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Over and over again, we have consistently underscored the imperative of spreading growth and progress of Zamboanga City toward the sprawling “sleepy hollow” countryside because of the  concomitant evils that the “all- in- one- little- place” development paradigm breeds. But it seems our political leaders are so comfortable and grateful about this “slow-mo” walk to holistic and balanced prosperity. Even our experts in urban planning and development seem to have all been beaten by the Lady Bug of  “lackadaisical attitude,” complacency, indifference, and “bahala na syndrome” which has been responsible for the pathological  situation of over-crowdedness and commercial and industrial asphyxiation within the city proper.

Because of this implosive concept of development, all kinds of social ills, environmental hazards, health and sanitation concerns, and other chronic and seemingly incurable maladies attendant to a run-away, undirected, and unregulated concentration of people at the center of the City.

Yes, we appreciate that we are witnessing the progress and development taking place day by day in Zamboanga City. But most of these commercial, industrial, technological, scientific, and educational facilities and services are located within the few kilometers from the heart of the city exerting tremendous pressures inimical to the general health of the population, stability of our environment, and all other aspects of our biosphere.

Zamboanga City’s excessive penchant for compulsive development in one little space has given rise to  social and economic cancers; such as killings, kidnappings, prostitution, massive poverty, diseases, uncollected garbage,  mendicancy, proliferation of prohibited drugs, monstrous traffic, and you name it and we have it.  All these problems are caused by the over concentration of people in one littler space.

But why are people flocking toward the center of the city? The answer my friend is primarily because of the absence of other areas where they can find livelihood opportunities; places where they can find work to survive; put up little businesses enough to earn three square meals a day; or any other mode of survival. So they are all here because they are left with no other alternative places to earn a living.

Someone said that about half of the entire population is living within the 7-kilometer radius of this highly urbanized city which is estimated to just about 10% of its total land area. So if our present population is now One Million (1,000,000) about Five Hundred Thousand (500,000) are jampacked like sardines within the city proper. What then do expect in terms of problems arising from this extremely large population competing for the same livelihood opportunities available in a very small life space?

WAKE UP RIP VAN WINKLES! Your contemporary cities are now galloping Metro Cities.

BY Clem M. Bascar

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