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Contents

CCMC posts rise in income in 2015

By May B. Miasco / JMO (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Medical Center announced yesterday that its revenue has increased in 2015 following a challenging year that succeeded an earthquake that pushed the hospital out of its original building.

CCMC is operating currently at the Bureau of Fire Protection-7 compound.

The hospital’s administrator, Atty. Rey Chris Panugaling, credits the increase partly to strict monitoring and collection of claims. Numbers reportedly rose starting in July last year.

“We check all promissory notes. We check all PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation) and CHAMP (City Hospitalization and Medicines Program) receivables from PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.) We started to write demand letters to them, to PCSO, CHAMP, and then they were able to provide payments to the hospital,” he said.

Another reason, he said, are the two long-time programs of PhilHealth that the hospital adopted last year – the No Balance Billing (NBB) and Point of Care (POC). These were established in July last year following dialogues between PhilHealth and city government officials with the hospital management.

The POC system applies to all indigents who are not beneficiaries of PhilHealth. The hospital personnel themselves will register the patient to the agency.

Under the NBB, medical expenses will be covered by PhilHealth for registered indigents, including lifetime members or senior citizens who are discharged with payables.

“The hospital will not let them pay anymore while the patient is not demanded to pay any single centavo,” Panugaling said.

Patients who are able to avail of the two programs, medical necessities like drugs and laboratories will be paid for by the city government. The amount of hospitalization is charged against PhilHealth.

In some cases, Panugaling said, the patient’s hospital charge is lower compared to the corresponding PhilHealth monetary benefit that the city can receive in return. Numbers

Since July last year, numbers showed consistent rise.

From P9.1 million in July, it rose to P10.9 million in August), P11.8 million in September, P12.2 million in October, P11.2 million in November, and P12.2 million in December.

In the months prior, revenue only reached P6 million.

“This is the proof that these policies and programs of PhilHealth are very much effective and advantageous to the hospital and also to the patients. The management took the risk to implement, that is why we have this sort of revenue,” he said.

As of last year, 90.5 percent of the hospital’s patients were PhilHealth beneficiaries with at least 1,165 indigents enrolled to the POC system from July to December 2015.

As an effect, Panugaling said, they can procure more equipment with higher revenues.

“The money can also be placed in the medical trust fund and can be used for improvement of facilities. It can also benefit the city government as a whole since. Eventually, this will mean lesser subsidy to be given to the hospital. If this continues, we can also have fiscal autonomy later on,” he added.

Panugaling also disclosed that CCMC has used P218.1 million (87.72 percent) of its budget – P163.2 million (84.98 percent) of the P192 million for personnel services and P54.9 million (97.03 percent) of the P56.5 million for maintenance and other operating expenditures.

In previous years, budget utilization reached 50 to 60 percent.

In 2015, CCMC was allotted P297 million and in 2014, its had a budget of P249 million. For both years, P60 million was subsidized by the city government. Admissions

In 2014, there were 6,409 patients admitted at CCMC but the number went to 5,091 the following year.

Dr. Anton Oliver Reposar II, director for medical services, said more patients were admitted in 2014 because the hospital could only accommodate non-critical cases after the October 2013 earthquake. Patients with non-critical cases did not have to stay long, thus, the hospital could accommodate more.

“In 2015, when the hospital system was more stable, we already admitted critical (related cases of) patients who would stay longer since their sickness were more complicated,” he said.


CH invites film makers to join short film contest

By Jean Marvette A. Demecillo / FPL (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - To celebrate Cebu City’s 79th Charter Day, the city government is inviting film makers for a 79-hour challenge to write, shoot, and edit a five-minute short film.

Participants will be asked to incorporate pre-selected passages from the works of Don Vicen-te Rama, father of the Cebu City Charter and grandfather of suspended Mayor Michael Rama.

“The purpose of this competition is to encourage the young people to take part and recognize the history of the city and its past leaders,” Cebuano Cinema Development Council member Diem Judilla, who is also a faculty member and coordinator of Cinema program at the University of San Carlos.

This is the first 79 Oras Salidagan Sugbo 2016. Salidagan is a combination of the Visayan words “salida” and “dagan.” When combined, it means “film run or film race.”

This project is spearheaded by the city government, CCDC, city’s Public Information Office, Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission, and Cine Oriente.

In a press conference yesterday, Judilla said the competition will be launched on February 18 at 9 a.m. at the Cebu City Hall Social Hall. On that day, the CCDC will be giving kits with further rules and guidelines of the competition to participants.

Each kit, Judilla said will have five passages of Don Vicente Rama’s works. Parti-cipants will choose only one passage that will be incorporated in the film.

These passages will serve as the moral lesson or the theme of the films. Judilla said the interpretation of these passages will be up to the film makers.

He said entries are open to any genre; horror, comedy, romance, among others. All entries should be submitted on February 22 and it will be screened on February 23.

Judilla said entries will be screened at Cine Oriente since the area has also historical connection with Don Vicente Rama. Judilla said the works of Rama were first presented at Cine Oriente.

On February 24, Cebu City will celebrate its 79th Charter Day. On that day, winning entries will be presented.

Expo to showcase franchise brands

  • Source:www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/business/2016/02/02/expo-showcase-franchise-brands-455143
  • Thursday, February 4, 2016
By Katlene O. Cacho

EIGHTY exhibitors will take center stage at the 17th Cebu Franchise Expo next month.

Organized by the Filipino International Franchise Association (Fifa), the three-day expo, which will be held at the SM City Cebu Trade Hall on March 4 to 6, opens business opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in the Visayas and Mindanao, said Rudolf Kotik, founder of Fifa and RK Franchise Consultancy Inc.

This year’s expo will feature a mix of food and non-food businesses like beauty, convenient stores, cafés, pet care, printing, laboratories, water and gasoline stations and support industries to franchising and business.

“As a result of the business growth in the Visayas comes the demand of more franchise opportunities from and outside the region, and franchising created more job opportunities for people and produced additional profits for the owners of franchised outlets and the franchisor,” said Kotik in a statement.

Franchising in the Philippines is expected to grow by 20 percent this year.

“Franchising is the way to go. It is the best option available for would-be entrepreneurs who wish to venture into business,” he said.

Kotik noted there were 42 new franchise businesses that joined Fifa last year, an indication that franchising remains to be an attractive business model among Filipino entrepreneurs.

Of the 42, three homegrown firms, JCA Pizza, SLT Cafe and A La Mode have opened their businesses for franchising. Kotik said he is optimistic more Cebuano businesses will soon venture into franchising following the successful business expansions of popular Cebuano brands like Thirsty, Mooon Café, Bo’s Coffee and Body and Sole across the country.

He noted that franchising remains to be an attractive entry into business because of its proven system and business model, with 95 percent success rate compared to putting up a business from scratch.

But despite franchising’s growing popularity, the franchising guru cited investment level, interest in a business, location, market, franchise assistance, and training as some of the evaluating factors an aspiring entrepreneur should consider before choosing which product or service to franchise.

At present, Fifa has over 400 franchise members.

The Philippines has been identified as the most successful country in Southeast Asia, as far as franchising is concerned, with 1,300 established franchisor companies, spread across the country. The industry is currently dominated by homegrown brands that comprise more than half of the franchisors in the country.

Improvements sought for IT-BPM

By Jeandie O. Galolo

CEBU should work on developing its talent information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) sustainably to improve its current ranking in Tholons 100, a key industry official said.

Cebu City was identified the seventh best site in the world for outsourcing in 2016, up from last year’s eighth spot, dislodging Pune in India from the position.

Manila, on the other hand, remained on the second spot after Bangalore in India, which topped the list.

“(The challenge remains to be the) availability of talent due to high growth and the diverse industry reqirements. The industry must also be willing do its share in the talent cultivation through more academe-industry partnerships,” said Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (Cedfit) managing director Jun Sa-a.

Sa-a pushed for trainings in the academe on higher-value services to attract more BPO investors in Cebu.

One vital way that has fostered local talent, according to Sa-a, is the development of Philippine IT General Certification Exam (Phil IT GCE), an assessment test for IT graduates, a program pioneered by Cedfit and initially funded by European IT Service Center. This was then sustained by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).

“We are very happy to see the fruits of our labor with the continued growth of the industry and receiving this international recognition from Tholons,” said Cebu Business Month 2016 chair Christian Paroan, echoing Sa-a’s statement.

Traffic

According to Tholons, Cebu City has a healthy mix of services cutting across all three major service lines--information technology outsourcing (ITO), knowledge process outsourcing (KPO), and business process outsourcing (BPO). But it noted that Cebu has not been marketed enough, having a BPO-centric image in the global marketplace.

“Cebu should also work on its infrastructure like the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to have a more efficient mass transport system and avoid the Manila-like traffic gridlock,” added Sa-a.

For developers like Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI), it has expressed interest to develop another cyberzone project at the South Road Properties, following its present development Filinvest Cyberzone Cebu beside the Cebu IT Park in Apas, Cebu City.

Fuel for real estate

“(The Tholons report) is very encouraging indeed for investors like us to pour in more money into the outsourcing business. Our expansion works at our cyberzone is now in full swing,” said FLI vice president for strategic business development Allan Alfon in a text message.

The project is still in the planning stage, said Alfon, and this will be part of its City di Mare development at the South Road Properties in Cebu City. Cebu Property Ventures Development Corp., developer of the Cebu IT Park, welcomed the news.

“As a pioneer in Cebu’s IT/BPO scene, we have seen this industry grow to be one of the main drivers of the city’s economy, employing thousands and generating millions in revenues each year,” said corporate communications manager Jeanette Japzon.

She said the city’s upgraded rank will help attract more investors to Cebu IT Park.

“To meet the continuing demand of this growing industry in Cebu, we currently have BPO offices in the pipeline in the next five years within our two Peza-accredited IT parks,” she added.

She identified the ongoing construction of eBloc 4 and Central Bloc at the Cebu IT Park and the CBP Corporate Tower and Tech Tower in Cebu Business Park.

Aside from Cebu and Manila, Tholons’ list is joined by seven other cities in the Philippines.

The newest entrant is Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, which took a huge leap this year to land on the 93rd spot.

Davao City climbed three notches to the 66th place. Sta. Rosa, Laguna moved a step to 81st and Bacolod in Negros Occidental is up also by a notch to 85. Iloilo is up one notch to 90th from 91st.

In addition, Baguio City went up by a notch from 95 to 94th place. Metro Clark moved up from 98 to 97.

Based on the Tholons report, the cities of India remained dominant. Bangalore maintained its top spot, followed by Mumbai ranking third, Delhi (fourth), Chennai (fifth),Hyderabad (sixth), and Pune (eighth).

Krakow, Poland is in the ninth place, and Dublin, Ireland is in the 10th spot.

Analysts expect revenues in the IT-BPM industry to overtake OFW remittances soon.

In 2014, OFW remittances reached $24 billion, while BPO revenues totaled $18.9 billion.

Projection by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that remittances will grow at a single-digit rate, while the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (ITBAP) forecasted the IT-BPM sector to grow by 15 to 18 percent in the next five years.

Waterfront Cebu now a non-smoking hotel

(PR)

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino takes pride in being one of the Queen City’s non-smoking hotel. This movement was pursued officially on December 15,2015 in support of City Ordinance 2241 or the “Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance.”

Waterfront, known as one of Cebu City’s premium hotels, pushed this movement not only to be at par with the international hotel standard of having designated smoking areas, but because the management truly believes in the benefits it can do not only to the guests and the establishment, but to the community and the environment as well.

“This will definitely reduce the risk of fire. And for guests both external and internal, it is a fact that smoking is compromising the health and safety of the public especially to those whose immune systems are less resistant (to smoke),” Mr. Rex Yap, Waterfront Rooms Division Director expressed.

“As a hotel that strives for the clean and green movement, implementing this would greatly help the environment as it minimizes the ill effects it poses to the environment such as the emission of harmful chemicals to the ozone layer which contributes to its depletion. We also believe that through this, we are saving the lives of smokers and secondhand smokers,” Waterfront Marketing Communications Manager Arnel Aparis added.

Cebu now 7th best worldwide

By Jeandie O. Galolo

FROM the eighth spot in the Tholons 100 in the previous year, Cebu City is now the seventh best site in the world for outsourcing in 2016.

All cities in the Philippines improved their rankings, except for Manila, which remained in the second spot, after Bangalore in India.

The information came from the managing director of the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (Cedfit), who added that Dumaguete City joined the top 100 list. Its taking the 93rd rank brought to nine the number of Philippine cities on the list.

“One of the important shifts in the APAC (Asia Pacific) region in this year’s Top 100 List was the rise of Cebu City in the Philippines—moving upwards, from 8th to 7th spot,” said Tholons in a report, which Cedfit managing director Jun Sa-a forwarded to Sun.Star Cebu.

Improvements in infrastructure and an enlarging talent pool have allowed the city’s IT-BPM sector to sustain recent developmental gains, said the global outsourcing and investments advisory firm.

In addition, Cebu City has also seen an excellent mix of IT-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) companies over the years and a healthy mix of services cutting across all three major service lines, namely: Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

By the end of 2015, Cebu had 117,000 IT-BPM workers in 200 companies. This is a huge leap from 2001. Sa-a recalled that there were only five IT-BPM companies at that time, which employed some 1,200 workers.

“Tholons remains bullish on the trajectory and long-term potential of Cebu City as a global services outsourcing destination and there is an opportunity for Cebu City to capitalize on the prevailing weakness of global competition,” the report reads. The economic turmoil in several of Latin America’s key economic markets, for instance, has pushed companies to refocus activities on proven locations like Cebu and Metro Manila, Tholons added.

While Cebu saw improvement in its rankings, Tholons also noted that it has not been marketed enough. “The industry identity remains somewhat BPO-centric in the global services outsourcing marketplace,” it said.

Sa-a believes fostering academe-industry linkage is vital to further improve Cebu’s IT-BPM and its ranking in the global arena.

For instance, through Cedfit, IT graduates in Cebu and the rest of Visayas are encouraged to take the IT certification exam or the Philippine IT General Certification Exam (Phil IT GCE) that will be helpful when applying for a job in IT-BPM companies. Training in the academe for teachers was also initiated to improve the local education system in the field of IT.

Sa-a also acknowledged the importance of improving Cebu’s mass transport infrastructure to support growth.

“Based on feedback from the big centers operating in Cebu, our operations here are very competitive globally so it is either at par or even better than the NCR operations or other global sites,” said Sa-a.

Large multinational companies that have large-scale operations in Cebu include Lexmark, JP Morgan Chase, Aegis, Accenture, Teletech, IBM, and Convergys.

Quoting the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines, Sa-a said Cebu’s IT-BPM sector is expected to grow by 15 to 18 percent in the next five years.

500 street kids, thousands of others receive first communion

(PNA), JBP/EB/PJN

CEBU CITY, Jan. 30 (PNA) -- Some 5,000 children, including 500 street children, will receive their first Holy Communion at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) Saturday afternoon as part of the activities of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC).

The first communicants Friday attended the rehearsal at the CCSC, reciting prayers for the communion rites.

Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal reminded the first communicants to prepare to receive the sacrament of the HolyEucharist.

“So that if God allows them to live longer like me at least they will have a good memory of what had happened to them,” he said.

Vidal, 84, said he was six years old and one of many first communicants when the country last hosted the IEC in Manila in 1937.

“I was very, very happy that time. We had to memorize all the songs during the first communion,” he said.

Cardinal Vidal sang a few lines of the songs during his first communion.

He said the activity for the first communicants Saturday is special for its participants, considering it is being held in Cebu, the cradle of Christianity in the country.

Projects for street kids to be tested in Cebu City

By Elias O. Baquero

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will soon have a bureau that will handle projects for street children. Cebu City was chosen as the pilot area for the projects.

This, as the agency clarified that it’s the local government units’ responsibility to take care of the street children. DSWD’s role is to provide technical support.

Social Worker Officers Emma Patalinghug and Concepcion Solera clarified this during the Kapihan sa PIA (Philippine Information Agency) yesterday, when they were asked why DSWD failed to help the street children and families who sleep on the sidewalk.

Patalinghug said that their central office is developing the Social Technology Bureau, which will implement projects for street children.

She said that they had a meeting with Dr. Ester Concha, chief of Cebu City’s Department of Social Welfare Services, last Jan. 26 to tackle the problem on street children and homeless families and find long-term solutions.

At present, the Cebu City Government has an existing task force that helps street children, with the support of different non-government organizations.

“The DSWD national office is engaging the Cebu City Government on how to address the problem on street children. This will be a pilot project and the DSWD will provide a budget for this,” Patalinghug said.

Patalinghug said they already have a memorandum of agreement with the City on how to take care of the street children and the homeless families.

Cebu City’s Php4-M temporary shelter for street dwellers nears completion

(PNA), PGL/EB/EDS

CEBU CITY, Jan. 27 (PNA) -- Cebu City Government’s Php4 million temporary shelter for street dwellers in Barangay Lorega, near the Gawad Kalinga-City housing project, is expected to be completed in two weeks, an official said.

Dr. Ester Concha, chief of the city’s Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS), said the two-storey facility can house 200 individuals.

Concha said the DSWS has also received a Php3.6 million fund from the Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD) 7 to implement a comprehensive program for street children, families and indigenous people, particularly the Badjao community.

Concha said the amount will be used for more “reaching out” operations and case management of street children and families, and for maintaining a database of street children, “unattached adults” and families at risk in the streets.

She said the program will be integrated into the other programs of the city that involve taking care of the welfare of street children and families.

Concha said the city has been conducting “rescue operations” to get street dwellers from the streets at night, but the operation has nothing to do with the ongoing 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in Cebu.

”We simply do not want them to sleep in the streets at night and have prepared a place for them to sleep,” Concha said.

Concha said they have so far rescued 25 families from the city’s streets.

Some 15,000 church officials, priests and lay persons from 71 countries are in Cebu until Jan. 31 for the international religious event.

Concha said the rescue operation was conducted in coordination with the Cebu Provincial Government because many of the street dwellers are from the towns.

Those who want to go home will be allowed to go home immediately, she said.

The city has set up a temporary shelter for the rescued street dwellers at the abandoned Compana Maritima building but they will be transferred to the temporary shelter in Barangay Lorega-San Miguel once it is finished, concha said.

Cebu’s dancing inmates perform before papal legate for 51st IEC

(PNA), LGI/EB/EDS

CEBU CITY, Jan. 26 (PNA) -- Cebu’s famous dancing inmates Tuesday afternoon performed before Archbishop Charles Maung Cardinal Bo of Yangon, Myanmar, papal legate of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress.

Bo paid a visit to the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City.

Bo was accompanied by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and other church officials.

Fr. Jan Limchua, a Cebuano priest who serves as protocol officer for the papal legate, said Cardinal Bo also interacted with the inmates after their performance.

Limchua said the inmates performed to the theme of the 51st IEC.

Bo held a dialogue with the inmates after their performance, he said.

Limchua said Bo will also visit the Don Bosco Youth Center (DBYC) in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City on Thursday.

Limchua said Bo included DBYC in his itinerary because he is also a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB).

Bo also has an affinity for the poor, whom he continues to encounter even in his own turf, he said.

The DBYC will organize a traditional Sinulog dance to welcome Bo, Limchua said.

He said Bo, who officiated the IEC’s opening mass, will also serve as the main celebrant for the Statio Orbis or the closing mass at the South Road Properties on Sunday.

Mini-Sinulog to be held Jan. 30 for 51st IEC delegates, first communicants

(PNA), LAP/EB/EDS

CEBU CITY, Jan. 25 (PNA) -- A mini-Sinulog will be held in the afternoon of January 30, Saturday, for some 15,000 delegates of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) and some 5,000 first communicants.

Ricky Ballesteros, Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) executive director, said at least six contingents which have performed in the Sinulog grand parade on Jan. 17 will perform again at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) on Saturday.

The grand finale in this year’s Sinulog has the theme of welcoming the IEC delegates from the different countries.

Some 1,500 of the IEC delegates are foreigners coming from at least 71 countries.

”This will allow the delegates and the bishops and archbishops to experience the Sinulog,” Ballesteros said.

Ballesteros said the delegates will be seated at the CCSC grandstand, while the first communicants will be seated at the football field.

Ballesteros said the mini-Sinulog will be held immediately after the mass for the first communicants.

Among the foreigners in the IEC are the Papal legate, Charles Maung Cardinal Bo of Myanmar, Archbishop Pierro Marini, Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace based in the Holy See, Cardinals Timothy Dolan of New York, Oswald Gracias of India, Joseph Zen of Hong Kong, Peter Erdo of Hungary and John Onaiyekan of Nigeria and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, which hosted the last IEC in 2012.

UP hosts mobile science exhibit

(Cebu Daily News, Inquirer.net)

The University of the Philippines Cebu is hosting the “Science on the Move” mobile science exhibit by the Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology until February 26 this year.

This is their 7th year of holding the exhibit in Cebu City.

The exhibit, which started on January 21, offers interactive hands-on exhibits to promote a better grasp of basic science and technology (S & T) concepts and processes, which are effective tools in rediscovering science in its essence.

Anchored on the Basic Education Curriculum of the Department of Education, the event was put together by the Philippine Science Centrum and its traveling component, the Adventures in Discovery (AID-TSC), Sci-Fun Caravan (SFCTSC), Science on the Move (SOM), Science Works (SW), the Science Sparks (SS) and Health Science on the Go (HSOG).

Through its travelling exhibits, the Science Centrum has reached communities that would not have benefited from its permanent exhibits in its Science Center/Museums in Metro Manila.

UP Cebu is inviting schools in Cebu to experience this face-to-face educational, exciting and stimulating learning facility.

Such facility allows S & T discovery, interaction, and manipulation of interactive exhibits in the atmosphere of fun, excitement, and entertainment.

“Our aim is to excite young minds to learn more about science and appreciate how it works in order to improve the quality of life,” the university said in a statement. Inquiries and ticket details may be directed to UP High School principal Catherine M. Rodel at (032) 505-1823 or 0917-6217707, or Jeff Montecillos at 0917-5017319.

All is set for 51st IEC in Cebu

By Ferdinand G. Patinio [(PNA), RMA/FGP/SSC]

MANILA, Jan. 23 (PNA) -- All is set for the holding of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) on Sunday in Cebu CIty.

According to Msgr. Joseph Tan of the IEC committee, they are 125 percent ready to host the religious event which will start on Jan. 24 to 31, in the Queen City of the South.

“Modesty aside, we are 125 percent ready. We are down to our last two percent of things that remain to be done … the nitty gritty,” he said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website.

He added, “We hope that we will make a very impressive opening day given the number of people expected to attend although we know there are many who registered for the second half of the congress.”

Thousands of participants from 71 different countries are expected to attend the week-long event.

Based on the IEC 2016 Calendar of Activities, an opening mass at the Plaza Independencia will kick off the Congress on Sunday at 4 p.m., to be led by Archbishop Charles Maung Cardinal Bo, a Papal Legate to the IEC 2016.

There will be concurrent catechesis and sessions for the IEC 2016 delegates to be presided by priests, bishops, and archbishops, among others.

Speakers include CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Cotabato Archbishop Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, and Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle as well as Abuja Archbishop Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Bombay Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias, and New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

There is also a scheduled “Parish Encounter” on Jan. 27 for the parishioners of San Roque-Subangdako; Gethsemane; Holy Family-Casuntingan; National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City; St. Joseph The Worker-Mabolo; St. Therese of the Child Jesus-Lahug; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart-Capitol; Our Mother of Perpetual Help-Redemptorist; Sto. Rosario-P. del Rosario; Sacred Heart-Jakosalem; Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral; Our Lady of Lourdes-Punta Prinsesa; San Roque-Mambaling; and Our Lady of Guadalupe-Guadalupe, Cebu City.

A Visita Iglesia, or the visit of churches by the IEC 2016 delegates, is also set on Jan. 28 at the Asilo de la Milagrosa Chapel; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart-Capitol; Our Mother of Perpetual Help-Redemptorist; Sto. Rosario-P. del Rosario; Sacred Heart-Jakosalem; Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral; and Basilica Minore del Sto. Niῆo.

The IEC 2016 Youth Day is also set to be held on Jan. 28 to 29 at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City and at the Mandani Bay at the Mandaue City Reclamation Area.

On Jan. 29, there will be a mass at 4 p.m. at the Cebu Provincial Capitol Grounds, which will be followed by the solemn procession from the Capitol Grounds to the Plaza Independencia.

The culminating mass or the “Statio Orbis” will be held on Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. at the South Road Properties (SRP) with Cardinal Bo again presiding.

The IEC is an international gathering of people which aims to promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church, help improve understanding and celebration of the liturgy, and draw attention to the social dimension of the Eucharist.

This is the second time that the Philippines will be hosting the quadrennial event of the Catholic Church, the first one was in 1937 during the 33rd IEC which was held in Manila during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI.

130 bishops, priests converge in Cebu for 112th CBCP plenary assembly

(PNA), LGI/EB/RSM

CEBU CITY, Jan. 22 (PNA) -- At least 130 bishops and priests from the different dioceses in the country have converged in Cebu Friday for the 112th Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) plenary assembly.

The assembly, which will run until Jan. 24, precedes the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) to be held in Cebu from Jan. 24 to 31.

Msgr. Renato Beltran Jr., a member of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral’s team of pastors, said this is the first time the plenary assembly was held outside Metro Manila.

The plenary assembly started with the 10 a.m. opening mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Mabini St., Cebu City.

Beltran said the different CBCP commissions and offices will give a report on their programs during the assembly.

The bishops may also tackle the need for a voter’s guide for the May 9 elections, he said.

Lawyer Rey Gealon, Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) executive director, said there were no road closures around the cathedral.

But, he said he has approved Beltran’s request to allow the parking of the coasters and other vehicles used by the bishops to park in roads around the cathedral.

Cebu City sports body eyes hosting Seag

(PNA), RMA/EB/MP/EDS

CEBU CITY (PNA) -- The Cebu City Sports Commission is willing to host some of the events of the biennial Southeast Asian Games (Seag) when it returns to the country in 2019.

CCSC Chairman Edward Hayco said they are willing to have a few games in Cebu City, just like in 2005, when Cebu became one of the satellite venues of the competition.

That effort was a concerted undertaking with Mandaue City and Danao City.

“Yes, I would love to take that challenge, and I believe we can handle that,” Hayco said.

But he said the CCSC won’t be aggressive in seeking co-hosting rights for the event.

“We are willing, but only if PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) will offer it to us. We won’t make the first move because it would be a tough job, but we are ready if ever co-hosting will be given to us,” Hayco said.

In 2005, when the CCSC was under the leadership of Jonathan Guardo, Cebu hosted six events, namely, dancesports at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel, pencak silat at the Cebu Coliseum, karatedo and judo at the Mandaue Sports and Cultural Complex, sepak takraw at the University ofSan Carlos gym and mountainbike competition in Danao City.

The Philippines went on to win the overall title in the 2005 Sea Games, collecting 113 gold medals, 84 silvers and 94 bronzes.

“If given the chance, dancesports is the top priority because the Cebu City grassroots program started with dancesports. And, possibly, other sports that can inspire our current grassroots program, like weightlifting, archery, table tennis, badminton, chess, muay thai,boxing, taekwondo or even air rifle shooting,” Hayco said.

The Philippines got the Seag hosting job in 2019 afterBrunei-Darussalam pulled out from hosting the event, for financial and logistics reasons.

The Philippines’ turn was supposed to be in 2025 yet.

Cebu City earns another PHP85M from SRP

(PNA), LGI/EB/EDS

CEBU CITY, Jan. 20 (PNA) -- The Cebu City Government has earned another PhP85 million from the sale of a lot at the South Road Properties (SRP).

Acting Cebu City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas said the amount represents the last and final payment of SM Prime Holdings Inc. for the 30-hectare property it bought at the SRP where the PHP8.5-billion SM Seaside City Cebu was built.

SM Seaside City is the biggest mall in the Visayas and Mindanao.

SM bought the property for PhP2.7 billion on Jan. 14, 2010 during the term of former mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Cuevas said the PhP85 million, which served as the last tranche of amortization from SM, will be used to support the city’s PhP6.4-billion annual budget this year.

She said the amount was identified as one of its sources of funds.

Cuevas said the city will turn over the title of the entire property to the developer now that SM Prime has completed its payment for the lot.

She said the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) informed her two weeks ago that the title is ready for the turnover.

The title was placed on escrow with the LBP, as the state bank is the borrower on record of the 12.315-billion yen loan granted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 1995 to reclaim the 300-hectare SRP.

Cuevas said Filinvest Land Inc. also completed late last year its payment for the 10.6-hectare Pond F at the SRP, which it bought from the city for PhP1.59 billion in 2009.

Cebu City transport body, organizers hold dry run for Jan. 29 IEC procession

(PNA), FPV/EB/EBP

CEBU CITY, Jan. 19 (PNA) -- The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) and organizers of the 51st International Eucharistc Congress (IEC) early Tuesday morning held a dry run for the Eucharistic procession on Jan. 29.

The procession is among the activities lined up for the 51st IEC set in Cebu on Jan. 24 to 31.

Msgr. Marnell Mejia, head of the IEC’s Eucharistic Procession Committee, had requested for the dry run to find out how long the procession might take.

The Jan. 29 procession was originally scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 29.

The dry run started at 4 a.m. from the Cebu Provincial Capitol and moved along Osmena Blvd., crossing Clon St. to Plaza Independencia near the city’s port area.

The dry run wrapped up before the 7 a.m. rush hour.

Lawyer Rey Gealon, CCTO executive director, said no road was closed for the dry run, as organizers used only one lane of Osmeña Blvd.

But some 20 traffic personnel were fielded to guide drivers.

Gealon said the dry run will help the CCTO and the IEC organizers finalize traffic arrangements for the Jan. 29 Eucharistic procession.

Organizers award winners in Sinulog grand parade

(PNA), LGI/EB/SGP

CEBU CITY, Jan. 18 (PNA) -- The Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SLI) on Monday afternoon handed out the cash prizes of up to PhP1 million for the winners in this year's Sinulog grand parade at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).

The winners were also given the chance to repeat their performance at the CCSC before thousands of spectators.

The contingent from Lanao del Norte won first place in the free interpretation (FI) category, besting 14 other contingents, including last year’s champion, the dancing bees of Abuyog, Leyte.

The Lanao contingent showcased Sagayan, a Maranao war dance to ward off evil spirits.

They also performed Darangen, a Maranao story depicting two warring groups that were later reconciled and united, which in turn, brought them peace.

The Kulturang Placereño of Placer, Masbate, won for the third straight year in the Sinulog-based (SB) category, defeating 16 other contingents.

The Kulturang Placereño won with a grand production that used light and technology.

They made use of the LED screens put up by the Sinulog Foundation Inc. on the stage for their routine.

Both contingents received a cash price of PhP1 million each.

Lanao also won PhP100,000 for best in musicality and another PhP100,000 for best in costume.

Placer also won PhP100,000 for best in costume.

Other winners for the ritual showdown in the SB category are Carcar City Division (2nd place, PhP700,000); Tribu Sinanduloy of Tangub City (3rd place, PhP500,000); Pundok sa Kabataang Mananayaw of Danao City (4th place, PhP300,000); and Municipality of Tuburan (5th place, PhP200,000).

The winners in best in musicality were given to Tangub (1st, PhP100,000); Kulturang Placereño of Placer (2nd place, PhP50,000); Tuburan (3rd place, PhP30,000); Panglao, Bohol (4th place, PhP20,000); and Carcar (5th place, PhP10,000).

For the FI category, the other winners in the ritual showdown are Tribu Katbalaugan of Catbalogan City (2nd place, PhP700,000); Abuyog,Leyte (3rd place, PhP500,000); Tribu Himag-ulaw of Placer, Masbate (4th place, PhP300,000); and Lumad Basakanon (5th place, PhP200,000).

The other winners in the best in musicality are Don Sergio Memorial National High School (2nd place, PhP50,000); Abuyog, Leyte (3rd place,PhP30,000); Lumad Basakanon (4th place, PhP20,000); and Tribu Himag-ulaw of Placer (5th place, PhP10,000).

For the best in street dancing, the winners are Abuyog, Leyte (1st, PhP1 million); Tangub (2nd, PhP700,000); Kulturang Placereño (3rd, PhP500,000); Carcar City (4th, PhP300,000); and Lumad Basakanon (5th, PhP200,000).

Millions expected in today’s Sinulog in Cebu

By Mars W. Mosqueda, Jr.

CEBU CITY – Millions of revelers are expected to witness today’s Sinulog Festival at the Cebu City Sports Complex.

Contingents will perform at the Cebu City Sports Complex and the parade route, the Sinulog Foundation Inc. said.

Last year, millions of revelers also witnessed the Sinulog grand parade here, the Sinulog Foundation and the Cebu City Police Office said.

The Sinulog grand parade will be a carousel type. Contingents will parade towards the Cebu City Sports Complex for their presentation and parade back to the location where they started.

The Sinulog Foundation has been following the carousel type parade so that revelers will not have to go from one place to another to witness the different dancing contingents.

Suspended Mayor Michael Rama, who remains the chairman of the Sinulog Foundation, urged the public to be vigilant and cautious during today’s celebration to ensure that the Sinulog Festival will be peaceful and secured.

Yesterday, millions of devotees witnessed the fluvial parade in the morning and joined the foot procession in the afternoon amidst tight security and heavy traffic.

The fluvial procession that brought the image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu from Mandaue City to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño in Cebu City was described by authorities as peaceful and orderly with no sea incidents.

The fluvial parade was followed by the reenactment of the first mass and the first baptism in Cebu on 1521.

Meanwhile, the dancing contingents from Placer, Masbate celebrated back-to-back wins Friday after its festival queen, Cynthia Thomalla, was declared this year’s Sinulog Festival Queen.

Her court were Marianne Hernandez of Carcar City (first runnerup), Ceydney Basalo of Don Sergio Memorial National High School (second runnerup), Hyra Desiree Betito from the municipality of Asturias (third runnerup), and Reignna Azucena Mondoy of Catbalogan, Samar (fourth runnerup).

The festival queen of Placer, Masbate also bagged the crown as Sinulog Festival Queen last year.

Cebu City gov’t opens Devotee City

(The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines – Instead of staying in the streets, 71-year-old Fransisca Rubin is pleased to find temporary shelter at the Devotee City – a place used to accommodate transients who travel to Cebu City for the Sinulog.

Yesterday, the Devotee City was officially opened at the vacant lot near Compaña Maritima.

The Devotee City can accommodate at least 3,000 people from areas beyond Carcar City in the south and Danao City in the north, as well as those from neighboring provinces.

Rubin travelled all the way from Barangay Poblacion, Toledo City yesterday bringing with her 1,000 pieces of candles to be sold to other pilgrims.

She vows to set aside 100 of her candles to be offered to the Holy Child Jesus, who granted her prayers and guided her through the years.

“Gidungog niya akong pag-ampo ug gihatag akong gipangayo, nanaad gyud ko nga modagkot og 100 ka kandila. Pasalamat ko ni Señor Santo Niño nga nagpadayon og hatag og kinabuhi,” she said in an interview yesterday during the formal opening of the Devotee City.

Rubin said she is glad that there is a comfortable place to stay.

“Sa akong pangedaron, himsog gihapon akong panglawas ug gikaloy-an ni Santo Niño, makapanginabuhi gihapon,” she said.

The Devotee City is the brainchild of former city councilor Fe Mantua Ruiz back in 1996 that was originally called the Tent City.

The project serves as a free temporary lodging place for Sto. Niño devotees who are housed in empty container vans clustered into two-storey structures.

At least 120 vans and basic facilities are being set up – such as portalets, shower rooms, and cooking area. There are also water and electricity supply.

The Cebu City Health Department and the Cebu City Medical Center provide the medical services while policemen and barangay tanods are deployed to guard the premises. — May B. Miasco/ATO (FREEMAN)

Cebu City starts to implement Php 6.4-B budget

CEBU CITY (PNA) -- The Cebu City Budget Office has started to implement the city’s Php 6.4-billion annual budget for this year.

Cebu City Budget Officer Marietta Gumia said they started using this year’s appropriation for the payroll for the salaries and wages of city employees after she received a copy of the budget ordinance covering the 2016 annual budget.

Gumia said the budget ordinance had no signature from Cebu City Acting Mayor Edgardo Labella.

But Gumia said the budget ordinance had a notation, or a remark, from the Sangguniang Panlungsod Secretariat, which says “deemed approved.”

Earlier, the Cebu City Council passed a resolution directing the budget office to enforce the 2016 annual budget.

The local finance committee, to which the budget office is a member, did not immediately implement the 2016 annual budget since Labella and members of the majority bloc of the council had opposing positions on the validity of the 2016 budget ordinance.

Labella had informed the council he could not act on the ordinance because it lacked one vote for it to be validly passed.

On the other hand, the council’s majority bloc reiterated that the ordinance, which was approved last Dec. 18 through a 9-4 vote, was valid. (PNA) RMA/EB/EDS

Jica donates Php 30M worth of equipment to Cebu water firm

(PNA), RMA/EB/EDS

CEBU CITY, Jan. 14 (PNA) -- The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has donated more than Php 30 million worth of equipment to the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD).

MCWD Chairman Rene Mercado said these pieces of equipment will further improve the quality of water for Metro Cebu consumers.

Jica officials, led by senior representative Takahiro Morita, formally turned over two mobile siphon filtration tanks (MSTs) and one sand washer to MCWD officials, led by Mercado in Barangay Talamban, Cebu City Wednesday.

The truck-mounted MST, which is worth Php 15 million, can produce up to seven cubic meters (cbm) of potable water per hour.

The second MST, which is stationary, is worth Php 7.5 million and can produce up to 20 cbm of potable water per hour.

The special equipment was invented and produced by Nihon Genryo Co. Ltd., which has been involved in developing waterworks in Japan.

The special equipment was given to Jica for free through MCWD’s twinning program with Yokohama Waterworks Bureau.

Engr. Noel Dalena, MCWD acting general manager, said the MSTs will also allow them to respond to water-related disasters such as drought and El Niño.

The MST, both truck-mounted and stationary, are capable of producing potable water from murky water in rivers.

The MST has been used by Jica to provide potable water to victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Daanbantayan town in 2013.

On the other hand, the sand washer is used to clean the sand used by MCWD’s filter plant based in Barangay Tisa, Cebu City.

Cebu-based firm breaks ground for first 2 of 4-tower PhP3-B Base Line Center

(PNA), LGI/EB/PR/EDS

CEBU CITY, Jan. 13 (PNA) -- Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) Wednesday formally broke ground for the first two of four towers of the PhP3-billion Base Line Center on Juana Osmena St., here.

Baseline Center, an integrated development with four towers, will rise on a site in the heart of midtown Cebu City already locally known as Base Line, a landmark in sports and recreation for locals and foreigners since 1973.

The groundbreaking comes three months after the company launched the project as well as its partnership with The Ascott Limited that will operate Citadines Cebu City which will have 180 serviced apartments in one of the two buildings.

These two buildings are Tower 1 to be known as Base Line HQ and Tower 2 to be known as Base Line Premier.

Both are slated for completion by the last quarter of 2018, according to Rose Yulo, CLI assistant vice president for sales and marketing.

On the other hand, Citadines is set to open in time for Sinulog 2019, she said.

Citadines Cebu City will use condotel units located from the ninth to the twenty-first floor of Tower 1.

The third to the eighth floors of the 21-storey condominium are allocated for Base Line HQ’s offices.

Both offices and residences will have separate lobby access.

Base Line Premier or Tower 2, on the other hand, will be a 27-storey residential condominium designed with contemporary architecture to maximize the best views of midtown Cebu with the units designed for flexible interior configuration.

The first two buildings under phase one will stand on a commercial area that will feature a supermarket and food and retail outlets surrounded by alfresco areas, said CLI chief operating officer Jose Franco B. Soberano.

Citadines operator Ascott is the world’s largest international serviced residence operator that has expanded its presence in the Philippines beyond Metro Manila, starting in Metro Cebu.

Citadines Cebu City will be its eighth property to operate in the Philippines, according to Arthur Gindap, Ascott's regional general manager for Philippines and Thailand.

Based in Singapore, Ascott has over 26,000 operating serviced residence units, plus 15,000 now under development, in over 260 properties in key global cities.

It runs three award-winning brands Ascott, Citadines and Somerset in 92 cities across 26 countries, 24 of which are new cities in Ascott's portfolio.

In the Philippines, it operates Ascott Makati, Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila, Somerset Millennium Makati, Somerset Olympia Makati and Citadines Salcedo Makati.

It will soon open Somerset Alabang Manila and Citadines Millennium Ortigas Manila.

Soberano said the partnership with Ascott is a “dream come true,” especially that this is CLI’s first project with a hotel component.

“Cebu is known for its thriving tourism and trade industries,” he said.

“We think Cebu deserves to have an international brand that will cater to the needs of both local and foreign investors and tourists who stay in Cebu for the long-haul,” he said.

16,000 delegates expected to attend the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu on Jan. 24-31

By Ben Cal [(PNA), SCS/RBC/EDS]

MANILA, Jan. 12 (PNA) -- Some 16,000 delegates coming from various parts of the world are expected to attend the 51st International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Cebu City on Jan. 24-31.

Msgr. Jose Palma, Archbishop of Cebu, made the announcement during a live television interview of the US-based EWTN Television Network hosted by Fr. Mitch Pacwa on Tuesday.

Palma is now in Alabama, USA where the interview was conducted. He also said some one million people are expected to attend the Eucharistic Congress, the second time to be hosted by the Philippines. The first was the 33rd Eucharistic Congress held in Manila in 1937.

During the hour-long TV interview, Palma invited people from various parts of the world to attend the eight-day Eucharistic Congress and come together as one church in praising and adoring God.

For his part, Fr. Mitch said that the forthcoming Eucharistic Congress hosted by the Philippines is a “magnet to draw people” to participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Msgr. Palma said the celebration will put a spotlight on the Holy Mass so the people would see the divinity of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.

He proudly told Fr. Mitch that in the Philippines, Filipinos go to Mass every Sunday and churches are full-packed with churchgoers.

Msgr. Palma said the people should feel grateful to God for His mercy.

A Eucharistic Congress is an international gathering aimed at promoting an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church.

Meanwhile, Msgr. Palma said that foreign delegates attending the Eucharistic Congress will also have the chance to visit the Magellan Cross in Cebu City which was brought by Ferdinand Magellan to the Philippines on March 16, 1521 that started Christianity in the country.

Another religious site is the centuries-old St. Niño Cathedral, also in Cebu City.

Developer installs fiber optics in condo units

By Jeandie O. Galolo

A LOCAL IT company has partnered with a national player in mass housing development for the installation of fiber optic infrastructure to some 2,500 housing units in Cebu.

ITECH-RAR Solutions Inc, together with 8990 Housing Development Corp., widely known for its Deca Homes brand, launched its Fiber to Deca Homes (FTDH) project in Urban Deca Homes-Tisa in Barangay Tisa in Cebu City.

In the middle of last year, ITECH-RAR also installed fiber optics in Urban Deca Homes-Tipolo in Mandaue City.

8990 vice president for engineering and construction Alexander Ace Sotto said the company has invested some P40 million for the two FTDH projects.

“With fiber optics infrastructure inside the condominium units, residents can already avail of and enjoy Internet, WiFi, cable TV, IP phone and IP camera for home security with standby 24/7 technical support,” said ITECH-RAR.

IT company president and CEO engineer Andres Ralota Jr. noted that their service to Deca Homes does not in any way compete with the giant telecommunication and entertainment providers.

“We don’t compete with the providers. We just get their bandwidth, then we redistribute it to the subscribers,” explained ITECH-RAR FTDH project manager Engr. Emmanuel Lomboy. ITECH-RAR taps the services of PLDT and SkyCable.

The FTDH project, according to Lomboy, will enhance the existing amenities of Deca Homes.

Homeowners would still have to pay for their Internet, cable TV, and telephone subscriptions, with the billing process taken care of by ITECH-RAR. Homeowners will also have the freedom to avail of different packages to choose from.

“Since it’s a combined bandwidth (PLDT and SkyCable) for subscribers, it means it’s more reliable,” Ralota said.

In the second quarter of this year, Sotto said 8990 will launch its third condominium project in Cebu, the Urban Deca Homes-Hernan Cortes in Mandaue City.

“We will still partner with ITECH-RAR for this project,” he said.

Sotto is also considering the possibility of extending the IT company’s service to the developer’s condominium projects that are located outside Cebu.

ITECH-RAR is in the business of web design, CCTV installation, solar panels, and fiber optics, among others. Some of its clients include Bureau of Customs Cebu and online English school Bibo.

Cebu City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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