagrosa went to Archbishop Palma last September to complain, the prelate included the issue in a a series of discussions with priests in their annual retreat.
“We, the bishops and priests of the VCDG, have listened to the cry of our people, especially the poor.. Our people are caught in the mire of rural poverty due to landlessness and government neglect and this leads to urban migration that bloats the ever-increasing population of the poor in our cities. Consequently, the urban poor sectors with no regular employment and income, such as drivers, vendors, and informal settlers, have been blamed for urban problems like traffic congestion and the over-all urban decay,” the statement said.
Other members of the group are Msgr. Walter Cerbito, Msgr. Cayetano Gelbolingo, Msgr. Rommel Kintanar, Fr. Julius Heruela, Fr. Aniceto Buenafe, Jr., Fr. Paul Medina, Fr. Edgardo Deligero, Fr. Desiderio Magdoza, Fr. Scipio Deligero and Fr. Antonio Bayod, MSC. Reporter Candeze Mongaya