6 Major Problems in Cebu

Cebu, as a major province and metropolitan area in the Philippines, has many current issues that it needs to address. Let us take a look at some of the major issues Cebu currently faces: poor sanitation, poor drainage system, bad roads, lack of traffic discipline, poor urban planning, and smoking in public.

Major Problems in Cebu

Major Problem in Cebu #1: Poor Sanitation

One serious problem that Cebu is facing is very poor sanitation. Many people in Cebu are very irresponsible with their waste disposal.

It is a good thing that Cebu has already implemented waste segregation. Although in some towns, this is still not widely practiced. There is also the perennial lack of garbage collection equipment such as refuse trucks and safety and sanitation gear for garbage collectors.

There are a few well meaning groups that do have programs trying to address this problem. One component program of Mega Cebu, Pwede Kaayo is "Limpyo Cebu, Pwede Kaayo". It is a program that appeals to the individual responsibility and accountability of Cebuanos to properly dispose off their waste.

Major Problem in Cebu #2: Poor Drainage System 

When it rains hard in Cebu, brace for the floods. This is particularly true in Metro Cebu and most specially in Cebu City, Talisay City, and Mandaue City. This has been a recurring problem from a long time ago. Yet, it seems no solutions are being done. Flooding in Colon Street was already bad way back in 1997 when I was still a college freshman and missed an important Political Science exam because I got stuck at Metro Gaisano. It is just as bad or worse when it pours now. 

Major Problem in Cebu #3: Bad Roads 

One constantly see roadworks being done in Cebu year-round. Curiously though, very little is improved in Cebu's road conditions despite all these work being done.

Major Problem in Cebu #4: Lack of Traffic Discipline 

The traffic situation in Cebu has gone from bad to worse. And there is no hope in sight that it will improve drastically soon. While the volume of vehicles may have contributed to Cebu's traffic woes, that does not seem to be the biggest issue at all. Cebu's drivers in general are probably among the world's most undisciplined lot. In fact, Waze traffic application ranks Cebu as the second worst place to drive in the world in a study released in September 2016. Only San Salvador, El Salvador is worse.

The more common traffic violations in Cebu include overspeeding, using sidewalks to drive vehicles on, driving on the wrong lane, stopping on non-designated stops, overloading, and parking on no parking zones.

6 major problems in Cebu Central Visayas Philippines
Parking on a no parking zone

Pedestrians in Cebu are to blame as well. A lot of people in Cebu ignore pedestrian safety do not use elevated pedestrian walkways or even just simple pedestrian lanes. Many do not wait for their rides on designated jeepney stops or bus stops. Some pedestrians also do not use the sidewalks and walk on the streets. But sometimes, that is because our sidewalks are occupied by vendors and what nots.

6 major problems in Cebu Central Visayas Philippines
Lack of pedestrian discipline

Many drivers and operators of public transportation in Cebu are big traffic law violators. The concept of motorcycle safety in Cebu is virtually unheard of as riders travel the streets of Cebu with reckless abandon. More than that, it seems like it is a norm not to always obey traffic laws in Cebu.

6 major problems in Cebu Central Visayas Philippines
Reckless motorcycle drivers

The local government can also share in the blame. Enforcement of traffic rules and regulations is very poor and sometimes, even discriminatory. Bribery and other forms of corruption is also rampant among those tasked to keep the city streets safe and orderly. And traffic enforcers themselves are sometimes the biggest rule violators.

Because of the lack of traffic discipline in Cebu's streets, accidents are never rare.

Many well-meaning individuals and groups have started campaigns to appeal to motorists to be more disciplined in driving. Many of these campaigns are largely ignored, but it's a good thing that at least there are responsible citizens working towards making Cebu's streets safer and more orderly.

Major Problem in Cebu #5: Poor Urban Planning 

Cebu may be booming, but the development is not at all well-planned. We see the mushrooming of construction projects for condominiums, malls, and other business establishments here and there, but the construction of supporting infrastructure such as new roads and bridges do not seem to keep up with the development.

Major Problem #6: Smoking in Public

Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 explicitly outlaws smoking in public places around the Philippines. In Cebu however, this national law is very poorly implemented or enforced. Many smokers still smoke in jeepneys, schools, malls, and other public places and nobody seems to care. It is about time Cebu takes action.


David Cerrelli said...

Very accurate list although I haven't experienced the SMOKING IN PUBLIC AREAS problem. All these problems are very obvious to us foreigners and while we are at it let me add one more ... the vehicle emissions. They are rank. I hear tell the emissions test takes less than a minute and maybe shorter if you have exact change. I saw on TV, a news show recommending people keep up with their vitamins to fight off the effects of this pollution. What a joke and what a disservice to the great people of the Philippines.

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

I agree David, vehicle emissions are a problem as well