Cebu City holds 2-day summit for waterfront development

By: Wenilyn Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | May 10,2023 - 06:16 PM

Cebu City waterfront

The City Government plans to transform its waterfront area into a heritage district.| Cebu City PIO File photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – After being postponed for months, the Cebu City government’s first Waterfront Development Summit will push through on Thursday and Friday, May 11 to 12, 2023, at the National Museum, formerly “Malacañang sa Sugbo.”

The two-day Waterfront Development Summit, organized by the Office of Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, the Waterfront Development Council, which he also chairs, and the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), will gather various resource speakers from all over the world, including Hawaii, Japan, the Netherlands, and from Metro Manila.

It would also be attended by representatives from the city’s coastal barangays, which would be affected by the waterfront development, and other concerned government agencies, such as the Department of Tourism, the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment, and Natural Resources, and the Department of Science and Technology, civil society organizations, and some private entities.

In a previous interview, Vice Mayor Garcia stated that the summit’s outcome would be a blueprint for the city’s waterfront development activities, enabling it to create a waterfront that it can be proud of.

Although the planning for the Waterfront Development Summit was initially tackled as early as September of last year, it did not proceed as planned in November of the same year.

READ: Rama orders recovery of waterfront

It was in August 2022 when Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama issued his four-page Executive Order (EO) no. 3 series of 2022, which mandates the recovery, development, and enhancement of Cebu City’s waterfront from Barangay Mabolo in the north to Barangay Inayawan in the south.

The mayor emphasized that the city has to recover its waterfront areas to achieve its dream of becoming “Singapore-like.”

The waterfront of the City of Cebu is composed of its municipal waters and immediate vicinity which is not less than two kilometers from the high-level watermark of the sea and stretches over the City’s territorial jurisdiction and boundaries from Barangay Mabolo, Block 27 near SM City and Radisson to Barangay Inayawan subject to the final marking and delineation by the Department of Engineering and Public Works and CPDO and other concerned government agencies.

The Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) and the CPDO are tasked to do the final marking and the delineation before the actual removal of waterfront structures could start.

Mr. Dane Wicker, the Deputy Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) of the State of Hawaii, during a press conference on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.| Wenilyn Sabalo

Meanwhile, in a press conference hosted by the Office of Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, Dane Wicker, the Deputy Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) of the State of Hawaii, said that while Hawaii and Cebu have “a lot” of similarities when it comes to economic generators, there are some things that Cebu City needs to balance.

Over the last few days, Wicker had the opportunity to visit the city’s historical district, as well as see some of the city’s infrastructure challenges.

“You have the economic drivers which are the ports. Is it the best use with the current activities going on there? Or do you expand or figure out an alternative approach? What I dig here is the idea, the vision of relocating current operations, welcoming in, maybe, the visitor industry to cruise vessels, but then, as you go inland, what’s that attraction when you bring in visitors? You have a jam here which is your heritage site,” he said.

“I’m a big advocate, proponent, for [the] cultural sense of place. So, cultural architecture, historical buildings, that’s always a draw. So, how do you preserve those, and especially with the challenges now that you have with climate change, coastal zone, sea-level rise?” he added.

Wicker is one of the main speakers of the two-day summit, who will be presenting similar strategies and lessons learned from world cities in waterfront development.

Wicker is also visiting Cebu City for a Reciprocal Exchange Project together with Lawyer Aliko Jasmine Garganera, the executive assistant to Councilor Garganera, as part of the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative Professional Fellowship Program.

Garganera, for her part, said the Waterfront Development Summit is meant to start the city’s vision of a waterfront heritage district down to its business and creative districts.

“Because when you think about the primary revenue-generating income of the city is [the] tourism industry and as well as the business district around SRP.  Now, the coastal area, when you really think about it, is the most vulnerable to climate change issues like sea level rise and the concern is that within two kilometers from the coast are our heritage sites and heritage zones,” she said.

Meanwhile, the city government also invited Architect Joy Onozawa to discuss Maritime Culture and Heritage; Dr. Rama Rosalas on the Socio-Economic Profile of Fishing Communities of 16 coastal barangays, and Architect Joseph Michael from the CPDO on Public Housing at the Waterfront, among others.

Yutaka Mikami of Japan will also be tackling the Mirato Mirai Development and its challenges and mitigation on the second day of the summit.    /rcg


Rama orders recovery of Cebu City’s waterfront  

Cities by the water


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TAGS: Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, development, Summit, Waterfront

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