EVEN as he is confident that Cagayan de Oro will rise up with an indomitable spirit from the coronavirus crisis along with the rest of the country, Mayor Oscar Moreno once again is pushing for the metropolization of the city along with neighboring areas as the city is pumping up to recover from the pandemic.
This was one of the gist of the Moreno’s report delivered yearly since 2013 during each Charter Day which was celebrated Monday (June 15) on its 70th anniversary of the founding of the city.
“Metropolization is an idea whose time has come. Now people have realized that you cannot think parochial,” Moreno said. “You have to look beyond your boundaries as you get bigger, as you share vision with your neighbors.”
The mayor identified at least 14 adjacent localities which can take part in the metropolization of Cagayan de Oro – the municipalities of Tagoloan, Villanueva, Jasaan, Balingasag, Opol, Alubijid, Laguindingan and Gitagum, and El Salvador City, in Misamis Oriental; and the municipalities of Malitbog, Manolo Fortich, Baungon, Talakag and Sumilao, in Bukidnon.
He said that together, these local government units can be a powerful collective in harmonizing their plans and lobby as one to other stakeholders, either in the government and the private sector.
“The chances of growth and prosperity for the whole region are enhanced. Di na mahimo nga ang atong focus ang ato kaugalingon. Services are better managed and delivered if we do these together such as in the areas of health, peace and order, planning for growth and prosperity, etc.,” Moreno went on. “Imagine how the Laguindingan airport being expanded can help all the LGUs combined with teamwork and harmony in place. There will be more investments between Opol all the way to Initao and even all the way to Lugait and the city of Iligan.”
Earlier, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) projected that Cagayan de Oro City may become a metropolis by 2025 based on its population growth and functional role as a major gateway and transshipment hub in the country.
As early as 1998, a Philippine Institute for Development Studies report has already envisioned a metropolitan Cagayan de Oro “considering the rapid urbanization being experienced in the area which will further accelerate as industrialization and trading activities are vigorously pursued.”
Regarding the city’s recovery from COVID-19, Moreno reminded Kagay-anons that the city has showed its indomitable spirit in rising from the ashes of World War II more than 70 years ago prior to the birth of the city.
“That same indomitable spirit also showed during Sendong eight years ago. The ruins of Sendong, if at all, served as an inspiration for the people to grow,” he said. “The virus has affected our plans, has somehow stalled our success but we will not give up. We will not subjugate ourselves. We will rise to the next level and build a better city for our children and for the generations to come.”
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