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Cebuano entrepreneur ventures into real estate


CEBU CITY, March 26 (PNA) -- Entrepreneur Ferdinand Tio, the owner of Sun Gold Home and Furnishings, is venturing into the thriving real estate industry with his new venture, SunKai Land.

Tio, who holds a majority share of SunKai Land, is eyeing at least six projects in Cebu and one in a neighboring island in the next three to five years, SunKai project development manager Michael Estomata said.

“Tio owns several properties in Cebu in prime locations, which he plans to convert into residential projects,” said Catherine Palmero, the company’s sales and marketing manager.

SunKai Land was incorporated in October 2014. The firm positions itself as a developer of middle-market residential projects.

Palmero said they opted to concentrate on this market segment because projects within this category appeal to a wider segment of buyers, what with the the expanding middle class.

“The firm sees a bullish property sector in the years ahead on the back of Cebu’s better economic conditions as showed by the continued rise in spending and business activities,” she said.

SunKai Land is set to launch its flagship project by the second quarter of 2015.

Estomata said the project is a 500 to 550-unit condominium tower that sits on a 1,100 square meter property in Cebu City.

He, however, declined to disclose further details of the project as they are still awaiting government permits and licenses.

The condominium project, though, is scheduled for groundbreaking in the fourth quarter this year and will be completed in three years.

Palmero said the firm’s thrust is to develop projects that have value for money with flexible designs.

She also said they will not limit their marketing efforts to Cebu but will also heighten promotional efforts to regional markets, especially that Cebu is a top choice for study and work destination.

Among the company’s target markets are the overseas Filipinos, startup families, students and young professionals.

Cebu City men's volleyball team join Olympic Qualifiers in Thailand


CEBU CITY, March 25 (PNA) -- After experiencing several hardships, the Cebu City men’s beach volleyball team is all set to join the SouthEast Asian Zonal Olympic Qualifiers this April 4 in Thailand.

Edmar Bonono, who earlier quit the team after joining Cignal indoor volleyball team based in Manila, decided to return and play with the team after Cebu City Sports Commission Chairman Edward Hayco made a deal with Cignal.

Bonono will be competing with veteran Cebuano beach volleyball player Jonrey Sasing.

The other pair will be Jade Becaldo and Edward Ybañez.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) beach volleyball consultant Eric Lecain said that although Sasing came in the last minute, he is confident that he will be able to deliver what is expected of him.

“Sasing came in at the last minute, but he is very professional and I believe that he knows what to do,” said Lecain.

Sasing, on the other hand, is ecstatic to be the last-minute addition to the team, but feels a lot of pressure with the little time to prepare.

“I feel pressured due to the very short time of preparation especially now when it’s very hot. Although, I’m doing double-time, working on my cardio. I am still pushing myself hard. Because I know what is needed in a tournament such as this one, hangin jud and importante (stamina is important),” said Sasing.

Team Cebu has advanced to the second phase after it landed second place in the first phase of the Zonal Olympic Qualifiers, which was participated by Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Mynmar.

In the second phase, they will be up against teams from Thailand and Indonesia.

Meanwhile, CCSC Chairman Ed Hayco felt relieved that they were able to form the team that will be leaving for the Olympic qualifiers.

“What a big relief! This program was four years in the making, from the day we started building and painstakingly transported the sand from Siquijor to Cebu just to build the best sand court in the country,” Hayco said.

“Selection of the best players in the Philippines, rigorous training of our athletes, to this final phase before the qualifiers. It’s been an agonizing challenge and journey. Hope it’s gonna be worth it,”said Hayco.

The team will be leaving for Manila on March 30 to train in the MOA sand court before they leave for Thailand on April 2.

US veteran soldiers visit Buhisan caves

By May B. Miasco / ATO (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines- Many may just disregard the caves in Barangay Buhisan, Cebu City. But for a group of foreign soldiers and war veterans, the sites are not just historical but also mean a lot to a number of families and organizations.

Yesterday, a group of US soldiers under the Americal Division visited the Barangay Buhisan Japanese caves.

Americal is the combination of America and Caledonia, as American soldiers were formed in New Caledonia.

David Colamaria, one of the soldiers, felt emotional as he visited the caves where his grandfather fought against the Japanese army.

“I was very emotional while getting ready. I was very close to him and I have been studying it for 15 years. I never thought I would get to come in here, coming in here is very emotional,” he said.

Japanese forces reportedly ran to the mountains and sought their defense under pillboxes and caves when the Americal Division landed in Cebu on March 26, 1945 during World War II.

Colamaria narrated that his grandfather, Edward Monahan, who was a sergeant in the 182nd Infantry, fought in the war with the United States Army.

Terry Davenport, a member of the Department of Pacific Area-Veterans of Foreign Wars, said that their visit at the Buhisan cave is part of their tour.

They are set to explore other historical museums, warfare bases and bunkers in Lilo-an town, Toledo City, Talisay City, among others.

Davenport explained that their group is under the same army unit of the Americal Division which entered Cebu islands.

Another soldier was David Taylor, also a World War II historian of the Americal Division Veterans Association, who served during the Vietnam War as an infantry officer.

“I was in the Vietnam war under the Americal Division, the same division that invaded Cebu island, also Leyte, Samar, Negros,” he shared.

Taylor said the visit was a “search of history” as he considers what he had seen and felt as a great experience.

“We wanted to understand the sacrifices that were made by the soldiers that went before us in World War II and coming up this hill and see the cave, we understand the sacrifices were great, we needed to see that and feel it, that is why we’re here,” he said.

“This is amazing to see the rough terrain, and everything. It is amazing what the soldier have gone through. Most of us are dead and there are a few left, we are here to learn what they went through, what they experienced,” he said further.

Taylor said that there are eight of them who are in Cebu, including David Eichhorn, Tony Commander, Spencer Paba, Vern Pike, a retired colonel of the US army.

Meanwhile, for his part, Buhisan Barangay Captain Barete Greman said they wanted the caves to be declared as heritage sites.

He said there are more than 20 tunnels, based on the accounts of the locals residents of the barangay.

“Amo gisabotan sa (City) Council himoan og resolution nga i-preserve ang heritage site sa Buhisan, ang mga Japanese tunnel diri ato jud gamiton as a tool to attract tourist nga makatabang sa economic activities sa mga local residents,” he said.

Outstanding scholars to get cash

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

CEBU, Philippines- All Cebu City scholars who are graduating with honors by end the current school year will receive cash incentives from the city government.

This was after the City Council passed the ordinance “Cebu City Scholar Honor Graduate Incentive Program” during its regular session Wednesday last week.

“Incentives must be provided to Cebu City scholars in order to recognize and reward their academic achievement and to encourage others to excel in their studies,” read the ordinance authored by City Councilors Lea Japson and council committee on education chairman Alvin Dizon

As approved, the city government will give P20,000 for a scholar garnering summa cum laude honors; P15,000 for magna cum laude; and P10,000 for a cum laude graduate.

The city’s scholarship program started in 2010 and the first batch of scholars who completed four-year courses graduated March 2014 last year.

“Among the 2,665 Cebu City scholars who graduated (last year), five were magna cum laude and 105 were cum Laude,” Japson said.

The said scholars, however, would not receive cash incentives since the effectivity of the ordinance is not retroactive.

“It (scholars graduating with honors) is a promising development so it is proper to provide incentives. This will urge the students to study well. This ordinance is already applicable to scholars graduating this March,” Japson said. The city has yet to determine how many scholars are graduating with honors this year.

Japson said that for 2015, the cash incentive will be sourced from the city’s monthly share of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation funds; for the succeeding years, it would have to be included in the annual budget.

During their session, City Councilor Sisinio Andales asked if it is possible to release the incentives this month.

“The PAGCOR Ad hoc committee can prioritize or urge the mayor to prioritize. It’s better late than never,” City Councilor Margarita Osmeña said, in response.

Osmeña heads the council committee on budget and finance.

To determine how much the city should allocate, each of the accredited schools are tasked to submit a list of scholars who are graduating with honors to the city’s scholarship committee, which will then process the granting of the cash incentives.

Through City Ordinance 2333, or the ordinance establishing the Cebu City scholarship program, City Hall grants a P10,000 per semester financial assistance to each qualified scholar.

City Ordinance 2412 (Ordinance Providing for Graduation Fees Subsidy to all Public Elementary and secondary Schools in the City of Cebu), on the other hand, grants P150 to each of the public elementary and high school graduating students in Cebu City public schools as graduation subsidy.

City to rate effectiveness of exam for scholars

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

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City’s Scholarship Program committee will review this year if the assessment exam it has given to high school students who availed of the city scholarship four years ago was effective.

The Filipino Intelligence Test (FIT) among graduating high school students was given in 2011 to determine which courses the scholars could take.

Antoniette Sieverts, College or University Affairs Head of the scholarship committee, said there were over 8,000 enrollees and scholars when the program started but only 3,000 in 2014 finished a four-year course.

The scholarship program annually provides P10,000 to every scholar enrolled in 22 accredited schools in Cebu City.

“There was a Commission on Audit finding that many scholars nga ni-undang and wala gyod mitiwas sa eskwela. Usa sa atong natan-aw nga reason is dili sila fit sa ilang gikuha nga course,” Sieverts said.

“Ang test man gud maka-measure sa vocabulary, analogy, number, nonverbal skills, ug ability sa atong mga scholars. Walay mahagbong ani nga exam, ang ato lang gyod is mahashasan pod atong mga scholars,” Sieverts explained.

The exam, she said, also determines a student’s readiness to attend college.

“Maong mas nindot nga ma-compare nato kon pila atong graduates karon nga na-apply nato ang Filipino Intelligence Test. We are glad kay sa pagkakaron pod, naka-receive mi og report from one of our accredited schools nga naay na-summa cum laude sa atong scholars,” Sieverts said.

“Ato gyod i-awhag atong scholars nga maningkamot sa ilang pag-eskwela and dili lang sayangan ang programa nga gihatag sa government,” she added.

Sieverts said the city government is now accepting applicants for the scholarship program for the next school year.

“Wala tay limit kon pila atong dawaton nga scholars every year, as long as nga maka-take sa Filipino Intelligence Test. Usa sa ilang parents kay voter sa Cebu City ug ni-graduate sa public school,” she said.

City Councilor Alvin Dizon, chairman of the City Council’s committee on education, said the city government has appropriated P370 million for the 2015 implementation of the scholarship program.

For Earth Hour, are you ready or in the dark?

By Elias O. Baquero

CEBU -- Supporters of the Earth Hour Movement urged Cebuanos to switch off all lights and electrical devices for an hour starting at 7:30 p.m. on March 28, whether at home or at work.

Joel Lee of Tindak Cebu, Robert Pangilinan of Sugbo Bikers Association and Jake Aves of Habagat Earth Hour Night Ride said that by giving up electricity for at least one hour, people can show support for attempts to abate pollution and to find solutions to climate change.

Earth Hour was initiated in 2007 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Australia, which encouraged people, businesses and cities to switch off their lights for one hour, to highlight the need for finding solutions to the climate crisis, Lee said.

In recent years, the lights have also been switched off in iconic structures like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the pyramids of Egypt and the Empire State Building in New York, among others.

Speaking during the Cebu Media Forum at Rajah Park Hotel, Lee pointed out that while disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) officers met recently in Tokyo, a super typhoon devastated Vanuatu.

“Their president asked for their help. That’s how alarming disasters are,” Lee said.

Lee, the son of the late Court of Appeals Justice German Lee, has composed the song “Takna na Karon” to serve as this year’s Earth Hour jingle. He hopes that radio stations in Cebu will play it.

Cebu City Councilor Gerardo Carillo, the forum’s host, explained that if more people reduce their power consumption, they will help lessen our dependence on coal.

As one of the activities on Saturday, the Habagat Earth Hour Night Ride will cover a 10-kilometer route. It will start at IT Park then proceed to Salinas Drive, Gorordo Ave., Escario St., Osmeña Blvd., P. del Rosario St., New Imus Road, Gen. Maxilom Ave., back to Gorordo, Cardinal Rosales Ave., Pope John Paul II Ave., back to Salinas Drive and then to the I.T. Park.

Lee urged motorists to get home by 7 p.m. on March 28 so that the streets can be clear in time for the night ride.

New mall, towers in IT Park

By Jeandie O. Galolo

PROPERTY developer Ayala Land Inc. will invest around P8 billion for a 2.2-hectare mixed-use project inside its own development, the 24-hectare Cebu IT Park in Lahug.

Dubbed as the Central Bloc, the development will house two business process outsourcing (BPO) towers, a five-level Ayala mall, and a 214-room Seda hotel.

The new project, which broke ground yesterday, is expected to generate 17,000 jobs upon completion in 2019, said Cebu Holdings Inc. President Aniceto “Jun” V. Bisnar Jr. in a press briefing. About 14,000 of these jobs are expected to come from the BPO sector.

Ayala Land Offices Head of Business Development and Leasing and Operations Carol Mills said the BPO towers will accommodate local and multinational firms that wish to expand their operations in Cebu.

Mandaue, Mactan projects

At present, BPO companies nestled in the Cebu IT Park generate almost 40,000 jobs, covering 70 percent of the total BPO workforce in Cebu.

For its mall development, Mills said they expect to house a total of 500 local and international brands and offer a gross leasable area of 24,000 square meters.

“We will continue to redevelop, expand and grow our business in the area,” Bisnar said, adding that more developments will be introduced after the Central Bloc.

Bisnar also disclosed that ALI is investing P30 billion in the next five years for new developments and land acquisition.

These include a mixed-use development in Mandaue City in partnership with Aboitiz Land Inc., a leisure tourism estate in Mactan in partnership with Taft Property Ventures Development Corp, residential projects, and office building developments.

“This is how confident we are in the potential of Cebu and its growth industries,” the official added.

To support the road requirements of Ayala’s existing and future projects, particularly in the Cebu IT Park, Bisnar said they will add two more access roads to Banilad.

He added that the firm, together with the Cebu Provincial Government, has come up with a memorandum of agreement to resolve a conflict over a perimeter wall along W. Geonzon St. involving CHI’s subsidiary, the Cebu Property Ventures Development Corp, and Filinvest Land Inc.

The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) in December last year authorized Gov. Hilario Davide III to sign a MOA that will give occupants of one new office tower in FLI’s Cyberzone project access to W. Geonzon St.

In the 26 years since Ayala’s entry to Cebu, ALI-led companies have invested more than P40 billion in real estate development in the province.

ALI is also eyeing to hit a P40-billion income in 2020.

“We are confident that our projects in the Visayas, Mindanao, and Metro Manila will help us achieve that target…We will explore new geographies and market segments to further expand the business while striving to reach a broader market base,” Bisnar said.

Cebu City presents grassroots sports blueprint to PSC

By Marsante G. Alison (

The Cebu City Sports Commission outlined their format for grassroots sports development to the Philippine Sports Commission as a blueprint for cultivating talent nationwide

CEBU CITY, Philippines - “This book is priceless. We cannot pay for this.”

These were the words of Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez as she was presented with a hard copy of the template of the Cebu City Grassroots Sports Development Program last Tuesday, March 17, at the conference room of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Administration Building in Malate, Metro Manila.

Fernandez along with members of Dagupan's newly formed sports commission was invited by PSC chairman Ricardo “Richie” Garcia to a conference wherein he also asked Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) chairman Edward Hayco to make a presentation of their grassroots template.

Last month, the Dagupan officials approached Garcia to seek help in setting up their grassroots sports development program. Initially, Garcia had planned a discussion between the two Local Government Units (LGUs) but instead he decided to make the template of the Cebu City Grassroots Sports Development Program a model to be followed by everyone else in the country who wants to put up the same development in sports.

In his opening message during the start of the conference, Garcia explained why he wants the rest of the LGUs to duplicate the Cebu City grassroots program.

“Doon ko nakita how a grassroots program should be done,” said Garcia adding that in Cebu, the needs of a grassroots program were met without having to spend so much.

The PSC chairman added that “if we could duplicate the program in other cities, we will have less problems with our youth.”

In presenting the template, Hayco had the assistance of one of CCSC's commissioners, Bernard Ricablanca, who is also the athletic director of the University of Cebu, and CCSC staff Gayle Grace H. Dico.

The presentation was well received with Fernandez remarking that what CCSC has done so far is very inspiring.

“Naka-iyak (It makes us teary-eyed), imagine, you are transforming their lives,” said the Dagupan City mayor referring to the thousands of kids who have been trained under the program without paying a single centavo.

Hayco did not hesitate in divulging everything in how CCSC set up the grassroots program even admitting how at some point they had thought of quitting or that even now, the program is still a fledgling despite being able to teach about 7,000 kids in one of its summer grassroots training programs.

Before Hayco started he commended Fernandez for her initiative in wanting to put up a grassroots program in her city.

The CCSC chairman stressed so many points and the first one was “don't focus on the gold, if we develop the kids, the gold will come.” The program may be for a sports grassroots but Hayco has always been straight forward in admitting that the gold was never the main goal. It has been and will always be about making the kids believe in themselves, teaching them more about losing so they may be able to build a good and solid character.

Maybe an odd approach but Hayco said that if they were on the wrong path then the kids who have joined the program would never have won medals in the Batang Pinoy or the Philippine National Youth Games.

In fact, Hayco has always clashed horns with coaches whose focus is on winning the gold medals such as PSC consultant Eric Lecain who was sent by Garcia to help Cebu form a team who could compete in beach volley in the Olympics.

However, Lecain has admitted that what he has learned in Cebu is that the rest of the thousands of kids who are undergoing the program is equally important as the one or two among them who will go on to win a medal.

“It is about giving them equal opportunity, giving them the chance. They may not all turn out to be great but you gave them the chance of a lifetime,” Lecain said.

Hayco alo emphasized on the linkages between the sports commission, the LGU and the Department of Education (DepEd).

Hayco said that it is through the DepEd that they were able to gather thousands of kids to train. He further added that their job is to first identify the people who will run the program before identifying the sport.

“Our role is to identify these people and how to work with them.”

Hayco, who is also the director of the bemedaled Dancesports Team Cebu City, said that they should be creative in teaching the sport to the kids. “Don't be boxed in by the standards.” As an example, Hayco cited the improvised sports equipment that they have been coming up with such as for the sports of chess and archery, wherein through the grassroots program, they were able to achieve Guinness World Records.

Instead of chess boards and chess pieces, they used chess mats, a tarpaulin printed with chess boards and bottle caps wherein printed drawings of the chess pieces were pasted. As for archery, with the help of Asian Games gold medalist Dondon Sombrio, who is an architect, the CCSC was able to come up with an improvised bow made up of PVC pipes.

“Don't let the budget adjust to you, you adjust to the budget.”

The Cebu City grassroots program also relies heavily on volunteerism and striking an ex-deal with the coaches and athletes.

The CCSC will help in sending teams to national and regional competitions as long as they volunteer to teach or cascade what they know of their respective sport. It doesn't matter if they are gold medalist, they have to be willing to help in the grassroots program.

Fernandez is candid in saying that with the template, it may not take them years to pull off their own grassroots program, that is why they are very thankful for it.

“With your help and the PSC and guided with the learnings of today, this has really been very inspiring,” Mayor Fernandez said in ending.

CITOM to put road barriers on S. Osmeña

By Kristine B. Quintas/FPL (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City government will be installing “road barriers” along S. Osmeña Boulevard on Friday to avoid and lessen vehicular accidents in the area.

S. Osmeña Boulevard is one of the city’s major thoroughfares catering to high volume of vehicular traffic.

City Traffic Operations Management executive director lawyer Rafael Yap said they will set up some traffic safety devices like reflectors, pavement markings, signalized intersections, more signages among others to alert the motorists.

The reduction of speed limit, Yap said, would also help address traffic incidents not only at the South Road Properties but also along S. Osmeña Boulevard and other areas in the city.

Yap said S. Osmeña Boulevard is a “through road” which means the rate of speed of any motor vehicle shall not exceed 40-kilometer per hour.

Section 35 of the Republic Act 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code) mandates “any person driving a motor vehicle on a highway shall drive the same at a careful and prudent speed, not greater nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard for the traffic, the width of the highway, and of any other condition then and there existing.”

The law further states that no person shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway at such a speed as to endanger the life, limb and property of any person, nor at a speed greater than will permit him to bring the vehicle to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.

However, Yap said instituting traffic measures would not be possible without the assistance of the national agencies like Land Transportation Office, Department of Public Works and Highways, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group.

“This is a shared mandate because traffic is a shared responsibility,” he said.

He added it would be helpful if these agencies will deploy or deputized their personnel to help man traffic in the concerned area while the city is yet to purchase speed guns.

“We don’t contest that gitagaan ta’g greater responsibility sa traffic management given that it is a local issue but we need their cooperation,” he said.

Yap pointed out that massive information drive campaign on traffic rules and regulations would help ease erring drivers, in some way contribute to traffic jam.

These traffic interventions are part of the city’s objective to beautify the thoroughfare since the road concreting project of DPHW is almost done.

“The initiative is now with the city government on how to beautify and institute safety measures S. Osmeña (in collaboration with the national agencies). It’s a high priority road not just for trucks and heavy vehicles but it’s one of our main entry points for tourist coming from the airport and the pier areas,” Yap said.

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella wants to hasten the installation of rumble strips and more signages at SRP following an accident last Sunday killing five people.

“There should be a study how it (rumble strips) will be installed like meters away from each other para ma-limit gyod ang speed,” he said.

Cebu City sets aside PHP1M for medicines to protect livestock from El Nino


CEBU CITY, March 17 (PNA) -- The Cebu City Government has set aside PHP1 million to buy medicines that will protect the city’s livestock supply from the effects of the mild El Niño.

Cebu City Veterinarian Dr. Pilar Romero said the medicines include vaccines against hemorrhagic septicemia that afflicts cattle, horses and swine to keep them from bleeding and acquiring other diseases.

Pilar said they will also buy vitamin supplements and medicines for deworming.

She said hemorrhagic septicemia is an acute, highly fatal form of pasteurellosis that affects mainly cattle.

The disease is most devastating to smallholder farmers where husbandry and preventive practices are poor and free-range management is common.

Romero said they will distribute the vaccines to protect farm animals from the disease, which is prevalent during the dry season.

Romero said the Animal Health Division of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF) is regularly monitoring the status of livestock in the upland barangays.

But Romero said there is no report yet of ailing animals in the hilly barangays.

Romero also advised those raising animals to build barns or shades to protect their animals from intense heat.

Cebu City Council passes ordinance providing women free breast cancer screening


CEBU CITY, March 16 (PNA) -- The Cebu City Council has passed an ordinance that seeks to provide free breast cancer screening for poor women in the city.

The four women in the City Council, namely, Councilors Margarita Osmeña, Lea Japson, Nida Cabrera and Mary Ann de Los Santos, authored the ordinance.

They stressed the need for early detection of the disease.

“Cancer is one of the leading killer diseases in the country today and the leading killer disease for women,” read a portion of the ordinance.

The ordinance was passed in time for the celebration of the Breast Cancer Month this month,

The proponents also cited a report from the Philippine Society of Oncology that breast cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in the country, accounting for 15 percent of all new cancers diagnosed and about eight percent of the total number of cancer-related deaths.

Under the newly approved ordinance, indigent women ages 20 to 75 years old who live in Cebu City but have no permanent income can avail themselves of the program, which will be managed by the City Health Department (CHD).

The ordinance requires the CHD to establish a special unit and assign personnel who will focus on implementing the program and making all 80 barangays aware of it.

The Cebu City Government is also set to purchase P10 million worth of mobile imaging facilities, which will include a customized bus that can be used to deliver free mammography and ultrasound tests for women ages 30 to 65 years old.

If the results show that the patient has breast cancer, the CHD is also mandated to refer the individual to an oncologist.

Free breast screening for indigents pushed

By Jean Marvette A. Demecillo and Jessa J. Agua / FPL (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City Council recently passed an ordinance creating a breast screening program for the indigent women of the city.

The ordinance was authored by City Councilors Margarita Osmeña, Nida Cabrera, Lea Japson, Mary Ann de los Santos, and Alvin Dizon.

“We all know that breast cancer is one of the leading diseases in the country today and the leading killer disease among women, this according to the population-based Cancer registry of the Ramon Aboitiz Fundation Inc,” Osmeña said, adding that according to the Philippine Medical Society of Oncology, three out of 100 women will get breast cancer before reaching the age of 75 and one out of 100 will die before reaching 75 years old.

Osmeña said that majority of the women are diagnosed only in the later stage of the cancer based on the report of the Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center.

To prevent this from happening, she said that there is a need for the city government to intervene since breast cancer management requires early detection, diagnosis and treatment for better success rates.

The ordinance covers female residents in the city, ages 20 to 75 years old. Aiming to protect and promote public health, the City Health Department shall conduct awareness campaign on the early detection of breast cancer in all 80 barangays in the city.

The ordinance will provide free breast screening program consisting of mammography and ultrasound for indigent women residents. The city government, however, is yet to procure the P10 million worth Mobile Imaging Faci-lity which includes a mammogram, ultrasound machine, a customized bus, and other amenities inside the mobile facility. The procurement will be charged against the city’s share of the Pagcor operations.

Section 5 of the ordinance states that the enforcement of the ordinance is commissioned to the City Health Department that will assign two personnel who are qualified to operate the mobile machine.

The ordinance, however, is still subject to the approval of Mayor Michael Rama.

Meanwhile, regional health officials cautioned women against leading diseases such as cervical and breast cancer as it celebrates women’s month.

Doctor Jeanette Pauline Arellano-Cortes of the Department of Health-7 said that cervical cancer is the second leading cause of women’s death in the country, next to breast cancer.

As in any cancer, it is best battled upon early detection, Cortes, who heads the Non-communicable Disease section of DOH Central Visayas said.

With this, the DOH official urged the women to do self examination and see a doctor if they start feeling something unusual. A monthly self examination for breast cancer is a must.

“Self breast examination is done every month specifically one week after menstruation. It is done facing the mirror or lying down. If you feel a lump or see dimple-like surface like that of an orange, notice a bloody and smelly discharge, you experience sudden weight and appetite loss, you should see your doctor,” she said.

Risk factors for breast cancer include hereditary factors and smoking.

While it is most commonly attributed to women, Cortes stressed that even men are prone to this disease though in a slim margin.

As with cervical cancer, regular screening through pap smear is best to be done being a “silent killer” unlike breast cancer with visible signs as a lump.

“Cervical cancer is usually detected in late stage because it is in this time that the patient feels the symptoms most. Pap smear is ideally done three years after the start of sexual activity. Though, it is not advisable for girls below 21 years old. It is required annually for the first three years and the follow up is two to three years after given no unusual feeling that needs immediate attention,” Cortes said.

This type of cancer is transmitted sexually and is risky for those who have multiple sex partners of up to six, women with more than seven children.

“Long-term continuous use of oral contraception of more than ten years could also be a risk factor though this is not absolute. It is advisable that a woman pauses after six months to one year of oral contraception. She may opt to take another type of contraception like natural. Then, she can return to oral contraception after,” Cortes said.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) types 6 and 18 are the cause of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer symptoms include abnormal excessive and prolonged vaginal bleeding which is longer than the normal monthly period, smelling vaginal discharge, and pain during sexual intercourse.

“You are likely to develop cervical cancer if you start sexual intercourse at a young age. There is an HPV vaccine available in the market which can be gotten by visiting a doctor,” Cortes said.

She added that recent studies showed that the vaccine is most effective to girls who have not started sexual activity, preferably aged 10 to 14 years old.

A 2014 data from the DOH shows that cancer is the leading cause of death in Central Visayas region with a total of 2,475 cases.

Calungsod fiesta on March 28

By Justin K. Vestil

CEBU -- The Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Pedro Calungsod in Cebu City will celebrate its annual fiesta earlier this year.

The annual celebration for the country’s first Visayan saint will be held on March 28, as April 2, the usual date of St. Pedro Calungsod’s fiesta, falls on a Holy Thursday.

Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, the shrine’s rector, said that the novena masses will be held from March 19 to 27.

During the opening day of the fiesta, the Calungsod shrine on D. Jakosalem St. will conduct the exposition of the catana during a 6 p.m. mass.


The catana was the weapon used to kill St. Pedro Calungsod and his superior, Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores in Guam last April 2, 1672.

Calungsod was a teenage catechist who served in the Jesuit mission in the Marianas in the 1600s.

On the eve of the fiesta, a dawn procession will be conducted from the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral to the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Pedro Calungsod.

Concelebrated masses, including one led by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, will be held for the entire day.


This year’s fiesta marks the 16th annual celebration of the shrine and the 343rd martyrdom anniversary of St. Pedro Calungsod.

Calungsod was canonized last Oct. 21, 2012 in Rome, Italy.

He is the Philippines’ s second saint after San Lorenzo Ruiz of Manila who was canonized in 1987.

ERUF provides fire suits to Cebu City barangays

By May B. Miasco / NSA (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - To further equip fire responders, the Emergency Response Unit Foundation turned over at least 75 fire suits to six barangays in Cebu City yesterday.

The effort, which coincides with the observation of fire prevention month, was aimed to augment the gear of fire volunteers from various barangays.

ERUF operations head Medardo Batiller said a total of 75 fire suits were distributed to barangays Apas, Mabolo, Hipodromo, Sta. Cruz, Sto. Niño and Luz.

Batiller said Cebu City fire marshall Rogelio Bongabong, Jr. asked from them a spare of their gear.

“We also wanted to share and at least maka-trigger ni siya nga makahatag og gana sa mga fire volunteers. Mapuno ilang excitement,” he said.

The fire suit will also provide firefighters protection from extreme temperature produced by flames, said Batiller.

“This is also aimed at equipping fire responders to protect them when extinguishing fire. Peligro baya ni ang moresponde og sunog,” he said.

He stressed that fire prevention campaign should not only focus on preventing fire, but also on finding ways to better equip fire responders.

The turnover ceremony was graced by Bongabong and attended by some ERUF officials, including ERUF chairman Dr. Pek Eng, and representatives of the different barangays.

Rama to speak on disaster at UN conference in Japan

By Kristine B. Quintas / FPL (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama will be leaving today for Japan to speak on disaster risk reduction at the third United Nations World Conference.

Rama will be joined by Governor Hilario Davide III and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chief Baltazar Tribunalo Jr. The five-day conference will start on March 14.

Rama’s travel was approved last week by Undersecretary Austere Oanadero of the Department of the Interior and Local Government. The mayor was also issued a proper clearance by the agency that currently investigates the complaint filed by lawyer Reymelio Delute on the controversial P20,000 calamity assistance granted by the city government to its employees in 2013.

With his absence, Rama issued a memorandum designating Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella as acting mayor.

Labella is also authorized to “sign all pertinent documents and perform such other functions as may be necessary” subject to the provisions of the Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991. Labella said he will assume the duties and responsibilities of the city mayor even without an order.

“This is part of the usual and basic functions and duties even without being told. I can sign documents but not implement sanctions,” he said.

DOST in Cebu adds solar power charging kiosk for visitors

By Larissa B. Cayobit (

The solar power charging kiosk can charge up to 20 mobile phones, 10 rechargeable flashlights, or a pair of laptops at a time

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Science of Technology (DOST) in Central Visayas is taking a hearts-and-minds approach to introducing solar power to people in the region.

Visitors to the DOST office in Sudlon, Lahug in Cebu City can try out a solar power charging kiosk at the entrance to that office.

First deployed in Leyte to provide temporary power in the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the solar power charging kiosks come with a 200W capacity. The system takes advantage of two 100W solar panels, two 70 Ampere-hour solar batteries, a 300W inverter, and a 20 Ampere-hour charge controller.

The kiosk can handle charging up to 20 mobile phones, 10 rechargeable flashlights, or a pair of laptops at a time.

“This will enable our clients visiting the office to really appreciate Science and Technology. This is a simple technology that may be very useful for them with or without the existence of electricity,” said DOST Regional Director Edilberto Paradela.

Paradela said the initiative “has the chance to showcase the use of renewable energy in greening the environment for lesser carbon dioxide emission, reduce energy consumption, and may contribute in disaster risk reduction.”

Cebu City Archived News

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