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Cebu City - Archived News

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Contents

Rehab plans for Cebu, other Yolanda-hit areas approved

Flornisa M. Gitgano, Justin K. Vestil, Katlene O. Cacho, Razel V. Cuizon and Rebelander S. Basilan


CEBU CITY (Updated) -- President Benigno Aquino III has approved the rehabilitation plans submitted by at least six local government units (LGUs) hit by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in November last year.

Aquino announced this during his fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona) delivered at the Batasang Pambansa Monday, as he urged Congress to help fast-track the release of funds for the implementation of the rehabilitation plans.

"We have already approved the LGU rehabilitation plans for Cebu, Iloilo, Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, and Tacloban City," said Aquino in Filipino.

The Province of Cebu has asked the government for P12.2 billion for the rehabilitation of 15 towns and one city in the north that suffered severe damage when Yolanda struck the Visayas last November 8.

The rehabilitation plans, including those of Samar and Leyte, were submitted to and signed by the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) Cabinet cluster headed by rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson last May in Cebu City.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III was reportedly informed about the approval of the plans last Friday, radio dyLA reported.

Lacson, in an interview after Aquino's Sona, said a total of P96-billion budget has been asked for the rehabilitation of the areas mentioned above, adding that they will complete the comprehensive master rehabilitation plan by August 1.

Lacson said his task now is to monitor what will be done with the approval of the rehab plans. He added that the funding requirement for the rehabilitation of all areas struck by Yolanda has reached P106.7 billion.

Also on Monday, Aquino expressed his gratitude to other countries, non-government organizations and communities from all over the world that extended their help after Yolanda, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2013.

"Given the Filipino people’s readiness to render assistance to the best of our abilities -- the world saw it fit to come to our aid," he said. "Thank you... Our point of solidarity will never be forgotten."

Citing the United Nations Aquino said the Philippines is now rehabilitating from the effects of Yolanda.

The typhoon had affected 1.7 million families, while 44 provinces were badly hit. In Cebu alone, at least 15 towns and one city were affected. (LMY/With Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

Cebu City Council calls DENR 7, MGB 7 for Aug. 20 public hearing on geo-hazard maps

(PNA), SCS/EB/

CEBU CITY, July 27 (PNA) -- The Cebu City Council has requested Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 7 officials to appear in a public hearing on Aug. 20 on the significance of geo-hazard maps.

The DENR, through MGB, is tasked to distribute maps to all local government units (LGUs).

Councilor Alvin Dizon, in a resolution approved by the City Council, said the appearance of the officials would help orient the council members and Cebuanos on the details, uses, and significance of geo-hazard maps as integral part of disaster preparedness and risk reduction and management efforts.

“It is of utmost importance that LGUs should be educated on how to read these geo-hazard maps and thoroughly understand their value and uses in their disaster risk reduction and management efforts,” he said.

Dizon said strong typhoons and weather disturbances have been considered nowadays as the “new normal” due to climate change.

He said it is imperative for local communities to increase disaster preparedness measures because typhoons are now getting stronger.

“At the frontline of disaster preparedness are local government units which must be equipped with valuable life-saving information regarding risks and hazards present in their communities to minimize, if not totally avoid casualties and damages when a natural hazard occurs,” the resolution reads.

The council also invited representatives from the Association of Barangay Councils, Barangay Councilors' League of the Philippines-Cebu City Chapter, and the Cebu City Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Navy eyes base in Mactan as home of Philippine fleet

By pna.gov.ph

CEBU CITY, July 26 (PNA) -- The Philippine Navy is planning to convert their naval base in Mactan, Cebu into the new home for its Philippine Fleet.

Vice Admiral Jesus Millan, the Philippine Navy's Flag Officer in Command, said Cebu is the ideal site to accommodate the Philippine Fleet because it is the hub of all the shipping companies, repair facilities and because of Cebu’s accessibility to air and sea ports.

"Considering the strength of the area, this will be the official place and home for all our support and current floating assets and those that will be acquired in the future,” Millan said.

Millan said he has asked Commodore Ronald Joseph Mercado, the new Naval Forces Central (Navforcen) chief, to make Cebu's Naval Base Rafael Ramos as a hub for all its ground and sea assets under the Philippine Fleet.

Mercado, who hails from Banawa, Cebu City, replaced former Navforcen commander Commodore Reynaldo Yoma who will be the new commander of the Western Mindanao Naval Forces.

Mercado was last assigned with the Offshore Combat Force of the Philippine Navy.

Mercado said he is willing to take the challenge as the new Navforcen chief.

He also vowed to continue and strengthen the humanitarian assistance and disaster response in the Visayas.

"We need to be more prepared after what we have experienced and we already learned our lesson," Mercado said.

Millan said Yoma did well particularly when he faced three major man-made and natural calamities -- a sea collision, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Cebu and Bohol and super typhoon Yolanda in most parts of the Visayas -- during his stint. (PNA) JBP/EB

Distribution of vehicles an executive dep’t decision

By Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/ATO


CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella said that the distribution of the vehicles to the barangays in the city is the discretion of the executive department.

However, he stressed that the important thing to consider is that the vehicles brought by the city government should primarily be used for official purposes only.

The controversy emerged when the City Council questioned the General Services Office last Wednesday on why some barangay captains are asking for pickup vehicles when, based on the list of the GSO, they were already given one.

City Councilor Margarita Osmeña said that the city allocated P80 million from the 2012 budget for vehicles to be distributed to the 80 barangays.

In a public hearing, it reportedly appeared that majority of the vehicles were assigned to the allies of Mayor Michael Rama.

With this, the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan-dominated council asked the GSO to revisit its policy in assigning vehicles to barangays.

Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: “So, what I would advise is that whether regardless of whose given the official custody should see to it that these official vehicles should only be used for official purpose,” Labella said.

GSO chief Dionisio Gualiza was invited to appear before the City Council after City Councilor Gerardo Carillo inquired on the whereabouts of the vehicle given to Barangay Pahina San Nicolas that was issued to Barangay Councilor John Paul Go.

Carillo asked on where the vehicle is considering that John Paul Go was defeated in the last election.

City Council members expressed surprise during the hearing when Gualiza said the vehicle was turned over to City Councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos, an ally of Rama.

Delos Santos said that she was also surprised because she does not know where the service vehicle she is currently using came from.

With this, Carillo said someone should be held liable, saying that this is a case of technical malversation since the City Council has appropriated something for the barangay but was used for another purpose which is not intended in the budget ordinance.

However, Labella, a lawyer by profession, did not agree with Carillo.

“Technical malversation is the layman’s term of illegal use for public funds that is defined and penalized in the Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code,” Labella said.

Revised Penal Code Article 220 - Illegal use of public funds or property states that “any public officer who shall apply any public fund or property under his administration to any public use other than for which such fund or property were appropriated by law or ordinance shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its minimum period or a fine ranging from one-half to the total of the sum misapplied, if by reason of such misapplication, any damages or embarrassment shall have resulted to the public service. In either case, the offender shall also suffer the penalty of temporary special disqualification.”

“There is no dispute since it was given to the barangays. So, the purpose for which the vehicles were purchased for the barangay. How could that be illegal use for public funds,” Labella said, adding that maybe there is a question to whom the vehicle is given but that does not constitute to the illegal use of public funds. (FREEMAN)

Patient shoots doc inside clinic then kills self

By Jill Tatoy-Rabor


CEBU CITY (Updated) -- An orthopedic doctor was shot dead mid-morning today, Thursday, by his male patient, who then killed himself, inside his clinic at the Sacred Heart Hospital on Villa Aznar Road, Urgello, Cebu City.

Dr. Cris Cecil Abbu was shot by Wilfredo Sabonsolin, 72, a former seaman who had been his patient for some time. Abbu succumbed to two gunshot wounds; he was declared dead at 10:30 a.m.

Police found Sabonsolin sitting on a wheelchair inside the rehabilitation room of Abbu's clinic. Also found in the crime scene were a .38 pistol and two empty shells. Sabonsolin was seen carrying a sling bag when he entered the clinic.

In a radio dySS interview, Cebu City Police Office Director Noli Romana, who is at the hospital, surmised that Sabonsolin's ongoing treatment for his condition may have triggered him to shoot Abbu.

Sabonsolin has problems with his vertebral column and has been operated on twice by Abbu. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Cebu City Council asks inventor to submit proposal for magnet-run monorail

By balita.ph


CEBU CITY, July 22 — The Cebu City council has asked an inventor to submit a formal proposal for a magnet-driven elevated monorail mass transport system for the city. Jose Guardo of Maglev Vision Corporation, the inventor of the Mixed-Use, Multi-Functional Elevated Maglev Monorail, earlier told the council the monorail is cheaper than the conventional train. The monorail, he said, will also complement the city’s P10.6-billion Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which is expected to be operational by 2017. Guardo said the monorail does not use electricity but runs on the rail through magnetic levitation. “No need for electricity for it to run. The monorail uses magnetic levitation. It floats and glides through the magnet,” he said. “It’s like a train, but it has no contact with the tracks,” he said. Guardo said the transport system can last for 100 years with lesser cost of maintenance. Guardo said a conventional rail lasts 10 to 20 years, and has to be replaced. He said the transport system can accommodate at least 60 passengers with the standard of three couches and can travel at a maximum speed of 120 kilometers an hour. Earlier, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he was not keen on the system because it could block the city’s scenic views. (PNA) LAP/EB/

Cebu guv welcomes COA’s participation in assessing CICC

By Jean Marvette A. Demecillo With Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon and Michael Vencynth H. Braga/BRP (The Freeman)


CEBU CITY, July 22 (PNA) -- Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said he welcomed the Commission on Audit’s (COA) involvement in the assessment of the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) should the provincial government decide to sell the property.

Davide said COA’s involvement will avoid any hitches in the proper valuation of the CICC, which was built by the provincial government at a cost of more than P800 million in a property owned by the Mandaue City Government.

The lot was valued at P457,632,000.

Mandaue City, which expressed intention to buy the CICC, assessed the property at only P200 million, a third of the provincial government’s assessed value of P600 million.

Davide said COA’s participation will avoid later accusations that the provincial government was placed at a disadvantage.

The CICC was built during the time of former governor and now Cebu third district Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia as one of the main venues of the 2007 Association of Southeast Asian Nationas (Asean) Summit.

After the Asean Summit in 2007, the building had been used as a venue for product exhibits, concerts, school events and others, until it was damaged by last year’s earthquake and typhoon.

The property has been lying idle after the series of calamities.

Davide said the provincial government will no longer spend for its repair or maintenance because it was not earning ever since. (PNA) CTB/EB/

No strike, but city ready

By Jean Marvette A. Demecillo With Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon and Michael Vencynth H. Braga/BRP (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City government assured that the public transportation situation in the city today would be normal.

"Yes, makapasalig gyud mi nga dili ma-cripple atong transportation tomorrow (July 21)," said City Traffic Operations Management operations chief Joy Tumulak yesterday.

Majority of transport groups excluding PISTON-Cebu decided not to push through with the strike after Department of Transportation and Communication Secretary Jun Abaya directed officials from Land Transportation Office-7 and the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board-7 to get all the complaints and documents of the transport groups so the joint order will be reviewed.

Because of this commitment from DOTC, transport leaders have agreed not to resort to strike and are expected to submit all their suggestions today to LTFRB-7 and LTO-7.

Acting Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said that the City has prepared 86 vehicles to augment the public transportation, just in case.

"Maayo pod unta og motuman ang atong mga transport groups sa ilang saad not to conduct transport strike kay dili pod maayo kon mag-suffer ang mga Sugboanon, kay dili raba sala nila," he said.

Labella said making preparations for a transport strike was one of the instructions Mayor Michael Rama gave him before leaving for a month's vacation.

"Bisan pa og giplanohan nga dili modayon, matud pa ni Mayor Rama nga mas maayong andam gyod kanunay… It's better to be prepared than not prepared at all," he said.

He said that the City prepared 24 Kaohsiung buses, 33 barangay vehicles and 14 Ceres buses. Ten buses were also pledged by the Cebu Institute of Technology-University and five trucks by Central Command to be on standby.

Tumulak said that vehicles prepared by the city will be stationed in Mambaling, City Hall and in the Fuente Osmeña rotunda. He said that CITOM enforcers will be monitoring in their areas and will report to the command center if they spot stranded commuters.

Labella said that policemen and barangay tanods will be deployed in the thoroughfares to maintain security. He said that he will be at the command center at Mambaling at 5 a.m. today to monitor the flow of the public transportation.

"Nagpasalamat ko's mga transport groups nga majority gyod nila ang ni-commit nga dili gyod mag-strike, ug dako kaayo ko'g pagsalig nga motuman sila," he said.

Labella added they will still help the transport groups air their grievances to the national agencies that imposed the stiffer fines.

PISTON-Cebu to hold transport rally in Mandaue

Mandaue City commuters should prepare for some inconvenience after a transport group announced they will be holding a rally today from Barangay Ibabao-Estancia to the City Hall in Mandaue City.

Greg Perez, president of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper and Opereytors Nationwide-Cebu said that their member drivers of jeepneys, tricycles and multicabs will be joining the said rally.

"Di ni siya strike but rally lang. Pero naa gyuy gamay nga epekto sa trasportasyon labi na sa ruta sa Mandaue," said Perez yesterday.

He said that they will hold a short program in front of the City Hall after which they will submit their petition to the City Council urging them to pass a resolution in support of the scrapping of the Joint Administrative Order 2014-01.

"Ang among panawagan nga ang tibuok JAO, ipabasura gyud tungod kay unconstitutional kini," said Perez.

The joint order, which prescribes heavier penalties and fines for traffic violations, was jointly implemented by the DOTC, LTO and LTFRB last July 19. It also raised the fines imposed on those found operating colorum vehicles to up to P1 million.

The controversial joint order drew a lot of protests and complaints from drivers and operators nationwide.

Perez, however, said that their counterparts in Manila moved for the scrapping of the said joint order, not just a partial implementation.

Strike not a solution

Governor Hilario Davide III said a strike is not an immediate solution to air concerns regarding the implementation of the joint order.

"There are so many ways nga mapadungog ilang reklamo or what they want to say. They can always go to court to question the JAO. They can petition the LTFRB," he told reporters, adding that the operators and drivers are causing the riding public inconvenience with any strike.

"I heard from (Ahmed) Cuizon, they were given time to question (it) yet they did not take advantage… They just want to paralyze the transpo," Davide said, referring to the director of LTFRB-7.

Davide further advised the drivers to be cautious instead and do away with committing violations.

"With regards to penalty, di ta kasabot sa ubang drivers nga illegal na ang ila, question-on pa gyod nila ang penalties," he said, referring to those operating colorum vehicles.

Work at the Capitol will not be suspended, Davide said. However, he assured that enough buses will be made available to transport the employees and the stranded passengers.

Child beneficiaries of 4Ps to get P200 more

By pna.gov.ph


CEBU CITY, July 20 (PNA) -- Child beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will get an additional P200 to be used in the implementation of K to 12 Program.

The amount is on top of the P500 educational grant already given to qualified high school students enrolled in 4Ps.

DSWD 7 has identified 133,846 households in Central Visayas with high school student beneficiaries, which are qualified for the educational grant and the latest additional cash.

The policy enhancement took effect January 2014.

This additional cash assistance was intended to ensure that beneficiaries finish high school, taking into account the K-12 system of the Department of Education.

High school beneficiaries who were compliant with the educational conditionality of the program from January to April this year will receive P800 each.

After the differential payout, the additional P200 educational grant will now be automatically included in the regular grant of the beneficiaries.

With this development, high school Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries shall now receive P500 as monthly educational grant, while those in elementary will continue to have the P300 assistance.

In Cebu province, a total of 64,433 4Ps household with high school students were identified as beneficiaries of the additional educational grant, followed by Bohol with 36,695, Negros Oriental with 30,479 and Siquijor with 2,239.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program provides cash grants to poor households with children 0-18 years old and/or pregnant mothers, provided that they comply with the conditions set by the program.

Part of its conditions include day-care and school enrollment attendance equivalent to 85 percent of the total school days for children 3 to 18 years old. (PNA) CTB/EB/

CH wants crackdown on hoarders

By Richiel S. Chavez

THE Cebu City Government is asking the National Food Authority, the National Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies to inspect warehouses in the city.

This is to support the National Government’s crackdown on hoarders of rice, garlic and other market products.

In his approved resolution, Councilor Alvin Dizon said fraudulent and illegal practices caused the prices of rice and garlic, among other products that are considered basic commodities, to go up.

A citizen’s right

“One of the avowed rights of consumers is the right to basic needs, which guarantees survival, adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education and sanitation,” he said in his resolution.

The councilor said consumers should have access to good quality basic and prime commodities at an affordable price.

Recently, Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Presidential Assistant for Food and Agricultural Modernization Francis Pangilinan spearheaded successful operations against hoarders of rice, garlic and other market products in Luzon.

The success against the illegal practice, Dizon said, must be sustained and other local government units like Cebu City should help the national campaign.

“The recent massive hoarding of rice, garlic and other products, which resulted to sudden price hikes, is detrimental to the interest of the consumers and the government must undertake strong measures to hold accountable those who engage in hoarding,” he said.

Aside from government agencies, the City is also asking the public to help in the anti-hoarding campaign.

Dizon said they should report to authorities any warehouse or establishment that holds an abnormal amount of market products.

A successful operation in the city, he said, will serve as a warning to hoarders.

‘Cebu Goes Culinary’ at SM

By sunstar.com.ph

THE Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu together with SM City Cebu are proud to present the biggest and most prestigious culinary competition in the Visayas—the Cebu Goes Culinary (CGC), on July 25 and 26.

The participants of the competition are professional chefs from the different hotels and resorts in the province, aspiring culinary students including those in neighboring provinces like Bohol and Negros.

With vast 20 culinary-related categories, the event will put the skills, artistry, creativity and speed of cooking and bartending of participants. It will have three competing categories: professional, culinary schools, and the academe. Celebrity chefs Myrna Segismundo, Hilda Sandique, Glenda Barretto, Penk Tan, Raul Ramos, Sau del Rosario, Norbert Gandler and Sandy Daza, are also slated to grace the event.

Graced every two years with a different relevant theme to boot, this year being, “Spice Up,” the event fosters a light, fun and friendly competition among experienced hoteliers and students who are future players of the industry. On its 10th year, Cebu Goes Culinary has grown in magnitude in terms of participation and audience.

Participants of the CGC 2014 will compete in cold buffet platter, plated appetizers, healthy breakfast on a tray, live cooking and chef wars with a theme of The Classic French, dream team challenge with Bollywood as theme, Asian noodle challenge, torta wars, dress the cake, fruit and vegetable art with the theme of SM’s My Seaside City and cocktail mixing.

The two-day culinary event will be held at the Cebu Trade Hall and Northwing Atrium of SM City Cebu. (PR)

Storm tows barge

By Elias O. Baquero, Flornisa M. Gitgano, Justin K. Vestil, Razel V. Cuizon and Rebelander S. Basilan


A BARGE loaded with coal for a Cebu power plant ran aground in Barangay Tulay, Minglanilla, after typhoon Glenda’s winds carried it away from the City of Naga, where it had been anchored, last Tuesday night.

The barge’s crew of 10 Indonesians survived after local fishermen rescued them from the vessel.

Glenda is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) today. But Nedz Saletrero, Mactan Station weather specialist of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said that residents of Cebu can expect cloudy and isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms until Saturday.

“We can expect rains again on Sunday because of a tropical depression heading toward the PAR,” she said in a phone interview.

Saletrero said the tropical depression is expected to enter the Philippine territory on Friday and may follow the same path taken by Glenda, but added it was still too early to predict its movement.

In Luzon, Glenda knocked out power in many areas and damaged a parked jetliner, but Metro Manila was largely spared when the storm’s fierce winds shifted direction.

Glenda (international name: Rammasun) unleashed winds of 150 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 185 kph, bringing down trees and electric posts and ripping off roofs.

Around 370,000 people moved from high-risk villages to emergency shelters in six provinces.

The initial death toll ranged from 12 to 20 persons, but is expected to rise.

‘Pope’ grounded

A fire volunteer died when he was hit by a block of concrete while hauling down a Philippine flag in Pasig, said Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

Rammasun, the Thai term for god of thunder, is the seventh storm to batter the Philippines this year.

From Cebu, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) allowed all vessels to resume their trips at 6 a.m. yesterday, except for the MV St. Pope John Paul, which was bound for Manila.

At Mactan Airport, General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete said 34 flights were cancelled because of typhoon Glenda.

Seven flights of Philippine Airlines, 12 flights of Cebu Pacific and five flights from Air Asia were evacuated from Manila to Cebu.

The Department of Education (DepEd) in Central Visayas reported there was no major damage to public schools, especially in northern Cebu, as a result of typhoon Glenda.

Dr. Carmelita Dulangon, DepEd 7 director, said makeshift classrooms in Bantayan Island, which were installed after typhoon Yolanda, were affected. But she assured the problem was manageable.

Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes did not suspend the classes yesterday. In Lapu-Lapu, students and teachers stayed home as Mayor Paz Radaza suspended the classes in elementary and secondary schools.

Classes

Classes resumed in elementary and secondary schools in Cebu City yesterday morning, but intermittent rain prompted Mayor Michael Rama to order a 3 p.m. dismissal.

The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CCDRRMC) recommended the move.

Classes in the city’s night high schools were also suspended last night.

Councilor Dave Tumulak, who chairs the CCDRRMC, said no major incidents were recorded, except for a landslide in Barangay Tagbao late Tuesday afternoon.

It covered part of the road, but barangay officials cleared the area yesterday.

Dulangon revealed that despite announcements by the Cebu Provincial Government to suspend all public elementary and secondary classes yesterday, some local governments chose to proceed with classes. (Only the chief executive of a municipality or city can suspend classes during calamities, she explained.)

Dulangon confirmed that the cities of Toledo, Carcar, Mandaue and some local governments in southern Cebu did not suspend classes, as Glenda did not hit them directly.

Crew safe

The cargo vessel that ran aground in Minglanilla was in Cebu to deliver coal to the Korean Power Company’s plant in the City of Naga, said PO2 Vincent Alinabo, Minglanilla Police Station desk officer.

The vessel, which is registered in Indonesia, docked in Naga last July 1 and was awaiting clearance to sail back to Indonesia when typhoon Glenda arrived.

Mohammad Hasan, the chief mate, told police their barge was anchored off Barangay Colon around 8 p.m. last Tuesday, just as strong winds were starting to blow.

The crew stayed in a separate tugboat, and reportedly didn’t notice that the rope holding the barge’s anchor had been detached.

When they noticed the barge was moving away, Hasan and two crew members immediately went to the vessel and tried to maneuver it to safety, but strong winds made the task impossible.

The barge, which can carry about 8,000 tons of coal, was swept toward Barangay Tulay in Minglanilla, about six kilometers away from Barangay Colon, then ran aground.

‘Seriously’

Alinabo said that the police responded after a barangay councilor came to their station to report the emergency.

Cebu’s Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) received no reports about casualties or damage caused by typhoon Glenda.

Dennis Chiong, chief of operations of the PDRMMO, said that most people “really take advisories seriously” nowadays. He cited the preparation of evacuation centers and family food packs by local governments.

But while Glenda is set to leave the country today, Olivia Luces, director of the Office of the Civil Defense 7, said people should remain vigilant, considering the rain.

“Once saturated na ang kalupaan (Once the land is saturated), it is prone to landslides,” Luces said.

Some mayors of northern Cebu towns, which suffered the most in the province when Yolanda struck last November, said there was no major damage yesterday.

Medellin Mayor Ricky Ramirez said three pump boats were damaged in the Alpine wharf in Barangay Kawit. No one was injured.

Vigilance

In Daanbantayan, Mayor Augusto Corro said they evacuated 20 families last Tuesday to the barangay hall when the sea level rose in Sitio Suba, Barangay Talisay.

Corro said they were allowed to go home once the weather cleared.

San Francisco Mayor Aly Arquillano said no injuries were recorded in his community.

Disaster responders in the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu monitored coastal and riverside villages as heavy rains brought by typhoon Glenda fell Tuesday night and yesterday morning, but no evacuations were enforced.

In Mandaue, members of the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team) went around the city and gave hourly updates to the City Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Office.

Glenn Antigua, Team’s assistant for operations, said the volume of water in the Butuanon and Mahiga rivers increased.

Watching rivers

But no landslides in mountain barangays and floods, he said, were reported.

“We still monitor the rivers from time to time,” he told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday afternoon.

No evacuations were enforced in coastal areas in Lapu-Lapu, said City Administrator Teodulo Ybañez.

Most sea trips from Cebu to other parts of the country resumed yesterday.

Commander Rodolfo Villajuan, chief of the Coast Guard Station Cebu, said that there were about 29 vessels which were not allowed to sail the other night but resumed operations yesterday morning.

The one that wasn’t allowed to sail, because it was headed for the typhoon’s path, had 860 passengers on board.

Other vessels using the ports in Argao, Barangay Bato in Santander, Tanguil in Dumanjug, Toledo City and Tabuelan were also not allowed to operate last Tuesday night.

An estimated 1,332 passengers were affected in Cebu’s ports alone. (With an Associated Press report)

Hotel awards 5 honest cab drivers

By Gregg M. Rubio/JMD (The Philippine Star)

CEBU, Philippines - The Marco Polo Plaza Cebu has awarded five “honest” taxi drivers for returning valuables and cash left by guest in their taxi cabs.

Of the five awardees, taxi drivers Warlito Gonzales, Cayo dela Peña and Frankie Bautista showed up at the awarding during the 888 News Forum at said hotel yesterday.

Other awardees were Ronnet Manguiran and Juanito Moldes.

Human resource manager Cely Osumo and the hotel’s chief security officer Colonel Rene Ferenal led the awarding on behalf of their general manager Hans Hauri.

Osumo emphasized that the honesty exemplified by the drivers creates value in the industry. “These taxi drivers create impressive value for the hotel,” she said.

Ferenal said they honor taxi drivers who could return any items left by their guests. Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

Marco Polo Plaza has already allowed 60 taxi units to park in its space for free and pick up passengers from the hotel. No “pakyaw system” is allowed to these taxi drivers for guests coming out from the hotel.

Ferenal said these taxi drivers can even use their facilities for free. They can, for example, take a bath at the hotel.

Aside from the certificate of recognition, Osumo said they also gave cash to the awardees but refused to divulge the amount.

She said owners of the returned items and cash are also giving rewards to the honest taxi drivers.

After lot donor’s query City to pursue Bonbon hospital plan

By By Mechelle P. Florita /JMD (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines- Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama confirmed that the city government will pursue the construction of the hospital in Barangay Bonbon, Cebu City.

This after Estela Domingo made a query to the City Council on whether the city government is still willing to pursue the project after her family donated the lot for the project in 2011.

“It has been four years since the Deed of Donation was executed and accepted by Mayor Michael Rama for and in behalf of Cebu City government, yet, there is still no construction of hospital or school on the said property,” she said.

The property has an area of more or less 5,000 square meters which will be used for the construction of the hospital for the benefit and welfare of the people in the said baranagy and in nearby areas.

“I am compelled to inquire from the Cebu City government through the Sangguniang Panlungsod if it is interested to pursue the project,” she added.

However, Rama, in a press conference yesterday, did not specifically tell reporters when the project would start.

Based on earlier reports, Rama said the hospital in the said barangay will be constructed in his second term.

This will cater to the residents in the mountain barangays and who cannot immediately go to the city for medical treatment.

According to Lawyer Joey Daluz III, chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee, there is a budget of P5 million for the project. The budget was approved in 2012 and is intact until now, he added.

“Wala lang maka prepare ang DEPW (Department of Engineering and Public Works) og POWE (Program of Works and Estimate) ana. Pero sige ato lang silang i-remind ana,” he said.

PPI-Holcim launch award for construction reporting

By CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

CEBU CITY -- The Philippine Press Institute in partnership with Holcim Philippines launched the HOLCIM-PPI Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction Reporting, during a seminar-workshop it conducted in Cebu City, Saturday.

The seminar on the significance of writing stories in relation to sustainable construction, that was attended by 15 journalists in the Visayan region, is part of the awards program and in preparation for it.

PPI chairman Jess Dureza encouraged the participants from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to start writing stories about sustainable construction starting August 1, since the contest will run for a year.

There will be a team that will monitor and evaluate qualified entries for the competition. The winning reporter will receive a cash prize of P50,000, while the newspaper he or she represents will also win P75,000 in cash, he said.

Aside from Dureza, other resource speakers were Don Gil Carreon of Holcim Philippines Media Specialist, Miguel Guerrero, chairman of Green Architecture Advocacy Philippines, and Tess Bacala of PPI, who imparted to the participants their knowledge and experience to help equip them to write about sustainable construction and how they can impart their knowledge to the public to make them aware of its advantages.

Also present was Social Welfare Officer 2 Jennifer Abastillas.

PPI executive director Ariel Sebellino said the construction industry plays a key role in ensuring sustainable development and the program seeks to encourage excellent reporting by the print media on the construction industry's impact on development.

Through sustainable construction, efficient energy consumption is enhanced and environmental impacts of construction projects reduced, he said.

These are just some of the benefits of sustainable construction, a core component of Holcim Philippines's corporate advocacy, he added.

Holcim Philippines promotes sustainable construction through various programs that help raise public awareness and support for its advocacy.

One of its flagship initiatives in this regard is the Holcim Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction Reporting, which aims to raise awareness on the linkage between sustainable construction and development issues such as poverty alleviation, Sebellino added.*CGS

Construction of P5-billion BPO complex in Cebu City suffers delay due to Ayala block

By Philippines News Agency


CEBU CITY -- The construction of a proposed P5-billion business process outsourcing (BPO) complex in Barangay Apas, Cebu City has been delayed for a year for lack of access of construction equipment to the site.

The BPO complex, a joint venture between Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) and the Cebu provincial government, will rise on a 1.2-hectare lot that used to be occupied by the old Cebu City Jail known as the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said the problem lies with Ayala’s alleged refusal to give access to FLI’s heavy equipment through W. Yonson St. at the Cebu IT Park.

Under the original plan, the first tower of the four-tower complex was initially scheduled for turnover and operation before the May 2013 elections. But until now, none of the towers are completed.

The project site of Filinvest BPO complex is located outside the Cebu IT Park, which is a flagship project of the Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp. (CPVDC), but W. Yonson St. is the only wider access toward the site.

Davide said the street is a public road, according to the documents from CPVDC.

He said the road has been declared public a long time ago through a resolution by the Cebu City Council.

Under the joint venture agreement, FLI would pay Cebu Capitol P614,500 as rent per month for the 12,290-square-meter area, with a rate of P50 per square meter.

The agreement also provides that Filinvest shall pay Cebu province a two percent share every month of its gross revenue, or an equivalent of P500,000, whichever is higher.

Davide said the Capitol has been receiving P500,000 monthly from Filinvest since May last year.

Davide said he and FLI top executives have sought the assistance of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama who promised them to talk to Ayala officials on the matter.

Council investigating identity of official who ordered food

By sunstar.com.ph


THE Cebu City Council is trying to find out who in the executive branch at City Hall ordered P5.2 million worth of packed meals for the barangay elections in October 2010.

The council also asked Red Carpet Catering what caused it to deliver packed meals to teachers and local government personnel who served in the 2010 barangay elections.

If the packed meals were delivered, is there a receipt that can be used as proof of delivery?

“We need to know why the transaction pushed through even without all the supporting documents,” Councilor Margarita Osmeña said during the council session last Wednesday.

Probe

The committee on budget and finance, headed by Osmeña, looked into the transaction after Red Carpet Catering asked the City Council’s help in collecting the payment for the packed meals.

City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas said payment to the caterer could not be made because there were no approved purchase request and purchase order.

Cuevas said the transaction was not covered by a bids and awards (BAC) resolution and there is no notice of award given to the caterer.

The City Government has not appropriated funds for the packed meals.

The absence of a bidding for the catering was questioned by the Commission on Audit.

Cuevas could not explain why the food was delivered even without supporting documents, saying she was not the treasurer when the transaction was made.

In 2012, Red Carpet Catering filed a civil case against City Hall to collect payment.

‘Check those century trees’

By Flornisa M. Gitgano and Justin K. Vestil


MAYORS and Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas of Cebu’s first district are calling the attention of two national agencies to look into the state of the century trees lining the national highway in southern Cebu.

This, after an acacia, planted in Balud, San Fernando more than 100 years ago, toppled at 3:40 p.m. Wednesday and crumpled a passing dump truck. The felled tree blocked the road and stalled traffic for hours.

The local officials directed their call to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

A DPWH 7 official said the accident justified what they have been telling DENR all along: that the century trees pose danger to motorists and residents and need to be removed.

In response to that, the DENR 7 ordered its environment officers to thoroughly assess and account for the health of the acacia trees along the major roads in Cebu for public safety.

Environment officials said the tree that fell in San Fernando was in severe decay.

Volunteers and barangay workers helped clear the road of the debris that blocked traffic for almost nine hours on the national highway.

The queue of vehicles reached as far as the Rotunda of Barangay Poblacion 1 in neighboring Carcar City, which is about 11 kilometers from the site in San Fernando town on the southern side.

The gridlock also reached as far as Barangay Tuyan in the City of Naga, going north.

Commuters, mostly students and workers, had to disembark buses, walk for more than three kilometers to transfer to vehicles on the opposite side to reach their destinations.

Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM) Officer Baltazar Tribunalo Jr. and his team had gone to Balud, San Fernando to help clearing the road.

He said the lanes are passable now but the huge chopped trunks are still on the roadside.

The road was finally cleared for traffic at almost midnight.

The entire barangay also had no power for more than 12 hours because the tree dragged down with it the power lines and an electrical pole of the Visayan Electric Company (Veco).

CHECK

DENR 7 Director Isabelo Montejo yesterday said that he ordered the Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources officers (Penro and Cenro) to check which trees are aged, diseased or defective.

Montejo said defective trees can pose hazards to lives and properties, that is why sanitary cutting and tree surgery must be done at once.

Tribunalo said he noticed the roots of the felled acacia were rotten and could no longer hold the ground.

He said that in assessing the trees, the strong winds or ground movements, the weight of the tree and to which direction it might fall should be considered.

He said the assessment should be made this month in keeping with the observance of July as Disaster Consciousness Month.

Tribunalo also suggested pruning the trees if needed.

The assessment will begin this week in Naga, Carcar, San Fernando and Sibonga.

DECAYING ROOTS

Cenro Cebu City forester Filemon Embalzado Jr. inspected the felled tree in San Fernando yesterday morning.

Embalzado found that the tree was on its advanced stage of decay, particularly near the roots.

Embalzado blamed the decay on the practice of hanging streamers, tarpaulins and other advertising materials on trees.

Montejo said that even burning materials within the base of the tree can severely damage the health of the tree.

DPWH wanted the defective century-old acacia trees growing along the southern highway removed.

Last year, DENR issued a special permit to DPWH to cut down 42 trees, including eight old acacia trees.

It was issued to facilitate road-widening works on the national highway of the cities of Naga and Carcar.

Gullas said Wednesday’s incident was not the first time that a felled acacia caused problems.

PREVIOUS INCIDENTS

In July 2013, a tree in Barangay Tinaan, City of Naga fell and jammed traffic in the area. No one was injured when that happened unlike that of last Wednesday.

In August 2011 in Sikatuna Street, Cebu City, an old acacia tree fell on a jeepney that had stopped for traffic, killing the drive.

“Do we have to wait until another tree falls and would not just injure, but take a life as well?” Gullas said.

Gullas asked DENR 7 to facilitate right away the release of the special cutting permit.

Gullas’s grandfather, former congressman Eduardo Gullas, initiated the road-widening project on the south road through his Priority Development Assistance Fund.

MAYORS

The mayors of Naga and Carcar agreed with Gullas that DPWH and DENR should give them feedback on the permit.

Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong said the residents and barangays officials already approved the call to cut defective trees along the highway.

Chiong said he will write the two agencies.

Carcar Mayor Nicepuro Apura said the century-old acacia trees in the city are protected by an ordinance.

But he agreed that defective trees must be removed as these pose danger to motorists.

Apura said he was one of those mired in the traffic the gridlock last Wednesday.

He said he wants the century trees in his city preserved for their heritage value but the defective ones should go.

Meanwhile, DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas clarified that road widening works in the south have yet to reach San Fernando.

Canlas said that the first phase of the road-widening project in Naga is “near completion,” despite DENR’s conditions set in the permit.

Cebu City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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