Rama: Towards stage five

On the next regular session of the Cebu City Council, April 20, 2022, Dr. Raamah Rosales,a marine biologist, faculty member and researcher from the Cebu Technological University, will address legislators and update them on the status and condition of the Cebu City Reef.Yes, you heard it right. There is such a thingas the Cebu City Reef; though the more accurate description is a reef in Cebu City, pending an official designation by the legislature.Dr. Rosales came to know about the reef latein December of 2020 as head of the University’s Integrated Coastal Resource Management Center.This was after one of his researchers joined a team of divers from the Talisay City and Cebu City-based NGO, Knight-Stewards of the Sea Inc., who, weeks before, had gone out to look for what could probably be the last remaining reef structure of Cebu City,on the word of a local fisherman that one did exist.The prospect of a coral reef existing in Cebu City after decades of human activities that includeda reclamation project, a coastal road, a bridge construction, and the daily traversing of passenger and cargo ships was too strong not to investigate.The bet panned out. The reef’s pinnacle was spotted on the first dive, its location marked on GPS, and reported to the Cebu City Government, through Raymarr Hijara of the Coastal Management Task Force.What followed was a series of reef checks, piggybacked on the city’s quarterly coastal cleanup activity, and a still continuing effort to get the reefthe legislative protection it needs to continue existing, starting with a technical study.Which brings us back to Dr. Rosales and his April 20 appointment at the City Council.***On the subject of bringing something back up, yes, Stage Five is back from an almost 10-year hiatus.And we’ve also migrated from the sports section, though with the same mission of providing information relevant to whatever is of interest.Many writers’ careers have ended because they are not published for 10 years or more. And columns not getting printed for that long a period rarely come back.But we’ve remained active on many fronts in that period. Time has sent us into other pursuits, including justice, peace and the integrity of creation.And it will be these three things, and some others, that will define our engagements in the issues to come.By the way, Stage Five, contrary to its origin, is not a sporting term.There are five stages in addressing a social concern.Stage one: Identify the problem.Stage two: Establish goals and measures.Stage three: Put together a problem-solving toolkit.Stage four: Determine roles and responsibilities.Stage five: Implement the plan.In the editions to come, we’ll encounter many concerns and, with the help of many experts, encounter many approaches (sometimes contradictory) towards resolving issues.But whatever the approach, it is my hope that we all meet towards Stage Five.