CITY Councilor Roger Abaday, in his report before the City Council has acknowledged with serious concern the growing traffic problem of Cagayan de Oro.
The city’s horrendous traffic, garbage that clogged drainage systems, and shanties that stood in waterways and even along narrow streets, all contribute in continuously pushing the city’s image as another Metro Manila in the making.
With a few notches away of becoming a metropolitan city, Cagayan de Oro may be named as one of the most progressive yet stressful regional growth centers in the country, next only to Davao and Cebu.
Metro Manila is ranked one of the most stressful cities in the world, stressful than the besieged city of Damascus in Syria.
Recent study shows that anxiety and stress have been pinpointed as key factors in the deterioration of mental health and quality of life in urban living.
Manila is declared the 10th most stressful city in the world, whose rank was based on its density, green spaces, public transport, transport-congestion levels, and perception of security, pollution, finance, and people among others.
The top 10 most stressful cities: Baghdad (Iraq) Kabul (Afghanistan) Lagos (Nigeria) Dakar (Senegal) Cairo (Egypt) Tehran (Iran) Dhaka (Bangladesh) Karachi (Pakistan) New Delhi (India) Manila (Philippines).
The top 10 least stressful cities: Stuttgart (Germany) Luxemborg (Luxemborg) Hannover (Germany) Bern (Switzerland) Munich (Germany) Bordeux (France) Edinburgh (UK) Sydney (Sydney) Hamburg (Germany) Graz (Austria).
With near a million inhabitants, Cagayan de Oro is getting used to endless traffic with the unstoppable surge of all kinds of motor vehicles getting down after the other on narrow, sub-standard city streets.
Massive urbanization has resulted to the construction of houses along the creeks, roads and even under bridges contributing considerably to the flooding problem of the city.
Undoubtedly, Cagayan de Oro will become the fourth metropolitan center based on its population growth and functional role as major gateway and transshipment hub in Northern Mindanao. In addition, the city will continue to serve as key education center in Northern Mindanao.
As planned, Metro Cagayan de Oro will consist of Cagayan de Oro City; Jasaan, Villanueva, Tagoloan, Claveria, Opol, El Salvador, Alubijid, Laguindingan and Gitagum in Misamis Oriental;
Libona, Manolo Fortich, Talakag, Baungon, Malitbog and Sumilao in Bukidnon. Population in these areas combined has reached to 1.376 million.
Yet for now, doable solutions to tone down the city’s traffic mess are too far off.
Councilor Abaday’s idea of hiring transport experts to study for the establishment of a mass transport system like the Cebu City’s bus rapid transport facility has ended as referral, and may be stored in the dust bin – forever.
That said, local transport gurus were reportedly enlisted to frame the city’s traffic master plan, yet such blueprint may have gone in deep slumber.
For now, cheers to Metro Cagayan de Oro in the making, but jeers to the city’s traffic mess! (firstname.lastname@example.org)