There are some places close to our heart that we just cannot forget: Dumaguete is one of them. We may have lived in other cities and countries but the call of home is something sweet and irresistible.
The ebb and flow of the waves as they brush against the shore of the Rizal Boulevard, the spectacular sunrise and sunset, the Dumaguete Cathedral Tower, Silliman University – these are icons that have become part of our memories of home. And the people – they are not just gentle but friendly, warm, easy to relate with and very humble. Despite some people’s prominence, success and wealth, the sub-culture is one of humility and sincerity. This is the trademark of a Dumagueteno/ Dumaguetena.
Today, Dumaguete’s population is rapidly increasing with transients such as students and workers blending with the local population. The city has to contend with fewer job opportunities, garbage and traffic problems.
Despite the stellar qualifications of some graduates of the university town, they cannot find a suitable job close to home. Thus, they move to bigger cities like Cebu and Manila or to countries abroad like the U.S., the U.K. or the Middle East, especially for those in the health services sector. If there were more rewarding job opportunities here, these graduates would definitely choose to work and live in Dumaguete. A campaign for more investors who would put up companies and an industrial park in the city would substantially boost the employment opportunities for competent and qualified job-seekers. Further, a closer partnership/collaboration among DepEd, CHED, DOLE, the LGU and the private sector would yield a better match of jobs with job-seekers.
The garbage problem has a direct bearing on our health and the environment. Thus, it needs to be addressed and resolved quickly. Thankfully, the city government is now in the process of installing a sanitary landfill to resolve the problem of solid waste management. The project will include planting trees, shrubs and ornamentals to develop a forested area or a park around the vicinity.
Plans to rehabilitate and improve the Rizal Boulevard is also in the works. The Shoreline Preservation Project has been approved by the City Council and is set to begin shortly. It aims to strengthen the foundations of the shoreline, repair the bricks along the pathways and rehabilitate the area to maximize its use by residents. The beach volleyball courts will be enlarged to allow more people to indulge in sports. Under the plan, Burgos Street will be improved and made into a walkway where people can leisurely walk to the boulevard.
One problem that still needs to be tackled is the traffic in the city. Without existing traffic lights, we need traffic officers who would direct the flow of traffic. But where are they? They are nowhere to be found. Unless this is resolved, our motorists would always have a problem with people fighting to go first and creating unwanted gridlock in the intersections.
Dumaguete has evolved into a thriving and bustling city from a more quiet, countrystyle vibe of yesteryears. As change comes to the city, new problems also emerge. We hope these problems will be addressed by the city government as more people come home to work, relax and live in Dumaguete.