Marcos tells local officials: Plan the future of Cebu, Visayas
CEBU CITY, Philippines – With development projects now directed to Luzon and Mindanao areas, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos said it seems that the Visayas, particularly Cebu is now experiencing a “vision vacuum.”
Marcos said that local officials here should start to look for potentials that they can develop and make a decision on what investments to prioritize.
There is also a need to come up with a road map or a master plan that will serve as guide for their development plans.
“Cebu is the center of the south, but at the same time it also the heart and soul of the Visayas. Right now, I feel that there is a vision vacuum in the Visayas in the sense that Luzon will always be Luzon. It’s the biggest. It’s always the entry point. It’s always 55 percent of the Philippines. On the other hand, Mindanao is now the burgeoning new capital of the Philippines in a sense that all roads will be leading to Davao because of the President, because of its potential, ” she said.
“What I’m trying to say is perhaps there is room, after this elections, after this boisterous campaign, after all the noise, the sound and the fury, to reflect on what we want the Visayas to be? What we want Cebu to be? After all we in Leyte, even Bacolod, Iloilo, Dumaguete, all the rest of the cities always look up to Cebu for leadership.”
Marcos, who made a quick visit to Mandaue City on Monday, said that the Cebu and the rest of the Visayas still have a lot of potentials that have remained unexplored.
“We have to carve out a role for ourselves and understand that there are things that the Visayas can offer that perhaps nowhere else can match. I think for example, the leisure and entertainment (industries),” she said.
“Leisure industry is not just vanity tourism but the more serious approach to tourism. Kasi that is the biggest industry of the world and we don’t take it that seriously.”
Marcos said that as it is now, Cebu is not even ready to develop its leisure industry while its growing congestion problems is also becoming a threat to development.
“Many tourist will decide to go direct to Panglao for example, with the new airport,” Marcos said.
“There should be decisions that should be made with some investments to be prioritized. Are we really going to commit to the leisure industry for the Visayas? As where islands are so plentiful and so gorgeous. Where there are resorts. Where there are flights already.”
Marcos recalled of Cebu’s branding as the Milan of Asia in the 70s. But it is sad to note that its furniture, garment and manufacturing industries are dwindling.
“Perhaps we should just sell the designers just like the Australians, the English and the Italians do. Hindi naman sila nagmamanufacture. Pero yong designer nirarock star. Tapos siguro ganon na rin lang,” she said.
Marcos said that other parts of the Visayas like Samar continue to be one of the poorest provinces in the country while Tacloban continue to suffer from the wrath of Super Typhoon Yolanda.
On the other hand, there are areas like Bacolod and Iloilo that are now beginning to enjoy growth and development because activities in these areas are better planned.
“These are things that we really need to think about. Siguro we really need a new vision for the Visayas.”
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