The State of Infrastructure Development in the First 10 Months

By Atty. Carlo Jose A. Martinez

Almost always people look at government infrastructure development as the efficiency measure of an administration. That, of course, is natural. Governance, though, is not only about roads and other physical structures. It is also the management and development of resources, the delivery of basic social services and the provision of economic opportunities for its people. Still, because infrastructures are ending and more visible, they are the more preferred evidence of government work.

It must be the fondest wish of every mayor to have sufficient resources at his disposal that will allow him to say yes to all the infrastructure wish list of his people. But that is not so. Of the total budget pie, a hefty slice goes to employee salaries and benefits. Another goes to maintenance and operation expenses, to travel, to gender and development mandates, to disaster mitigation and preparation, to many other requirements needing funding and to the many other unforeseeable activities that need to be funded. And, then there are infrastructure requirements that cannot wait another budget year.

Still, within the constraints cited in the foregoing I am happy to report that we have much to show our constituents what we have done in the first 10 months of my administration. There are the following:

  1. THE EXPANSION OF THE POLAMBATO PORT. The expansion of the Polambato Port is one of the City’s highest priority projects. Situated in a cove that provides shelter to sea crafts in bad weather, the Port is in the best position to be the alternative marine gateway in northern Cebu. Today, Polambato Port serves the neighboring island provinces of Leyte and Masbate. When fully developed the Port will be able to serve bigger ships. It will also be one of Bogo City’s main engines of economic growth.

  2. OPEN-AIR AMPHITHEATER. Is it the first of its kind in northern Cebu. It has a seating capacity of 500 to 700 spectators built within the Bogo City Plaza, right in front of the Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Community Stage. At the center is a multi-purpose court where basketball and volleyball games and other events could be staged, watched from the convenience of the elevated bleachers.

The construction of the Amphitheater is part of my 12-point Agenda formulated at the onset of my administration to enable people watch events at the community stage conveniently. It has been noticed that oftentimes people who could not be accommodated on the chairs had to watch from the outside. Consequently, do not feel part of the event – like they are not part of the community. As site of sports events, the Amphitheater will also provide an alternative to the Don Celestino Martinez Sr. Sports Complex.

  1. TRANSFER OF THE TRANSPORT TERMINAL. The location off a transport terminal in any locality is of crucial importance to its overall traffic conditions. It also influences the direction of business growth. But of greater concern is its implication to the safety of both the riding public and the pedestrians.

Not so long ago, the Bogo City Bus Terminal was built at the newly reclaimed area in Barangay Gairan because it was the most readily available space and it would serve the interests of the newly transferred public market. Today, the place has become too congested and has posed so much risk to the public in general. The buses have grown so many and the roads have become relatively constricted as a result.

Initiatives to negotiate with Robinson’s to allow the City to utilize a portion of its 10-hectare property in Barangay Cayang have been started towards the later part of Mayor Celestino “Junie” Martinez’s administration. Its successful conclusion, however, was done during my term. Robison’s agreed to allow us to use around 3,000 square meters of its property and, today, has already started constructing the P 50M terminal, with no cost to the government. Once completed, its operation will be turned over to the City.

  1. CONCRETING OF THE PAULIN DIVERSION ROAD. Phase 1 of the Paulin Road concreting has already been finished and the budget to complete it all the way to the Bogo City Plaza is already being prepared. Work on the road that leads from the National Food Authority to the church of the Iglesia ni Cristo is also already bidded out.

  2. SOLA POWERED STREET-LIGHTING PROJECT. Travelers passing through Bogo City will soon enjoy a well-lighted national highway which starts the moment they enter the City in barangay Binabag and until they leave through barangay Don Pedro. Work on this will start within the year.

  3. REHABILITATION OF CAPITANCILLO AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE TOURISM OFFICE AND PASALUBONG CENTER BUILDING. Impetus is being renewed to capitalize on the tourism potentials of Bogo with its rock of ages islet of Capitancillo and of the City’s strategic location. Work has already started on the Tourism Building across the Robinson’s property in Barangay Cayang, and the rehabilitation of Capitancillo.

  4. CONSTRUCTION OF THE CBDRRM BUILDING. Work on the City of Bogo Disaster Risk Reduction and Management building is already completed. It will house some of the most modern and sophisticated tools and equipment that will further enhance the capability of the City to meet the challenges of disaster risk reduction and management.

  5. OTHER PROJECTS. There are many other projects underway: the concreting of Gemelina St., the rehabilitation of the Children’s Playground, the construction of the arcaded building at the back of the City Hall to house the employee’s canteen and guest rooms for guests and visitors, the construction of a drainage system from Barangay Sambag to Gairan, the construction of the new Bogo City Fire Station in Maharat, the Persons With Disability and Senior Citizen’s Building, the recently finished Bogo City Police Station building, the Red Cross Blood Bank, and the completion of the Rehabilitation Assistance for Yolanda (RAY 2) projects which include the construction of new multi-purpose buildings in various barangays, among others.

And we are only talking here about infrastructure concerns. There are other initiatives whose fruits may not be immediately visible but because they are being planted now, sooner or later the fruits will be seen hopefully by all.