Making W.A.V.E.S with Mega Cebu


The 7000 over islands of the Philippines are geographically split into 3 regions, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is located on the Luzon island, and surrounding the capital is Metro Manila, a metropolitan area that is the most populous metropolitan area in South East Asia.

Metropolitan Cebu

Outside of Metro Manila, Metro Cebu is the 2nd largest metropolitan area. Historically, Metro Cebu has been a regional trading hub and recognized for its world-class marine resorts. It is considered the economic center of Central Visayas and as such that it has been experiencing high levels of private business investments and industrial expansion in recent years.

Along with this rapid urbanization and population growth, Metro Cebu’s current population is expected to triple in size by 2050, and various interrelated urban issues have emerged across the sectors of transport, traffic, drainage, water, and waste management. To address these issues, it was decided that a comprehensive and sustainable development approach is required.

Mega Cebu Program

To address challenges arising from rapid urbanization, the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB), a coordinating body for metro-wide planning and development led by the Cebu Provincial Government (Governor), with the LGU (Mayor) and the private sector/civil society as co-chairs, and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) serving as MCDCB secretariat embarked on the Mega Cebu Program.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), through the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC), facilitates the Mega Cebu program. It anchors the Research, Program and Organizational Development (RPOD) of the MCDCB, and serves as coordinating and operations unit and process facilitator of the various functions, structures, plans, programs, and efforts of the MCDCB.

The Mega Cebu program is considered and anchored at a provincial level (Visayas) and seeks to promote long-term and collaborative planning and action towards a more sustainable, smart, and inclusive city-region. The vision for Mega Cebu is a Wholesome, Advanced, Vibrant, Equitable, Sustainable (W.A.V.E.S.) development by 2050. At present, there are 13 Local Government Units involved in the program and due to the number of interested parties, the level of complexity in the program is higher a project like Clark Green City which is administered by a single authority, the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).

To mitigate risk and the challenges posed by elections / changes in administration in Mega Cebu, a move has been made towards institutionalizing it through the Mega Cebu Development Authority (MCDA). This will thus provide permanency, continuity and provide assurance to private partners that the projects will have longevity. The bill creating MCDA has already been filed in Congress and was approved by the Committee on Government Enterprises. It is has now been referred to the Committee on Appropriations, however with the elections looming, there is limited time for Congress to tackle the bill and it would have to be refiled in the next Congress.  Although the creation of MCDA can contribute to the continuity of the Mega Cebu Project, a key ingredient for success will have to be  the active participation and leadership of the private sector and civil society.

Mega Cebu has been seeking out partnerships at multiple levels. At the bilateral level and City level, the MCDCB, with the assistance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and leveraging on theYokohama’s Smart City experience finalized the Roadmap Study for Sustainable Urban Development and is now pursuing flagship projects that have been identified under the 7 sub Road Maps. Mega Cebu has also signed a strategic partnership agreement with Yokohama, working together at the corporate level with Japanese firms on projects including waste management, septage management and water supply / treatment.

What are some of the processes and platforms used to engage the public and private sector in smart urban development and planning in Mega Cebu? What are some challenges faced in the Mega Cebu Program and how were they overcomed? What are some of the project opportunities in Mega Cebu?

Meet and network with Executives from the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), who facilitate the Research, Program and Organizational Development of the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB) to learn more about the Mega Cebu Program during the 7th edition of the Asia IoT Business Platform which will take place this 23-24 May in Manila. Also presenting at the conference is Kimihiro Kuromizu, Deputy Executive Director, Climate Change Policy Headquarters, City of Yokohama, who will share experiences from the Yokohama Smart City Project.


Apr 26, 2016

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