The Cebu City Government has identified coastal development projects as a priority, and last Aug. 19, Mayor Michael Rama issued an executive order directing the Cebu City Waterfront Development Commission to recover, restore, protect, preserve, develop and enhance the city’s waterfront.
In line with this, the Waterfront Development Summit will be held on May 11-12, 2023, to discuss the action plans and steps on development in responding to and mitigating the impacts of climate change on the coastal and the downtown areas of Cebu City.
The waterfront of the city is composed of its municipal waters and immediate vicinity, which is not less than two kilometers from the high-level watermark of the sea, which includes the barangays from Mabolo in the north to Inayawan in the south.
Dane K. Wicker, deputy director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism of the State of Hawaii, said in a press conference Wednesday, May 10 that Cebu City still has a lot of opportunities to maximize and optimize the coastal areas.
At the summit, Wicker will share the best and optimal practices from the state of Hawaii that can be used by the city in the development of the coastal zones and their management.
“What did kind of catch my attention is the infrastructure, the state of that infrastructure. As we’re competing to modernize or develop new communities, how do you still focus on the existing infrastructure, and maintain and improve on that? It’s no different from what we have in our state,” Wicker said about the similarities that he has seen so far in the city and in Hawaii.
Wicker said if there is one concept he can take from Hawaii and apply in Cebu City, it would be a developed harbor area that could serve as another economic driver.
He added that the city could leverage on the existing infrastructure and coastal areas, while also making sure that the people are not driven out by the gentrification of the area where the prices of housing in areas being developed increase, driving people who cannot afford it further away.
“They wouldn’t be able to afford it if you don’t plan accordingly, require mixed use of all affordable classes. There are always incentives to help push more affordable projects, but then there’s a challenge to that too,” Wicker said.
The Waterfront Development Summit will be held at the National Museum at Malacañang sa Sugbo, where Wicker will speak along with representatives from Yokohama, Japan, who will speak on sustainable mobility, and the Netherlands for water management.
Last Feb. 27, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. attended the groundbreaking of the Cebu South Coastal Urban Development (Scud) Housing Project in Barangay Basak San Nicolas.
The Scud project across the South Road Properties covers 60 hectares of land area in barangays Sawang Calero, Duljo-Fatima, Mambaling, Basak San Nicolas, Basak Pardo, Kinasang-an Pardo, Cogon Pardo and Inayawan and involves the development of housing, streets, monorail stations and railways, commercial centers and mangrove parks.