Rational Technology for the first day of 2006
A year ago, the country was reeling from the flash floods in Quezon. A year ago, the world was in grief from the tsunami that devastated several Asian countries. Fortunately for us, it looks to be a relatively quiet season this year. And thus we can spare turn our hopeful eyes to the future and hope for the best.
At this time, my thoughts turn towards the future of Dumaguete City. We all have our hopes for our fair city. It's only natural, of course: it's the place we live in, the place we work in, the place where we want our children to grow in. So here is my wish list for the city for this coming year:
1) A master plan for city development. I'm thankful for the concrete roads, but surely development means a lot more than that. Go beyond the central commercial district and see what other possibilities there are. Now would be a good time to designate residential, commercial, and even industrial zones. Now would be a good time to tear down the fire hazards before the fires do the job for us.
2) Improved recycling and waste management. We need better solutions that look beyond additional dump sites. This becomes all the more important as the city grows with the influx of business process outsourcing.
3) Cheaper and more reliable electricity. We are still paying much more than the average for our electricity. And we are still subject to the weekend brownouts.
4) A better public transportation system. Dumaguete cannot continue to hobble on the tricycle system that it has relied on for so many years. They are noisy, inefficient, and environmentally-unfriendly. And before the pedicab drivers rise up in arms against me, let me ask them: do you really want to be pedicab drivers forever?
5) Speedier and cheaper transportation to Cebu and Bohol. P800 from Dumaguete to Cebu and vice versa is just far too outrageous. And doesn't anyone else find it ironic that it's actually cheaper to go to Bohol via Cebu than to go direct from Dumaguete to Bohol?
6) A bigger and better airport. We need an airport that can accommodate bigger planes. We need a classier terminal preferably one with x-ray machines.
7) Better hospitals. Our hospitals, both private and public, could use significant improvements in their facilities and personnel. Treatment should be oriented towards the city's needs. What happened to the plan for a decompression chamber? What happened to the platelet machine for treating dengue patients? And what about the ratio of doctors and experienced nurses to patients?
8) More BPOs. We are grateful for SPI and Teletech, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. There's more business process outsourcing opportunities out there. we need more of them. And soon.
9) Better inter-university cooperation within Dumaguete. We pride ourselves on being a university town but there's hardly any palpable cooperation among the universities and colleges here. Each one prides itself on the quality of its education, and thus stands as islands unto themselves. Would that they discover the power of cooperation.
10) A mall. Oh, yes, a wonderful mall. With all the anchor shops: National Bookstore, McDonald's, Handyman or Ace Hardware, Toy Kingdom, multiplex theaters, and, yes, even overpriced coffee from Starbucks or Bo's.
So that's my list. What about you? What do you have in mind?
Happy new year!