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Cebu City News

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Contents

Committee eyes P3.2B supplemental budget

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

CEBU, Philippines- The Cebu City’s local finance committee wants over P3.2 billion in the first supplemental budget this year for the full payment of the P3 billion South Road Properties loan, the productivity enhancement incentives of City Hall employees, among others.

City administrator and Local Finance Committee chairwoman Lucille Mercado said Mayor Michael Rama has already approved the proposed additional budget.

However, Mercado cla-rified that the amount may still increase since there are other departments that want to add to the budget.

The bulk of the P3.2 billion additional budget for the year, she said, constitutes the P2.5 billion ba-lance of the P3-billion SRP loan, P78 million productivity incentive to emplo-yees, P100 million road asphalting, over P80 million for city sponsored activities, P9.3 million in preparation for the El Niño phenomenon that will recommence in August or September, and other obligations from preceding years.

“Of course, we will not endorse it to the City Council unless we have the actual source of funds,” Mercado told The FREEMAN.

She said the additional budget proposal will likely be endorsed to the legislative body next month once the city government will receive the P8 billion representing half of the P16.7 billion from the three developers that emerged as the highest bidder for the sale of 45 hectares of SRP. Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

The city took a P4-billion loan from Japan through JICA to develop the SRP. According to the terms, the loan is payable in 25 years and the amortization payments, made twice a year, will continue until 2025.

The city government has been paying the loan at P500 million to P550 million a year.

On June 30, the city’s Committee on Awards declared the consortium of Ayala Land, Cebu Holdings Inc. and SM Prime Holdings as the highest bidder (P10.009 billion) for 26.3 hectares of the SRP while Filinvest Land Inc. was the highest bidder (P6.7 billion) for a 19.2-hectare property.

On that day also, the city earned P1.6 billion as revenue from the bid security bond of the winning developers.

For the bonus of the employees, it is the consequence of the Executive Order issued by President Benigno Aquino III granting the productivity incentive of either P5,000 or the equivalent of a month’s basic pay to all qualified government employees.

Mercado said the local finance committee has agreed to give the one-month basic salary of the qualified employees.

However, the one-time disbursement of the one-month salary bonus will only be allowed if a government agency meets at least 90 percent of their 2014 targets under two performance indicators: quantity, quality, or timeliness, and at least one major final output under operations as stated in the Executive Order No. 181.

For the El Niño preparation amounting to P9.3 million, the city government wants to give P100,000 to each of the 31 mountain barangays to buy drums while another P200,000 to each of the 31 mountain barangays to buy water hoses.

Mercado said that the executive department hopes the City Council will approve the additional budget for the city.


City Council defers ‘tax holiday’ measure

By May B. Miasco / FPL (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines- The Cebu City Council has deferred the approval of a proposed ordinance seeking to grant condonation of interest on unpaid real property taxes to encourage taxpayers to pay.

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella asked for two more weeks to study the proposed measure to ensure that the interest of the city government is protected.

Labella said that the grant should be in favor of the city government and not of the taxpayers. The vice mayor said that the proposed measure of Counci-lor Noel Eleuterio Wenceslao should be deferred to allow them to “look into several angles and come up with a good ordinance.”

According to Labella, the proposed measure is giving huge amount of money to the taxpayers when it should be the other way around.

Wenceslao, however, explained that writing-off the interest on delinquent real property taxes would result in effective tax collection of overdue accounts.

Under Section 4 of the proposed “Cebu City Real Property Tax Holiday Ordinance of 2015,” there are two kinds of tax holiday or relief “in a form of condonation of the payment of the interest on delinquent real properties.”

These include full “tax holiday” or 100 percent condonation on the interests of unpaid real property taxes for the period of January 2009 to 2014; and 50 percent discount on the interests of unpaid real property taxes from January 2008 and prior years.

Wenceslao said that the proposed measure is only a one-time tax benefit, which means that it will only be implemented this year should it be approved.

Acting City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas reported during the public hearing last week that the city was able to generate revenues progressively based on comparative report on the collective efficiency of the real property taxes in the city for the period of 2010 to 2014.

“Such that for 2010, we have collected a total of P649,866,637.58 and giving out a total of P45,898,687.24 in tax discount for advance payment. In the same manner in 2014, the city was able to collect a total of P846,151,524.23 and giving out a total of P64,007,262.28 in discount,” read a position paper of the city treasurer.

Cuevas cited that the city has more than P2 billion accumulated real property tax collectibles from 1980 up to 2014.

“Admittedly, the said amount (P2 billion) is bloated as there are tax declarations of buildings and other structures and properties that might have been razed by fire or demolished, land with multiple declared owners, and other circumstances… These circumstances blow up our taxable assessed value and realty tax delinquencies,” she said.

Cuevas said the amount was not accurate citing duplication of records in her office and the City Assessor’s Office.

Council wants charging of safety equipment checked

By Jean Marvette A. Demecillo, RHM (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Council wants the South Roads Properties Management Office’s request for the purchase of millions in pesos worth of security, safety, and operating equipment checked.

City Councilor Margarita Osmeña, council committee on budget and finance head, said the council must look at what items were supposedly charged to the accounts that now would serve as fund sources of the items the SRP Management Office wants to buy.

She said that while her committee does not question the need of the items, the capital outlay accounts their purchase would be charged from were in 2011, 2012, and 2013 yet.

“It is noteworthy to check what were the projects or materials that were supposedly charged to these accounts in the years 2011, 2012, 2013. The Committee is certain that there must have been projects that were proposed to back up the request for appropriation,” read the budget committee report.

City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas already issued a certificate of availability of funds, and City Budget Officer Marietta Gumia likewise issued a certification on the balances under the lump sum appropriation for capital outlays for the SRP Management Office.

Though Mayor Michael Rama already approved the SRP Management Office’s request last March 5, however, the appropriation must have the City Council’s endorsement.

The proposal includes SRP road asphalting (P14 million) two patrol cars (P1.9 million), boom truck (P4 million), surveillance cameras (P14 million) 25 digital handheld radios (P2 million), mini dump truck (P4.8 million), service van (P880,000), a Strada pick-up vehicle (P950,000), 25 fire extinguishers (P1.13 million) and seven metal barriers worth (P250,000), among others.

“With the growing demands at the SRP, we feel that these items are of vital importance to…day-to-day operations to upkeep various facilities and to maintain the security and peace and order in the area,” said SRP Executive Assistant Sheldon Vincent Kintanar.

As contained in the appropriation resolution sponsored by City Councilors David Tumulak and Hanz Nendell Abella, the P58.4 million will be charged against the SRP office’s 2011, 2012, and 2013 capital outlays.

In the resolution, Tumulak and Abella said equipment and machines have been programmed for acquisition since 2011, but since some of these were not bought, the funds were placed as continuing appropriation for capital outlay.

Because of this, the City Council requested the SRP Management Office to submit its project procurement management plans for 2011, 2012 and 2013 so it could countercheck the appropriation.

For the road asphalting project, Osmeña asked the office to furnish the legislative body the programs of works and estimates.

City cops donate blood as part of CCPO’s ‘social responsibility’

By Daryl T. Jabil

SOME 129 police officers donated a total of 64,500 cubic centimeters of blood during a bloodletting activity at the Cebu City Sports Center yesterday morning.

Supt. Enrique Belciña, police-community relations (PCR) chief of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said the event was a proof of the cops’ dedication to protect the lives of the people in whatever way possible.

“Nindot gyod ang feeling nga inig human og tusok sa dagom naay self-fulfillment ba nga naa na pod tay maluwas nga kinabuhi sa lahi pod nga pamaagi (It feels good to be able to save lives in a different way),” Belciña said.

He said 44 police officers assigned at the CCPO each donated 500 cc. of blood. The Police Regional Office (PRO) 7, led by Supt. Clarito Baja, also endorsed 85 police donors.

CCCI

The bloodletting program was led by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Philippine Red Cross to celebrate July as the blood donation month and the month of the Precious Blood of Jesus.

The police officers, Belciña said, coordinated with the two organizations to make it a part of their annual PCR celebration this month.

Belciña said the cops’ help in blood donation did not end there.

He urged individuals, who were looking for blood donors, to visit the CCPO headquarters and check if the type of blood needed can be taken from any of the police officers.

“To help those who are in need is a part of our social responsibility as public servants,” Belciña said.

The CCPO-PCR has recently been awarded as the region’s best police office in community relations this year for the community-based activities it organized for the different sectors of society.

More than 100 PWDs in Cebu City participate in first talent contest

By Razel V. Cuizon

MORE than a hundred persons with disabilities (PWDs) yesterday showcased their talents during the first PWD Got Talent.

The contest was organized by the Cebu City Youth Development Council and the Department of Social Welfare and Services.

The activity was just one of many organized for PWD Week.

PWD groups from Barangays Tisa, Ermita, Lahug, Basak Pardo, Cogon Pardo, Mabolo, Basak San Nicolas and Luz competed in the contest.

Ana Rosal, 23, said she was grateful for the opportunity to participate.

Performance jitters

“Nag-practice gyod mi og maayo before sa contest kay excited sad mi nga maka-apil kay panagsa ra baya mi maka-apil ug ing-ani nga activity nga para ra gyod sa mga PWD (We practiced really hard because we were excited. It’s not every day that we could be part of such an event exclusive for PWDs),” she said.

Rosal sang two songs along with other participants from her group.

Rosal suffers from polio and can’t walk properly. With the help of crutches, she is able to go about her daily chores.

She admitted that she was nervous right before performing, but she said she gave it her all.

Participants from Barangay Basak Pardo, most of them deaf-mute, danced.

Even though they are hard of hearing, that never prevented them from dancing to the rhythm of the music, the choreographer said.

Councilor Alvin Dizon who was among those who attended the event, said the City is always supportive of the PWD sector.

6 utility firms sign pact with Cebu City to remove dangling wires, rotting poles

(PNA), LAP/EB/PJN

CEBU CITY, July 23 (PNA) -- Six power and telecommunications companies have signed an agreement to fix or remove dangling wires and rotting poles in Cebu City that pose danger to the public.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama met Wednesday with representatives of the six utility firms after two persons were killed and three others were hurt in two cases involving utility poles and dangling wires in the city.

In both cases, the utility poles fell after dangling wires got snagged by passing trucks, hitting the victims.

Representatives from Bayantel, Skycable, Telicphil, Globe Telecom, Visayan Electric Company (Veco) and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), a sister-company of Smart Communications and Sun Cellular, attended the meeting with Rama and signed the agreement.

Cebu City Administrator Lucelle Mercado and City Engineer Jose Marie Poblete, chairman of the technical infrastructure committee (TIC), signed for the city.

The representatives of the utility companies promised to comply with City Ordinance 1894, which addresses the problem of tangled wires, among others.

Earlier, Veco announced it will implement this year the PHP100-million second phase of its project to put all overhead power lines underground from the Fuente Osmena Circle to P. Del Rosario St., this city.

The first phase stretching from the Cebu Capitol to the Fuente Osmena Circle, which cost PHP80 million, was completed last year.

Building and construction expo set in Cebu on Aug. 6-9

(PNA), LAP/EB/PR/SSC

CEBU CITY, July 22 (PNA) -- Worldbex Services International has announced the return of the Philippine Building and Construction Exposition (Philbex) Cebu on August 6 to 9, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at SM City Cebu.

Now on its 12th edition, Philbex Cebu has earned a significant following in the Visayas construction industry as the largest and most comprehensive building and construction trade show organized in the region.

Patterned after the iconic Worldbex in Manila, Philbex Cebu strives to live up to the same standards, as it gathers the biggest industry players each year for a lively exchange of ideas and insights.

Last year, the three-day building expo broke new ground, as it occupied 2,000 square meters in exhibition space that housed 118 booths in seven product categories.

Its visitor count last year racked up 48,000 attendees, it said in a statement.

This year, Philbex Cebu is determined to deliver a bigger and bolder presentation, as it aims to bolster the Visayas construction industry to unprecedented heights.

Philbex Cebu said it believes that a constant dialogue between the most promising industry players and investors is essential in ensuring quality progress and development of the region’s construction industry.

Philbex Cebu invites industry professionals, investors, as well as building and design enthusiasts, to gather for an insightful and informative trade experience.

Dusit International to open five more hotels in PH

By Katlene O. Cacho

DUSIT International remains bullish in expanding their presence in the country, saying the Philippines is a “beautiful country with wealth in tourism.”

The Bangkok-based resort and hotel company is opening two hotel brands in Manila, one in Cebu and two in Davao City.

“We are very confident of the growth of Philippine tourism. It is for this reason that we are extending our hotel brands to various markets in the country,” said Thierry Douin, vice president for operations of Dusit International.

Dusit International carries the Dusit Thani, Dusit Princess, Dusit Devarana and dusitD2 hotel brands.

Upcoming projects in the Philippines include Dusit Princess NAIA Gardens, Manila, a hotel school, and dusitD2 in Bonifacio Global City (BGC); Dusit Princess in Cebu; and Dusit Thani Residence and dusitD2 in Davao City.

Dusit International has had a long presence in Manila through Dusit Thani in Makati City for over 20 years. Although it took them quite a long time to expand presence here, Douin said the expansion plans came at the right time.

“I don’t think we came late because it was only in the past few years that the Philippines’ economic growth has caught the attention of the world,” he said. “We will continue to see new brands coming in the midst of the country’s growth momentum.”

Ryan Chen, director of development for Asia Pacific at Dusit International, said they are growing outside Manila because of the tourism potential in other destinations in the Philippines such as Cebu and Davao.

According to Chen, the Philippine market plays a vital role in the company’s growth story because the Thai-led company sees similarities with Filipinos in terms of values and the quality of work. More importantly, the company admires the Filipinos’ unique hospitality trait and fluency in the English language.

“We are in the people-industry business and we are fortunate to work with Filipinos,” said Douin, hoping the hotel school in BGC will help them produce right and skilled people for their growing hotel operations in the country.

“We really are poised for a positive future in the Philippines,” added Chen, although he noted a huge need for support infrastructure like road networks, sustainable power and water supply and airport expansion, among others.

Douin, however, sees the regional integration as both an opportunity and a threat to the hospitality business because it would result in free flow of workers within Asean.

“It opens opportunities for everyone to work anywhere and Filipinos have the edge because all tourism destinations within Asean would need workers with good English command. Filipinos are excellent in the aspect, however, keeping the best workers would be another story. It’s a big challenge,” he said.

Last week, Grand Land Inc. and Dusit International launched the 295-room Dusit Princess.

Officials said they are eyeing more Dusit hotel brands to operate Cebu in the future. Chen said they remain open to potential developers for the next hotel projects.

San Juan to sign sister-city agreement with Cebu City

By Princess Dawn H. Felicitas

SAN Juan City in Metro Manila wants to enter into a sister-city relationship with Cebu City.

A delegation of 68 officials, department heads and section chiefs of San Juan City will arrive in Cebu City tomorrow for the signing of a memorandum of agreement.

The group will also have a study tour in Cebu City to learn about its best practices. This includes basic services, disaster management and environmental protection.

“We have chosen your city as a venue of our study tour as we are aware that your city has been given numerous recognitions by different entities for your best practices,” said San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez in a letter to Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

Recently, the City has been awarded by the National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines as the 3rd Most Competitive City among the highly urbanized cities in the country.

Study tour

In an interview yesterday, Secretary to the Mayor Belinda Navascues said they have already prepared four sessions for the San Juan City delegates for their study tour.

The sessions will be held from 1:00 in the afternoon up to 4:00 in the afternoon tomorrow at the Social Hall of the Cebu City Hall.

Navascues said programs of the City Government for basic services, disaster management and environmental protection will be discussed.

“As of now, we are still preparing our presentation but it will be finished tomorrow,” she said yesterday.

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Navascues said, San Juan City and Cebu City will sign their sister-city agreement in one of the hotels in the city.

If approved, San Juan City will be the 14th sister-city of Cebu City in the country.

Cebu City’s sister-cities include Manila City, Santa Josefa in Agusan del Sur, Calamba in Laguna, Angeles City in Pampanga, Tangub City in Misamis Occidental, Ormoc City, Talisay City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Palayan City, Toledo City and Laoag City.

2-city traffic tie-up pushed

By Princess Dawn H. Felicitas

THE Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) board wants to have a joint traffic cooperation agreement with Mandaue City.

This will be done to address traffic matters that concern both local government units (LGUs).

Citom board recently passed a resolution covering the matter. In the same resolution, the board also authorized Citom executive director Atty. Rafael Yap to initiate discussions with the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team).

In an interview yesterday, Yap said the passage of the board resolution was an offshoot of the traffic problem encountered when S. Osmeña Blvd. was widened by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

That time, heavy traffic was experienced by the two cities after Citom implemented re-routing plans at the north reclamation area to pave the way for the project.

“It is a realization that we should be helping each other. What happens in Mandaue City will have an effect on Cebu City and what happens in Cebu City will have an effect on Mandaue City. So we should initiate discussions with our fellow traffic management agencies,” he said.

Yap said that the cooperation agreement will also complement the bill of Rep. Gabriel Luis “Luigi” Quisumbing that seeks to establish a Metro Cebu Traffic Management Authority (MCTMA).

“If that bill becomes a law, we already have taken baby steps. We are already preparing for it. It will already be easy then to establish linkages,” he said.

House Bill 5556 was filed by Quisumbing in Congress last March. The bill seeks to create the MCTMA, define its power and functions, and provide funds for its operation.

The MCTMA will plan and identify traffic problems and coordinate with LGUs in Metro Cebu in making a traffic management master plan.

Offhand, Yap said Citom has already been coordinating and working with Team in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit meetings next month. A copy of the Citom board resolution was forwarded to the City Council.

During their July 15 regular session, the legislative body referred the matter to the committee on traffic and management for their report and recommendation.

CPVDC seeks City Council endorsement to expand Cebu Info Technology Park

By Razel V. Cuizon

THE Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp. (CPVDC) has asked the Cebu City Council to endorse its expansion application before the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza).

CPVDC is expanding its Cebu Information Technology (IT) Park, a PEZA-registered zone that now hosts many business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, by more than two hectares.

Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias sponsored the resolution for the council’s endorsement of CPVDC’s application.

Opportunities

He said that the expansion “would mean an increase of job opportunities for Cebuanos, increase the possible information technology investors, thus benefit the general public as a whole.”

The endorsement is one of the requirements a developer must secure for accreditation by Peza.

Romulo Alajid, Project Group Development head of CPVDC, wrote Cabarrubias about the request.

The Council scheduled an executive session with CPVDC on Aug. 19 to discuss it.

The Cebu IT Park is a flagship project of CPVDC, which began in 1988 as a joint venture of Ayala Land Inc. and the Cebu Provincial Government. The Province provides land as part of its equity.

P8-billion investment

Based on the location map that CPVDC submitted to Councilor Cabarrubias, the developer will soon add a two-hectare “super block” at the Cebu IT Park, which will include additional office and residential spaces.

It broke ground last March 2015 on its Central Bloc project, for which it invested nearly P8 billion. A post about the event on the CPVDC website states that the project will include a 12-storey Seda hotel, at least two BPO office towers that are scheduled for completion in 2019, and a 500-store mall set to open in 2018.

According to the Peza website, the Cebu IT Park spans 23.7 hectares and is one of 27 registered IT Parks in the island. It is the second largest registered zone, in terms of area, on the list; the largest is the Cebu Business Park, developed by Cebu Holdings Inc.

“IT service export” is one of 10 activities that can qualify for Peza registration and incentives, along with export manufacturing, tourism, medical tourism and economic zone operations, among others. IT services that qualify for incentives include call centers, date encoding, software development and content deveopment.

Weighing scales distributed to public markets in Cebu

(PR)

THE Department of Trade and Industry launched its Timbangan ng Bayan Project at the Cebu City Carbon Market Wednesday.

The installation of weighing scales with corresponding housing in public markets is in accordance with Republic Act 7394 or the “Consumer Act of the Philippines”, which protects the interests of the consumer, promotes general welfare and establishes standards of conduct for business and industry.

“The goal of the Timbangan ng Bayan Project is to ensure that consumers are protected from deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts and practices and that they can readily check the accuracy of the weight and quantity of goods they bought in public markets”, DTI-Cebu Director Nelia Navarro said in her speech.

She added that Cebu Province was allotted 193 units of calibrated weighing scales and steel cage housing, which were distributed to the public markets of its nine cities and 44 municipalities.

Of the 193 units, 19 were alloted to Cebu City markets.

The recipient-market is advised to provide measures to protect the facility from theft, misuse or abuse, that these are used exclusively by consumers and to have it regularly calibrated and maintained to ensure its accuracy.

PHP550-M IEC Pavillion now 80% complete

(PNA), LAP/EB/RSM

CEBU CITY, July 16 (PNA) -- The PHP550-million Pavilion in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City, which will be the main venue for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in January next year, is now 80 percent complete.

Property developer Duros Development Corp. (DDC), which is constructing the pavilion, topped off the structure Wednesday.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama attended the activity.

Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal poured the last concrete mixture on the structure inside the San Carlos Seminary in Mabolo, Cebu City.

The 26,000-square meter pavilion will house some 15,000 foreign and local delegates for the international gathering of Catholic leaders on Jan. 24-31, 2016.

Engr. Adonis Gabutin of DDC said the three-level structure also has a parking lot for 200 cars, 27 closed-circuit television (CCTV) units, at least 1,000 sprinkler heads, six function rooms, 250-seating capacity theater and a secretariat office.

“We thank God for this very meaningful milestone of a historic structure,” said DDC Chairman Rafaelito Barino in a press statement.

It will be turned over to the Cebu Archdiocese in October, about 16 months after June 2014 when construction started.

The Pavilion will be converted to multiple use after the IEC.

The secretariat building will become a minor seminary, while the 15,000-capacitiy plenary hall will be turned into a pastoral center for religious functions.

It will also cater to conventions and exhibits, making it the biggest convention facility in Cebu.

Students, cops join CCPO mural painting contest

By Ma. Fatima R. Secuya/NSA (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Students and policemen yesterday showed their artistic side as they competed in a regionwide mural painting contest held at the Cebu City Police Office.

The first ever mural painting contest was part of CCPO’s observance of the 20th Police Community Relations month and part of its goal to beautify the headquarters for the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Conference, said PCR chief Superintendent Enrique Belciña.

The headquarters’ concrete fence was used as the canvass for the painting contest.

“At least makita sa visitors nga nindot man diay ang front sa CCPO,” said Belciña.

Students taking up Fine Arts and Arts and Graphics from Cebu Technological University and University of San Carlos participated in the activity.

Apart from the twelve students from CTU and six from USC, two police officers also showed their painting skills. Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

Armed with paint and paint brush, the contestants portrayed their interpretation of the theme: “Matibay na ugnayan ng mamamayan at pulisya, simbolo ng kapayapaan at kaunlaranng sambayanan” from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The grand prize winner got P7,000 cash; the second P5,000; and the third P3,000 cash. All of them also got a certificate of recognition while the non-winning contestants were given P1,000 each as consolation prize.

Belciña said through the activity, they are also reaching out to the youth.

“At least ma-proud sila nga naa sila’y contribution sa pagpanindot sa atong kampo,” he said.

City to go after shark vendors

By JeanMarvette A. Demecillo and Kristine B. Quintas / JMO (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines- The Cebu City market authority will investigate the sale of shark meat at the premises of the Carbon Market.

City Market Administrator Raquel Arce said she saw the photo that has circulated on social media, which showed baby sharks being displayed on a table for sale.

Arce said she has communicated with the one who posted the photo on Facebook, Mike Lopez, who confirmed the same to her.

“I asked the one who posted the photo where did he take the photo… he told me nga gawas gyud sa market but sa sulod sa Carbon gihapon. So naa gyud possibility nga naa ni sa Carbon Market complex, not necessarily sulod sa market,” she said.

“Wala koy nabantayan nga pagpamaligya og shark meat sulod sa atong mga merkado ilabina sa Carbon. I have seen the photo. And makita nato nga dili gyod ni sulod sa market kay tiles ang sulod sa baligyaanan og isda. But, there’s a possibility sa gawas na sa dalan gi baligya,” she added.

A vendor at the market who requested anonymity confirmed with The Freeman that sharks are being sold outside the market especially at dawn.

Arce said that despite the absence of a local legislation, the city does not allow the same because it violates national laws.

The sale, she said, will not be condoned.

“If masakpan nato ang vendor, atong i-confiscate ang items and apil iyang I.D. para dili na maka baligya kay kahibaw na silang tanan mga vendors nga dili gyud na allowed and revocation gyud sa contract ang sanction ana,” she said.

The city has 11 public markets – Units I, II, and III of Carbon Market, Warwick Barracks in Barangay Ermita, Pardo Public Market, Pasil Fish Market, F. Ramos Market Taboan Public Market, Freedom Park in Carbon, and T. Padilla Market.

“Usually gikan gyud sa Pasil, South and North of Cebu ang sources sa atong isda. Sa tinuoray, dili ko ka assure nga dili gyud makasulod ning mga illegal nga ibaligya bisan og naay 24/7 nga tao kay iikyas raman gyod na nila, pero kani karon nga blatant na ilang pagput-up sa carbon, kon tinuod man, ato gyud ning imbistigaran,” she said further.

Ordinance

Councilor Alvin Arcilla, chairperson of the City Council’s committee on markets, will call for an executive session on the matter.

Meanwhile, Councilor Nida Cabrera, chairperson of the Council’s committee on environment, will file an ordinance that would prohibit the sale of sharks, rays and other endangered marine species. She will meet with officers of the Bantay Dagat Commission today to discuss possible measures against the sale.

She said her committee has already started collating studies, policies, and environmental laws that would support the passage of the ordinance.

Greenpeace Philippines oceans campaigner Vince Cinches said his group is willing to help the city draft the ordinance.

“As we mentioned before, it is important for Cebu City to come up with similar measures as the province of Cebu to ensure that sharks and rays are not landed in Cebu City Markets (Pasil and Carbon). Our team is more than willing to help the Cebu City Council draft the ordinance ensuring the protection of all sharks and rays. We just created the country’s first shark and ray sanctuary, and this report underscores the need for all LGU to come together to ensure a healthy marine ecosystem,” he said.

Representative Benhur Salimbangon, chairman of the House committee on Aquaculture and fisheries, also said he will push for legislations to protect marine species, particularly sharks and rays, further.

He said fishing in waters with abundant presence of sharks like in Malaspascua Island should be banned.

“Thresher sharks in Malaspascua and other parts of the country serve as our goldmine. That’s the only thing that attracts the Europeans and and Americans and go there to take a look at it. We will really protect that,” Salimbangon said.

Cinches also said other local government units should look at Malapascua as a model for promoting shark tourism.

“Other LGUs can actually benefit developing shark tourism because they have a widespread presence. I hope they will look into the model of Malaspascua as one way of sustainable and manageable tourism,” he said.

Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 has been amended to provide hefty fines and longer periods of imprisonment against violators.

Job portal at CH to help jobseekers

By May B. Miasco/FPL (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines- Jobseekers in Cebu City will soon have a stand-alone labor market information system that is capable of employment facilitation like job search and skills matching services.

This after the Cebu City Council has authorized Mayor Michael Rama to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Labor and Employment for the operation of a Job Search Kiosk at City Hall.

JSK is an employment strategy that allows free access to reliable information on job vacancies, trainings and employment programs.

“DOLE aims to partner with Cebu City government to expand the reach of the JSK employment facility, hence the need for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to define the duties and responsibilities of the Cebu City government and DOLE,” read the resolution, which was approved last week.

The resolution was authored by Councilor Sisinio Andales, chairman of the Committee on Labor and Employment.

Under the agreement, DOLE-7 will provide one JSK and technical assistance to the local government personnel while the city government should place it in an area accessible to the public and shall provide power and internet connection.

DOLE-7 should also coordinate with the designated LGU personnel for the operation, maintenance and updating of JSK’s contents and to provide necessary training while the city government should provide access to the public.

The initiative was suggested by the Department of Manpower Development and Placement to complement DOLE’s desire to expand its reach and enable jobseekers to access more employment opportunities at no cost.

Suzanne Ardosa, acting department head of the DMDP, said the approval of the resolution would formalize their existing job search portal, which is currently available and functional outside their office at the second floor of Ramos Market.

She said that the kiosk provided by DOLE is not only limited to job opportunities in Cebu City but in other parts of the country as well. She added that there are even job opportunities abroad.

“This initiative would make job opportunities accessible to the people. If they want to search for any job vacancies, they can use the job search engine with our assistance. Jobseekers can apply, register and do self job matching using the kiosk,” Ardosa said.

City Council wants detailed geohazard surveys in brgys

By Jean Marvette A. Demecillo / FPL (The Freeman) 12:00 am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Council wants a detailed geohazard assessment survey in all 80 barangays of the city to be conducted by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Councilor Nestor Archival, who authored the resolution, said there is a need for the city government to know the conditions of the barangays because of the irregular weather.

“The city government needs to know the conditions of all barangays. CCDRRMC should give to City Council and OBO (Office of the Building Officials) what are the areas in the city that are not conducive for buildings and to be purchased as social housing site of the city government,” he said.

Councilor David Tumulak, who also chairs CCDRRMC, said the survey is ongoing. Councilor Noel Eleuterio Wenceslao, however, said that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau already submitted to his office the geohazard assessment survey conducted in the city.

Wenceslao said he will provide a copy to all the members of the City Council.

Tumulak said that the local disaster team knows the survey conducted by DENR-MGB-7 and that he incorporated it in his detailed geohazard assessment survey.

“As of now, there are 40 barangays completed sa geoha-zard assessment survey. The disaster council will furnish the august body with the details of the survey once we are done,” he said.

Archival said that it should be finished in 30 days, which Tumulak agreed.

It was earlier reported that DENR-MGB has presented to the City Council its geohazard map. According to DENR-MGB, at least 14 of the 80 barangays in the city are both susceptible to flooding and landslide.

DENR-MGB has identified the barangays as Adlaon, Apas, Banilad, Buot, Cambinocot, Guadalupe, Guba, Labangon, Pamutan, Pit-os, Pulangbato, Quiot, Sapangdaku, and To-ong.

The City Council was told the importance of geohazard maps in the city, stressing that disasters like landslides and floods pose threat to the public and economical developments in the city.

Tumulak said that the local disaster team has more specific details in terms of the calamity-related incidents in the barangay. This, as he said that it included the areas in the city that are fire-prone areas.

Tumulak vowed to furnish the copy of the survey to the City Council. The discussion stemmed from the committee report of Councilor Ma. Nida Cabrera wherein the city government intended to purchase a lot in Sitio Tapuko, Barangay Pit-os for socialized housing site.

Over 1,200 urban poor individuals are waiting to be relocated to the 10,431-square meter property in the said barangay. The socialized housing program would cost the city P20.8 million.

But there were reports that the area is susceptible to landslide. That is why the committee asked Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor to work closely with the local disaster council and the DENR-MGB for its recommendation.

Cabrera said the complete and detailed geohazard assessment survey of all areas in the city will help all local agencies and departments, like OBO, in their decision on whether a certain subdivision project will be approved or not.

City, private firms working to address flooding at SRP

(The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City government will work with companies that own lands at the South Road Properties in addressing the problem of flooding in the area.

The project will be carried out through philosophy of “People-Privately Driven Governance” or “private public partnership.”

Mayor Michael Rama met with representatives of SM Prime Holdings, Filinvest Land, Inc., and AyalaLand yesterday afternoon after he received a letter from FLI asking the city to address the problem, as it may affect developments in the area.

“The group, with my thrust, after threshing what went wrong on how things are developed, the need to do it must be self-reliant and decentralized approach where among them FLI, which will now include Ayala, and at the same time SM,” Rama said.

Representatives from the Department of Public Works and Highway-7 were also present at the meeting.

SM owns 30 hectares while FLI has 10.6 hectares at the SRP. FLI is also developing 40 other hectares under a joint venture agreement with the city.

AyalaLand, meanwhile, won the bid for a 26.3-hectare property last June 30.

The City’s Committee on Awards declared the consortium of AyalaLand, Cebu Holdings, Inc. and SM Prime Holdings as highest bidder with P10.009 billion.

Filinvest Land, Inc. was the highest bidder for a 19.2-hectare property P6.7 billion.

On July 6, FLI sent the letter to the city government and the SRP Management Office stipulating its request to implement a drainage master plan, if one exists.

This after the property it is developing with the city was flooded last June 27. The company said water reached 43 centimeters high during the flood.

This is the FLI’s third letter to the city government.

Rama said the companies should not just rely on City Hall, stressing that, unlike government, they can disburse money without having to go through the official procedures.

“We may have the money, but we do not have the manpower. We may have the manpower, but we do not the money. What we have to look beyond is expediency and effectiveness and efficiency,” he said.

“They will not be thinking on the side of the city, waiting. Anyway, they are part of the territory, they have all the tools and manpower. It will now bring much of the independent approach. Very effective when all efforts are combined with,” Rama said.

He said the city will “oversee” the implementation of the anti-flood project, which he wants started soon.

“Just overseeing them so that they will not be waiting. Dapat tan-awon lang. if everything is doable, then the city will participate in another aspect. Ana man gud na. Naa may buhatonon nga ilang hunahuna nga maggikan gyud sa City hall, dili man kina-hanglan. Division of labor raman ni,” Rama said.

He said the comprehensive drainage master plan will be of no cost to the city.

Tungod sa kadako sa ilang developments, nganong dili man nato i-incorporate sa ilang developments? Nga kun buot hunahunaon, mura naman na’g ilahang lugar. With that, kun mabaha sila, kinsa man ang maproblema? They will be more concerned in having that drainage addressed,” Rama said.

The working group will be headed by FLI Vice President/ Area Manager Allan Alfon and SRP Management Office Manager Roberto Varquez.

Rama said SRP Management Office will be used for the group’s meetings.

In a separate interview, Alfon said, “I think that is the best direction because if the three of us are there, then one cannot put up a master plan without involving the others kay mag-interconnect man na siya.”

For now, Alfon said the companies will employ palliative solutions pumping the rainwater off the area and constructing a temporary drainage system should flooding occur again soon.

The group will meet on Monday to identify the permanent engineering solutions to the problem. —Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/JMO

Cebu City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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