Master Plan for Metro Bacolod, MBDA Vital for Progress – MBCCI

For Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) president Frank Carbon, the realization of a Master Plan is still the prime basis in order for a city to progress and for them to achieve their long term goals.

Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. (right photo) speaks before members of the Agtutunoy, Mayupo, Mayana and Aguikit Bago Watershed Integrated Farmers Association, Inc. during a consultation meeting held in Brgy. Prosperidad, San Carlos City, yesterday. The governor encouraged them to propose agricultural projects for the benefit of their association, as they are a big factor to the Food Security and Agricultural Productivity Agenda of the Provincial Government.* (Capitol photos)

"We have to have a Master Plan not only for Bacolod, but for Metro Bacolod," Carbon said. In addition, he foresees the Metro to be composed of other developing cities like Silay, Talisay, Bago, Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto as akin to Tagaytay, a summer destination for local and foreign tourists.

"We need to advertise Bacolod as a central hub of more than 1.5 million people and not as a stand alone city," he added.

Meanwhile, with Bacolod slowly being recognized by private agencies and institutions as an emerging city outside of Metro Manila, Carbon admits that it is a boost for the Local Government and the business sector to further push their limits and gain the top spot, considering that Cebu is now a Metropolitan City in their own right.

"Cebu is a done deal. Now, it’s Iloilo and Bacolod," expressed Carbon.

According to the MBCCI president, Bacolod’s advantage over Iloilo is its geographical location. With the city mostly made up of flat lands, it is also not susceptible to flood and has a number of rivers and creeks that act as natural drainage when heavy rain occurs.

The city also invests on good education and constantly produces quality graduates – an element that employers are always looking for in their employees.

Metro Bacolod Development Authority

With the Puentevella administration working double time to fulfill the advent of the Metro Bacolod Development Authority (MBDA), the need for the city to initiate a "comprehensive and integrated plan" for its future improvement also rises.

"We need to expand now," said Carbon as he laid down the Provincial Government’s recent partnership with the Asia Foundation on the Coordinating Roads and Infrastructure Investments for Development (CR+ID) project.

The project will utilize Geographic Positioning System (GPS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) to map roads and other infrastructures and key industries in the province. These will lead to the building of roads and infrastructure database at the municipal and provincial levels, which the local governments can use for planning purposes.

"With Bacolod as the center, we will still be the number one beneficiary of the project," stated Carbon, while he explained the benefits of an integrated road and infrastructure system that will also induct better farm to market roads with a "central artery".

City Mayor Monico Puentevella, meanwhile, considers the ongoing advancement of the MBDA as one of his cornerstones in pursuing an eco-development scheme for Bacolod.

"We will find success once the MBDA is in place. It’s a tedious task, but we are working on it," said Puentevella.

The MBDA will not only benefit the city, but also the province as it will share the improvements and developments it reaps," the Mayor added.

The business sector is also positive that a Megaworld infrastructure will soon rise within the city following the ongoing construction of its P25 billion Business Park project in Mandurriao, Iloilo City. Carbon sees the structure to be somewhere in the area of the New Access Road and as part of Metro Bacolod and Talisay City.

For now, the city needs to adapt and should not let surveys and critiques to be the dividing line for its non-performance and subpar services as businessmen, according to Carbon use their eyes, ears and instincts to pinpoint potential risers and up and coming areas as their next destination.

"We are the best salesmen; we have to sell our city well and we have to talk good about Bacolod," said Carbon.* (CMO-PIO)



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