TO STRENGTHEN MNDC: Bongat seeks to replicate Mega Cebu
By Paul John F. Barrosa NAGA CITY --- The Metro Naga Development Council, chaired by Naga Mayor John Bongat, seeks to strengthen the council as a strategic alliance of local government units by hosting a forum this September 9 (Friday) at the Avenue Plaza Hotel, entitled “Mega Naga: Jesse M. Robredo’s Vision for Metro Naga”, wherein the well-known Mega Cebu concept will be discussed and hopefully will be adopted by all the mayors of Metro Naga. The said event will feature San Fernando Mayor Lakambini Reluya, Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board Director Evelyn Nacario and Joel Mari Yu, former assistant secretary of Department of Trade and Industry and now economic advisor of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña. Mayor Reluya and Director Nacario will talk about Development Framework of Mega Cebu 2050. The concept is anchored on the vision of a Wholesome, Advanced, Vibrant, Equitable and Sustainable (W.A.V.E.S.) Cebu in year 2050 thru promotion of long-term and collaborative planning and action by the private and the public sector towards a more sustainable city-region. The initiator behind the Mega Cebu vision, Roberto E. Aboitiz, past president of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI), was hailed by the House of Representatives for his work. He received a posthumus award through House Resolution No. 54 approved on May 9, 2017. Meanwhile, Joel Mari Yu will discuss on The Importance of Planning in Development of Metro Cebu. He will share how Metro Cebu becomes one of the most progressive areas in the country, to the point of being chosen by United Nations as a model for metropolitan governance alongside New York in the United States, Tokyo in Japan, Paris in France and Seoul in South Korea. Vice President Ma. Leonor G. Robredo and Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona are also expected to be present as guests of honor. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia was also invited to share to the local chief executives and other local officials NEDA’s Ambisyon Natin 2040 and the roles of LGUs in its realization. The forum was suggested by Naga City Councilor Julian Lavadia and was greatly welcomed and approved by MNDC’s chairman, Naga City Mayor John Bongat. According to Lavadia, he thought of recommending the event to Mayor Bongat after a Benchmarking Tour in Metro Cebu was conducted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Naga’s Committee on Business, Trade and Investment, together with the Metro Naga Development Council and the Department of Trade and Investment-Camarines Sur, on March 20-24, 2017. “In the aforesaid tour, I observed that among the secrets of Metro Cebu’s robust socio-economic growth is the drafting and implementation of a Sustainable Roadmap for Mega Cebu 2050. Contained in said roadmap are detailed actions plans of the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board in both the short- and long-terms,” said Lavadia. “As the late Mayor and Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo envisioned in 1993, MNDC can capitalize on Mega Cebu concept to realize its mandate to hasten societal advancement, spread out gains among towns and catalyze ‘growth with equity’,” he added. The Metro Naga Development Council is an alliance of 17 local government units in Camarines Sur. It is composed of Naga City (Mayor John G. Bongat), Bombon (Mayor Oscar Borja), Bula (Mayor Amelita Ibasco), Calabanga (Mayor Eduardo Severo), Camaligan (Mayor Marilou Marquez-Hirose), Canaman (Mayor Henry Ragodon), Gainza (Mayor Leonardo Agor Sr.), Libmanan (Mayor Bernard Brioso), Magarao (Mayor Philip Salvador Señar), Milaor (Mayor Anthony Reyes), Minalabac (Mayor Christopher Lizardo), Ocampo (Mayor Corazon Olos), Pamplona (Mayor Augustus Cesar Cruz), Pasacao (Mayor Niño Tayco), Pili (Mayor Tomas Bongalonta), San Fernando (Mayor Fermin Mabulo) and Siruma (Mayor Sandy Ondis).