Cebu, Philippines – Residents of Olango are divided on the proposal to convert the island into a town to qualify it to comprise the proposed 7th district of Cebu with Cordova and Consolacion towns.
Lapu-Lapu City Vice Mayor Mario Amores said he favors the idea of converting the island into a town if it could mean fast-tracking development in the island.
“But the people of Olango are still divided on the idea,” Amores said Tuesday.
“Some want it but there are others who do not want it. Most of the talks we are having right now are informal ones,” he added.
He said Lapu-Lapu City officials would initiate dialogs with Olango barangay (village) officials soon to get their sentiments.
Cebu Provincial Board Member Victor Maambong has revived the proposal to convert Olango island into a town to eventually join it with Cordova and Consolacion towns to compose the proposed 7th district of Cebu.
Maambong came up with the idea to solve Cordova town’s dilemma after Lapu-Lapu was declared a highly-urbanized city. Amores said earlier plans to convert Olango island into a town did not push through for some reason.
A mini city hall had been constructed in Olango Island as an offshoot of the previous plan.
He said the island has a hospital and a high school building of its own and each barangay has its own elementary school.
With these facilities, and the island’s port in Sta. Rosa, Olango can actually stand on its own, Amores said.
Barges carrying four-wheel vehicles already link the ports of Sta. Rosa and Buot, beside Hilton Hotel in mainland Lapu-Lapu City.
“Basically, makabarug na gyud ang Olango,” Amores said.
He said the island’s population could already qualify it to be a town. The National Statistics Office (NSO) data pegged the population of the 11 barangays at 30,000.
Amores said the move to convert Olango into a town and separate it from Lapu-Lapu could affect Lapu-Lapu’s IRA share and real estate tax collection because the city’s area would be reduced. But it’s more important to develop Olango, he said.
Olango Island is made up of 11 barangays, the biggest of which is Sta. Rosa. Eight of these barangays are on the main island, while the rest are in surrounding islets, Sta. Rosa barangay captain Inocencio Inoc said.
Inoc said he supports the idea of converting Olango into a town. He said that Olango’s income is even bigger than Cordova’s, so there’s no reason why it should not be made a town.
“We have a port here, which makes it even more viable,” Inoc said.