Problems in Cebu: The Dark Side of Living in Cebu Province

Cebu is a major province and metropolitan area in the Philippines. It has its share of current issues that it needs to address. Let us take a look at some of the major problems in Cebu: 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. Refuse trucks are old and dated. Safety and sanitation gear for garbage collectors is scarce.

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. Back then, I was still a college freshman and missed a major exam because I got stuck somewhere in Colon. 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. That is 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. The sheer volume of vehicles may have contributed to Cebu's traffic woes. But 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. This was the result of 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.

Problems in Cebu: Illegal parking
Parking at non-designated areas

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

Problems in Cebu: Lack of pedestrian discipline
Lack of pedestrian discipline

Many public transportation drivers and operators are big traffic law violators. The concept of motorcycle safety in Cebu is virtually unheard of. Motorcycle riders travel the streets of Cebu with reckless abandon. More than that, disobeying traffic laws seems to be the norm in Cebu.

Problems in Cebu: reckless motorcycle drivers
Reckless motorcycle drivers

The local government can also share in the blame. Enforcement of traffic rules and regulations is very poor. Sometimes, it is even discriminatory. Bribery and other forms of corruption is also rampant among those tasked to keep the city streets safe and orderly. 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. New condominiums, malls, and other business establishments are being built here and there. Yet the construction of supporting infrastructure such do not seem to keep up with the development. Cebu needs new roads and bridges.

Major Problem in Cebu 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. Yet nobody seems to care. It is about time Cebu takes action.

What other problems in Cebu do you feel need attention? You may share your thoughts in the comments below.


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