“That is something worth fighting. That’s what we appeal to the communities,” said urban planner and architect Omar Maxwell Espina during a forum at the St. Theresa’s College auditorium yesterday.
The forum presented key findings of the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Regional Development Council (RDC) that strongly recommended reconsideration of RDC’s previous approvals of flyover projects in Gorordo Avenue and M.J. Cuenco.
Espina was a member of the TWG.
The committee also called for the suspension of flyover projects in Metro Cebu until thorough consultations and a comprehensive traffic analysis that includes alternative solutions are made.
The RDC will discuss the matter in its next quarterly meeting in 2012 upon the insistence of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.
The TWG findings were earlier voted down in the RDC’s infrastructure and development committee after being convinced by former congressman Raul del Mar, who pushed for the projects.
Espina said he was disappointed when the IDC tabled its findings.
“Our report was as objective as possible to the RDC. It was under voted because of politics. It was not even reconsidered,” he said.
Espina said flyovers should not be situated within the urban core of the city.
“They are not only disruptive, they are ugly and make our city look very third world,” he said.
He said stakeholders should come up with effective solution that will not disrupt the city.
The Movement for a Livable Cebu (MLC) said they will go to the Supreme Court and the Ombudsman if the flyovers push through in MJ Cuenco Avenue in Cebu City.
“The way things are going, politicians are going beyond the borders of proper conduct. We are ready to file complaints in the SC and Ombudsman,” said MLC member Rudy Alix.
Alix said they plan to send a letter to President Benigno Aquino III asking for a halt on the flyover projects.
The forum was attended by 200 participants from business, academe and environment sectors.
The forum presented the TWG report, which noted that “flyovers were not among the recommended traffic solutions in previous transportation studies” and that flyovers were more identified with their “sponsors” than as part of a transportation strategy.
Espina said another body is needed to lead the creation of a master plan.
He said the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) can also function as the head of a sub regional plan.
“We are safe with NEDA. It’s a safe agency,” he said.
Transport engineer Lynn Gloria Madrona, also a TWG member, encouraged participants “to be brave enough” to press for action .
“ With this report, I also became brave enough to ask Congress for public awareness and information dissemination especially in the barangay level,” she said. /By Candeze R. Mongaya, Reporter