By RUFFY MAGBANUA
When there is both orderliness and cleanliness, it approaches godliness –Mahatma Gandhi
AT the rate Cagayan de Oro is changing its skyline, would it catch up with leading growth centers like Cebu, Davao or even Metro Manila?
With its phenomenal growth, Cagayan de Oro is now ranked fourth among the leading metropolis in the country. And the good news is that a grand design making Cagayan de Oro as the next metropolitan center by 2025 is in the offing.
But whether this economic forecast will come sooner or later, this city of more than a million people has to address, first and foremost, two of its primary headaches: its horrendous traffic and the swelling garbage problem.
If left unchecked, these domestic concerns could falter the city’s unprecedented growth despite its steady climb toward a vibrant and robust economy.
Sans disasters, natural or otherwise, the rise of Cagayan Oro as one of the country’s metropolis seems unstoppable.
And already a development roadmap has been laid out to push the city as one of the country’s formidable regional growth centers.
Poised to follow the steps of Cebu, Cagayan de Oro is gunning for more investments this year and beyond.
More players in the real estate, BPOs and retail business are setting up, Cagayan de Oro being the logistics hub and education center of Northern Mindanao.
The declaration of Cagayan de Oro as the next metropolis is part of the Duterte administration’s grand plan to spread resources to the countryside by empowering local governments under a proposed federal system of government that will replace the current centralized setup.
Undoubtedly, Cagayan de Oro has outpaced other cities in Northern Mindanao. With an average population growth rate of 2.23 percent, Cagayan de Oro is the region’s melting pot – a favored haven of people in search of opportunities.
Known to be the center of business and commercial hub in the region, Cagayan de Oro’s population rose from 602,088 in 2010 to 675,950 last year, surpassing the population count of Misamis Occidental and Camiguin provinces.
Cagayan de Oro is indeed home to world-class shopping malls, high rise condominiums and business process outsourcing hubs, among others.
But sad to note, the city may lose its economic grip of attracting more investments if it fails to address with a sense of urgency the burgeoning traffic mess and garbage woes — a virtual snake pit of physical stress and mental disorder. Sigh. ([email protected])
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