-, May 19, 2016
Metro Manila’s overpopulation and consequent chaotic congestion will inevitably result in a shake out of many existing occupancies therein. These are the entities, enterprises and individuals with their families that can no longer tolerate a presence in a location that is teeming with every urban ill man can conceive of. Even some government entities will fall into such a category. All will have something in common: they no longer need a Metro Manila presence in order to exist. Relocation is not only attractive. Relocation becomes a logical and sensible need.

Over time, Imperial Manila has so self-strangulated herself, from which unabated and uncontrolled growth has evolved an environment that is no longer conducive to healthful and comfortable existence. Business entities, government as well as private enterprise, along with individuals who provide the manpower for these activities will very well simply opt out and move away from Metro Manila. In fact, the national government has to adapt and implement an effective policy of decongestion and population redistribution. Here is a potential opportunity for Calbayog to help the national government and Metro Manila.

Where to relocate will become a matter of competitive promotions of hosting/relocation facilities by the respective local government units who are prepared to partake of and are truly desirous of enjoying the socio-economic benefits that accompany the successful relocation of people and payroll.

While the immediate beneficiaries of these inevitable relocations will be the familiar vicinities within a hundred kilometers (or so) from the old metropolis, there are other alternative venues among the better developed areas all over the archipelago that can provide comparative advantages. One such venue for growth is our beloved Calbayog.

Calbayog is now well positioned to participate in the forthcoming reallocation of national economic growth. Therefore, she must not only be ready for the eventuality of a Metro Manila shakeout, she must proactively seek out opportunities to promote and market her assets in terms of location, geography and the availability of educated manpower as well as academic and medical facilities. Without doubt, Calbayog possesses an environment that is conducive to commercial and industrial development, an environment that is attractive for a comfortable and healthful life style. Let us therefore endeavor to share these.

The opening of the Super Metro and the forthcoming Gaisano and Robinsons Malls attests to the fact that Calbayog is attractive and good for commercial growth. Otherwise these investors would not have bothered to risk capital.

Additionally, we have the blessings of Maguino-o’s friendly natural depths that provide us with port works, services and its excellent potential along with the programmed completion of our Airport runway in Sabang. There, too, are several national government agencies whose regional offices will be relocating to Calbayog. It is also to be noted that the advent of the Internet has provided Calbayog with a potent tool to promote our extraordinary tourism/visitor properties. Already, there is being experienced a proliferation hotels, inns and pensiones.

All these comprise a package of assets that has brought Calbayog to this happy tipping point. It is therefore critical that this tipping point is properly, prudently managed and directed.

For starters, an unprecedented cooperation among all leading stakeholders overseen by a good dose of political maturity, a non-partisan lynchpin for intelligent community development. A cooperation among the City administration and council, the business community and the socio-civic organizations is called for.

It is recommended that soon after the elections our elders and leaders opt, informally at first, to sit together, convene a forum and begin to craft/develop an outline of a strategy for socio-economic growth that is anchored upon attracting and inviting the spill over from Metro Manila’s excess weight looking for welcoming havens.

For now, let us call it the Calbayog Forum for Growth.

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