Espinoza: A fair competition?

THE town of Liloan, Cebu now has a seaport. This could be one of the preparations for Liloan’s desire to become a city aside from the basic population requirement. The seaport will serve the travelers to Camotes island and back. Perhaps, later it would serve the port of Lapu-Lapu City and Cebu city, or beyond where sea travel would be more convenient and much faster than the land transportation because of the current problem of mobility due to the increase in number of all types of motor vehicles but the width of our so-called highway remains the same.

The shipping firm Ocean Jet already met with Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia on Monday, May 15, 2023, tendering its intention to serve the sea travelers from the port of Liloan to the port of Poro, Camotes, and back. As a matter of fact, today, sans unforeseen event, Ocean Jet will conduct the sea trial with its 350-passenger capacity fast craft that is expected to traverse the distance in one hour and 30 minutes at a speed of 22 knots.

Another shipping firm, Super Shuttle Roro also expressed interest to ply the Liloan-Camotes route. This would mean that trip to Camotes island from the port of Liloan and down south of Cebu and back would be shortened than proceeding to Danao city where the city’s seaport has since been serving the travelers to Camotes island.

Once the sea travel services would be operational from the port of Liloan to the port of Poro, Camotes, this would mean the convergence of more people and more vehicles in Liloan that its town center traversed by the national road going to the north of Cebu and back to the metropolitan city is already overwhelmed by the traffic.

Once a week I traveled to the north and back. The traffic gridlock in Liloan town center aside from Consolacion is a daily grind. I have written this matter many times, but it seems that the officials of Liloan and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) seem not concerned neither bothered by the traffic gridlock almost every day at the Y Intersection across the town hall and the church where the replica of the “Parola” stands at the middle of the intersection.

I am certainly not an expert on traffic management. But from my experience, a roundabout or rotunda on this intersection is a better solution because it has no traffic lights and could save manpower.

The seaport in Liloan, on the other hand, is a clever way of competing with the seaport operations of Danao city. But since the local government units are now empowered by the Local Government Code to engage in entrepreneurial activities, the City of Danao cannot claim exclusivity on its seaport operations serving the travelers to Camotes island. But a healthy competition is good for the public as it would mean betterment of each competitor’s services.

But under the present political climate in the fifth congressional district wherein Governor Garcia and the officials of Danao city, particularly the Duranos that have been since in control of the politics in Danao city, do not belong to the same party, Capitol officials cannot avoid skepticisms that the operation of a Liloan seaport is politically motivated to slow down, if not put down the Danao city seaport operations.

It may be recalled that the late Gov. Pabling Garcia, the political paterfamilias of the Garcias and the late Cong. Amon Durano, the patriarch of the Duranos in Danao city, were then close political allies. You know, this is the beauty if not the ugly face of politics. What were once political allies, but in a twist of fate suddenly are on the opposite fence of politics.