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Cebu City News

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Cebu City - Archived News

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Aerial View of Cebu City

Contents

Classes suspended in Cebu schools due to heavy rains

By sunstar.com.ph


GPDATE--Local government units (LGUs) in Cebu have ordered the suspension of classes today due to heavy rains since last night.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III issued the order to suspend classes in all levels for both public and private schools in the entire province. He also ordered the suspension of work at the Capitol, except for key offices like the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, Provincial Social Welfare and Development office, and some of the engineering staff.

In highly urbanized LGUs, below are the orders issued by local officials:

Cebu City: no classes in all levels in public & private schools

Lapu-Lapu City: no classes in all levels

Mandaue City: no classes up to high school only in both public and private schools

The state weather bureau has issued a yellow rainfall warning in Cebu and Bohol due to tropical storm Mario, which means flooding in low-lying and landslides in mountainous areas are expected.

Photos of the traffic and flooding in Metro Cebu--North Reclamation Area, downtown Cebu City, A. S. Fortuna , Banilad-Talamban corridor, Talisay City--were posted on social media accounts of netizens who were stranded in their homes and offices, or are stuck in the streets.

  • Cebu City Hall has dispatched Kaohsiung buses in the northern and southern parts of the city to ferry stranded passengers.
  • Talisay City public information officer Vince Monterde reported a landslide in Manipis a few minutes ago. Earlier, Mayor Johnny delos Reyes ordered residents of mountain barangays to evacuate due to threats of landslide.
  • The Cebu Provincial Government reported that a boulder fell on the road along the Cebu Transcentral Highway, near the boundary of Balamban town and Cebu City. Only one lane is passable.





COA approves swap ‘too late’

By Jujemay G. Awit


GOVERNMENT auditors have approved Cebu City’s plan to swap one of its lots with two privately-owned lots, which will help City Hall save a public school and a housing project.

But there’s a problem.

In the five years that it took the Commission on Audit (COA) to change its mind, the City has sold part of the lot that was supposed to be exchanged for the school and housing sites.

The COA Central Office has reversed the 2009 decision of its technical committee, which had denied the land swap between the Cebu City Government and Felix Gochan and Sons Realty Corp., represented by its president, Louise Y. Gochan.

But before the reversal came, the City already sold part of its Lot 917 in Barangay Lahug to the Hotel of Asia. Hotel of Asia has paid nearly P42 million as its down payment.

The Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino has also asked the court to stop the sale, saying it should have been prioritized as a potential buyer, considering the property sits next to it.

The deed of exchange for the swap involved Lot 917, which the Cebu City Government owns.

In 2005, the City, through then mayor Tomas Osmeña, agreed to exchange Lot 917 for the Gochans’ properties in Barangays Guadalupe and Lorega.

Exchange

Gochan’s property in Banawa, Guadalupe houses part of the Banawa Elementary School while Lot 622 in Lorega has been declared a socialized housing site.

COA 7 recommended the deed of exchange, but the deal hit a snag when a COA central office technical committee re-appraised the properties to be exchanged.

A government appraiser and two independent appraisers were tasked to evaluate the lots and, based on the lowest valuation, there was a difference of P20 million between the Gochan properties and Lot 917, which sits on a prime commercial location.

The two Gochan properties are collectively bigger, at 8,637 square meters, compared to Lot 917’s 2,357 square meters.

But based on the commission’s appraisal, which was lower than the two independent appraisals, the Gochan properties only had a market value of P24.6 million compared to close to P45 million for the City’s Lot 917.

Lost rent

The technical committee overturned the approval of the deed of exchange in 2009.

“While this commission is aware of the undergirding general welfare objectives of the City, it cannot give its agreement to this obviously skewed exchange in favor of Gochan,” its decision had read.

The Gochans filed a motion for reconsideration and stated that while the market value of their properties is much lower, they have lost close to P109 million in rent from 1970 to 2009, because the properties were used for public service.

“Disapproval of the (deed of exchange) may yield adverse social and financial effects in relocating the school and the qualified beneficiaries of the city’s housing program,” the Gochans also said in their motion.

In 2011, the Gochans filed a supplemental motion, saying that the rental losses had ballooned to over P161 million.

The Department of Education (DepEd), in 2012, asked the COA to approve the deed of exchange so that the 1,303 pupils of Banawa Elementary School will not be displaced.

The latest decision penned by COA Chairperson Gracia Pulido Tan and Commissioner Heidi Mendoza did not consider the Gochans’ claim of lost rental income.

Social costs

“The use of the Banawa properties for a considerable length of time did not automatically render the City Government indebted or liable to the Gochan for their rental usage, in the absence of any contract of agreement,” the eight-page decision read.

However, the commission acknowledged that the P20-million difference between the City’s and Gochan’s properties may be immaterial compared to the social costs of moving the school in Banawa and the residents in Lorega.

“The millions of pesos that the government will spend to reconstruct the school buildings and relocate the beneficiaries of the City Government’s housing program, the interruption in the delivery of quality education in all levels, the disruption of the ongoing urban land reform housing program, and the long-term impact on community development have possible unsettling effects on the parties, especially the children, whose welfare deserves paramount consideration,” the decision dated June 18, 2014 read.

City Attorney Jerone Castillo told Sun.Star Cebu that the City has submitted its motion for reconsideration.

“We want to impress upon COA that it was wrong to render a decision of that nature because there was really an earlier decision that became final,” Castillo said.

Final’

He said that the disputed 2009 COA ruling was already final, which was why the City proceeded with the bidding to sell Lot 917.

Hotel of Asia submitted the winning bid and paid the City a 50-percent down payment of the selling price of 35,500 per square meter or P83.7 million.

The transaction has yet to be consummated, however, because the Cebu City Council is yet to authorize Mayor Michael Rama to sign the contract with Hotel of Asia.

Councilor Sisinio Andales, chairperson of the committee on laws, received a copy of the COA decision from Louise Gochan.

He had it scheduled for today’s regular session.

“It seems that this COA decision has rendered the legal battle between Waterfront and Hotel of Asia moot and academic,” said Andales.

He fears that the implication would be for the City to have to return Hotel of Asia’s down payment of about P42 million.

The council will tackle the decision in today’s regular session.

Newborn baby did not fall on floor, Cebu hospital says

By — Elizabeth Marcelo/RSJ, GMA News


A hospital in Cebu City has denied that a newborn baby fell on the floor of its delivery room due to the alleged neglect of a nurse supervisor.

According to findings of an internal investigation done by the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), no falling incident occurred at the VSMMC delivery room on the afternoon of September 11, 2014.

The investigation said the nurse supervisor categorically denied the complaint that the mother of the baby was not given immediate attention during her delivery which resulted to the falling of the baby on the floor right after she gave birth to her child.

The nurse supervisor, based on the interview of hospital officials, said she personally attended to the mother of the child during the delivery.

The VSMMC investigation said the nurse supervisor's claim was corroborated by the testimonies of five other hospital staff members present at the delivery room during the time of the alleged incident.

The report said several patients also supported the testimonies of the staff members.

The VSMMC investigation also showed that no injuries were found on the newborn baby, thus, further laboratory tests may no longer be required.

Last week, the family of the baby filed a complaint against the staff of the delivery room, whicn prompted the VSMMC management to conduct an investigation.

Rama wants maps for tourists

By Princess Dawn H. Felicitas

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama wants to make the city more tourist-friendly.

In line with this, he instructed the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), headed by Engr. Kenneth Enriquez, to install maps in strategic areas of the city.

The maps will be placed on the border of Mandaue City and Cebu City, in Barangay Talamban, which is the gateway to the city’s mountain barangays, and Barangay Bulacao.

“There should be big maps so the tourist will know where to go, what barangay is next and they will know how to get there,” he said.

Rama said he wants the project to be implemented before his term ends in 2016.

According to the mayor, he already had the project in mind when he first assumed office in 2010.

But then CPDO chief Alipio Bacalso was not able to implement it.

“I have so many dreams for the city and this is one of them,” he said.

Based on the records of the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7, more than two million tourists visited Cebu in 2013 compared to the 1.5 million tourist arrivals in 2011.

For the first quarter of this year, DOT 7 said tourist arrivals reached 906,638, which is higher compared to the 903,231 in the same period last year.

Cebu City to host 10th AUBC cagefest

By Danny Simon

For the second time in six years, Cebu City will host the 10th Asian University Basketball Championship (AUBC) on October 22 to 26.

Six collegiate teams, including a pair of foreign entries from the People’s Republic of China and South Korea, are taking part in the prestigious regional competitions to be held at the tradition-steeped Cebu Coliseum.

The local participants will be spearheaded by the top schools from the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) – the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers, the Southwestern University Cobras, University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars and San Carlos University.

UV, bannered by veterans John Michael Abad, Chris Perolino and Alfred Codilla, is the reigning CESAFI titlist, having beaten SWU, 3-2, in the 2013 finals to become the first team in league history to capture the crown after dropping the first two games of the best-of-five championship series.

Huaqiao University of the People’s Republic of China and Muongji University of South Korea, both former AUBC champions, will be around to test the mettle of the best collegiate squads from the Queen City of the South.

Muongji University of Korea topped the 4th AUBC tournament hosted by Dumaguete City in 2005.

Huaqiao University, on the other hand, whipped local bet University of the Visayas (powered by a young Greg Slaughter) during the 6th AUBC finals held in Cebu City in 2008. An international school, Huaqiao is located in Xiamen, China and has been supportive of AUBF activities since 2005.

In 2011, Guangdong University of PROC bested a Taiwanese squad to annex the crown at the Bintulu Stadium in Sarawak, Malaysia. The following year, the University of the East Red Warriors, led by Roi Sumang, Chris Javier and Cameroonian import Charles Mammie, ascended to the AUBC throne in hostilities held at the Trinity University of Asia in Quezon City and participated by foreign schools Hangtuah University of Indonesia and Universiti Technologi MARI of Malaysia.

The opening ceremony of the 2014 AUBC showcase is set October 22 at the Cebu Coliseum owned by Attorney Go of the University of Cebu.

The five-day international tourney is being organized by Lorenzo (Chao) Sy, Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) Regional Director, in coordination with the Asian University Basketball Federation (AUBF) and the Cebu City Sports Commission under the City Government of Mayor Michael Rama.

Honorable Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama will be the guest speaker during the AUBC opening ceremony.

Prominent sports personalities invited to grace the opening include Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) president David Ong, BAP president and Senator Antonio Trillanes, AUBF President Shin Dong Pa, AUBF deputy secretary general Park Hyun Mo, and CESAFI Commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy.

All-time Korean cage great Shin Dong Pa and Park Hyun Mo will accompany the Muongji University team to Cebu City. Muongji, whose head coach is Kim Nam Ki, seeks to duplicate its championship finish nine years ago.

Lorenzo “Chao” Sy is the chairman of the AUBC Organizing Committee in coordination with the Asian University Basketball Federation (AUBF) and the BAP, which is recognized by the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP).

Cebu City to install monuments of 2 political icons in front of legislative building

(PNA), JBP/EB

CEBU CITY, Sept. 13 (PNA) -- The Cebu City government will install life-sized monuments of two Cebuano political icons in front of the city’s legislative building.

Insular Life Insurance Co. commissioned national artist Eduardo Castrillo to sculpt the brass monuments of Don Vicente Rama and Sergio "Serging" Osmeña Jr.

The monuments have a combined value of Php5 million.

The two monument seeks to honor and pay tribute to Vicente Rama, the grandfather of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, who worked on the Cebu City Charter, and Osmeña, father of former mayor and south district representative Tomas Osmeña, for being the first elected mayor of the city in 1955.

Rama said he will unveil the monuments on Oct. 28, to coincide with his birthday.

He earlier announced that the monuments would be unveiled when the city celebrates its 77th Charter Day on Feb. 24 next year but he decided to move the date because these were delivered early.

Rama earlier said the two monuments will be installed at the Plaza Sugbo Grounds, on the platform next to the flagpole in front of the City Hall legislative building.

Newborn falls on floor of delivery room in Cebu City; baby safe

By Rose-An Jessica Dioquino /LBG, GMA News


A newborn baby fell on the floor in the middle of delivery in a hospital in Cebu City, a TV report said Friday.

According to a report on Unang Balita, the family of the baby and the mother has filed a complaint against the administrator of the labor room of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City.

Enraged by the incident, the family said it [the fall] could've been prevented by the staff in the labor room at the time, adding that the staff did not immediately attend to the mother after the incident.

Both mother and baby are in good condition, the report said.

The hospital has denied the incident, the report said. — Rose-An Jessica Dioquino /LBG, GMA News

Police nab burger outlet’s ex-worker for taking P350T

By Rebelander S. Basilan


A 31-YEAR-OLD former supervisor of a chain of stores selling burgers in Lapu-Lapu City was arrested by police yesterday morning after allegedly stealing P350,000 from the firm.

Police tagged Erwin Padillon, a native of Sta. Ana, Agusan del Norte, as the suspect in the burglary of the Nicey Burger Junction office on Tumulak St. Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu.

He was arrested by police officers in Surigao City.

Senior Insp. Wilbert Parilla, chief of Lapu-Lapu City Police Station 3 in Gun-ob, said the burglary was discovered by a worker last Tuesday.

Three doors of the office were forced open and the closed-circuit television camera and a CPU were broken.

The burglar destroyed a steel box where the cash earnings from different branches of the burger outlet were kept.

Parilla said Padillon was fired by the owner of the burger company last Sept. 5.

Parilla said they found out that it was Padillon who broke into the office of Nicey Burger Junction after they talked with the suspect’s live-in partner in Olango Island.

When they learned that Padillon left for Surigao, Parilla called authorities in Surigao to hold the suspect.

Authorities recovered a bag containing cash from Parilla, whom they arrested inside a ferry as it docked in Surigao.

Parilla said the suspect, escorted by police officers will arrive in Lapu-Lapu City today.

Robbery charges will be filed against Padillon.

Osmeñas eye training for better PH politicians

By Princess Dawn H. Felicitas


THE Osmeña clan will push through with the establishment of a foundation dedicated to former Philippine president and Cebu's “grand old man,” Don Sergio Osmeña.

This was disclosed by Antonio Osmeña during the commemoration of Don Sergio's 136th birthday yesterday.

The establishment of a foundation was first brought up by Antonio's son Jose Antonio “Jojo” Osmeña last year, in the same event.

Antonio, who is Don Sergio's grandson, said they hope to establish the foundation, whose mission is to produce better politicians for the city and the country, next year.

Antonio said the foundation hopes to preserve and uphold the principles of Don Sergio, whom he described as one of the greatest politicians the country has produced.

“We, the perpetually nonpolitical Osmeña heirs, wish to perpetuate the enduring legacy of Sergio Osmeña through a foundation,” he said.

In his speech yesterday, Antonio enumerated six principles that Don Sergio was known for.

Antonio said Carlos Romulo, a Filipino diplomat and journalist, described Don Sergio as the first gentleman of the country. Romulo described Don Sergio as unassuming, patient and maintained the image of a sage leader and father.

The late senator Sotero Laurel described Don Sergio as a person who valued education and wanted teachers to teach the youth honesty, honor, self-respect, loyalty, respect for elders and self-reliance, among many others.

Don Sergio was seen by the late vice president Arturo Tolentino as a statesman and a public servant.

Former senator Jovito Salonga described Don Sergio as a person who has a selfless love for his country. Salonga noted that Don Sergio placed the people's interest above his personal political ambitions.

Legacy

Antonio recalled that the late chief justice Marcelo Fernan once remarked that Don Sergio left a legacy of good government, having been able to preserve national freedom and social justice.

Antonio also quoted writer Vicente Albano Pacis who wrote that Don Sergio was responsible for “the only authentic independence declaration.”

At 25, Don Sergio became the youngest governor of Cebu in 1904. Four years later, he became speaker of the First Philippine Assembly.

He became senator and was elected vice president in 1935. He then became the president following the death of President Manuel Quezon in 1944.

In yesterday's activity, members of the Osmeña clan, city and barangay officials, department heads and employees of City Hall and representatives of national government agencies, among others offered flowers at Don Sergio's bust located at the corner of Osmeña Blvd. and Lapu-Lapu St.

Floods strike Cebu cities

By Davinci S. Maru, Elias O. Baquero and Rebelander S. Basilan


CEBU -- Three high school students were swept away by flood after heavy rains in the mountain barangay of Linut-od, Argao late Monday afternoon.

In Cebu City, a 16-year-old boy died after he was struck by lightning during the heavy rains, also Monday afternoon.

Floods spilled over into busy streets in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Talisay after a rain that lasted several hours on Monday.

Rains and thunderstorms are expected today, Tuesday, in the Visayas, Bicol and Mindanao, the weather bureau said, because of the monsoon trough, which is the part of a monsoon region where most disturbances that produce monsoon rains develop.

Light to moderate rains are also expected on Friday over Metro Manila, Visayas, Bicol, Central Luzon and Mindanao, with the possible formation of a low pressure area that can enhance the southwest monsoon.

The boy killed by lightning was identified as William Gabihan, a third year student of the Ramon Duterte Night High School. He was reportedly playing outside his house in Sitio Lower Sambag 2 in Barangay Guadalupe when the lightning struck him around 1:30 p.m.

While such accidents are rare, flash floods after steady rain have become a more common occurrence in Metro Cebu.

After waterways overflowed during heavy rains in recent days, Representative Gabriel Luis Quisumbing (Cebu Province, sixth district) and the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) are implementing a cash-for-work program to clean up waterways.

Waterways

Some 800 residents in 16 barangays will receive minimum daily wage or P340 for 10 days for removing trash from the Mahiga Creek, Butuanon River and the Guizo-Mantuyong River.

“Metro Cebu has recently experienced unusually heavy flooding, so we thought of initiating this program with the support of Dole to clear our waterways,” Quisumbing said in a statement.

In Cebu City, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) urged the City Government to include the Gothong Southern Shipping bridge on T. Padilla St., Barangay Tejero in the list of companies that will be told to clear waterways and help prevent floods.

The City recently asked several companies to keep a three-meter easement zone from the edges of rivers and creeks clear, as required by law.

DENR-Central Visayas Public Information Officer Eddie Llamedo also suggested a joint inspection of the bridge and other waterways in Cebu City to identify areas that are heavily silted.

In Argao, the police said that three teenagers remained missing as of 9 p.m. and identified them as Caroline Marson, 15; Richel Ann Pasaje, 15; and Earl Kyle Sabido, 13.

Swept away

Inspector Alejandro Batobalonos, the town’s police chief, said the high school students were walking on a 75-meter-long spillway when floodwaters suddenly hit them.

They were on their way home after their class in Calagasan National High School when the accident took place at 4:30 p.m.

Marson and Pasaje, both girls, are in Grade 9 while Sabidi, a boy, is in Grade 7.

Batobalonos said there were four other high school students walking on the spillway at that time, but they were ahead of the trio when the floodwaters cascaded.

Immediately, the four students reported the accident to the barangay officials, who informed police through a handheld radio at 5:30 p.m.

Batobalonos and his men rushed to Barangay Linut-od, some 25 kilometers away from the town proper. But it was already pitch-dark when they arrived, which complicated the search.

They found a bag and skirt, believed to be owned by one of the missing students, stuck in one part of the river.

Timing

Before the accident, Batobalonos said, pedestrians usually passed through a footbridge, located beside the spillway.

“Wala lang sila niagi didto kay wala may baha. Nikalit lang ang baha mao tong naanod sila (The water had not risen at the time the teenagers were walking. The flood came suddenly),” he said.

A search and rescue team will continue looking for the three minors today.

For his part, Congressman Quisumbing said he will ask Dole to extend the cash-for-work program to Consolacion town for the clean-up of the Cansaga River.

“In line with disaster preparedness, the participants will be conducting cleanup and clearing activities in their communities, especially along the creeks and rivers. We hope that this initiative will be a huge help to eliminate flooding,” Quisumbing said.

In a previous interview, Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Officer Felix Suico said the recent floods drove home the need to dredge the Mahiga Creek. Most rainwater runoff goes to the creek.

Bridges

Suico said the dredging of Mahiga Creek is included in the City’s DRRM Plan, but it is mainly the task of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The City has spent almost P151 million to improve roads and drainage facilities, Mayor Jonas Cortes said in his recent State of the City Address. It has installed 2.3 kilometers of drainage lines. By the end of the month, Cortes said, the City will have installed four kilometers of drainage lines.

For its part, the Cebu City government has identified eight establishments that allegedly encroached on the three-meter easement along the city’s waterways, a situation that has contributed to floods.

Llamedo said the DENR does allow a bridge to be constructed within the three-meter easement because doing so will also cause floods.

He suggested an inspection by the DENR, City Government and Department of Public Works and Highways to assess “the extent to which the bridge has contributed to the flooding issue.” (Sun.Star Cebu)






4 tanods face investigation over ‘mauling’

By Razel V. Cuizon


FOUR tanods of Barangay Kamagayan, Cebu City will be investigated after they were accused of mauling three teenagers who were allegedly stealing scraps from the city-owned CitiCenter Commercial Complex yesterday dawn.

“We will call the attention of these tanods together with the three children and their parents to discuss the allegation,” Kamagayan Barangay Captain Raquel Avila told Sun.Star Cebu.

She said the barangay has to hear all the sides of the story before making a decision.

At dawn yesterday, one of the minors was reportedly seen at the roof of the complex pulling a galvanized iron sheet.

He was asked by one of the tanods to go down. But instead of asking first what the boy was doing, the tanod hit him with a firearm, one of the victims said.

Armed

“Duna ni mga armas ang ilang mga tanod maong nagsalig ra ni sila (the tanods are armed),” Kamagayan Barangay Councilor Celestino “Tony” Avila said.

The tanods were reportedly drunk when the incident happened, said Councilor Avila.

The minor sustained bruises on his left face and was brought to Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).

The victims went to Pari-an Police Station to report the incident. However, Councilor Avila said police asked the parents to secure a medical report on the injuries of the victims.

Denied

The minor denied the allegation, saying he was not trying to steal something.

“Gipakuha ra ko sa gabas nga gisangit didto, wa man mi mangawat (I was only trying to retrieve a cutting saw that was left there),” he said.

The three boys were taken to the barangay hall where one of them further alleged that his two companions were kicked by other tanods.

The minor identified the barangays tanods as Demitrio Cabanging, Junior Alvarez, Bernie Mita and a certain Louie.

The barangay tanods have been tasked to secure the area to prevent theft. Barangay Captain Avila said two to three tanods are assigned in the area every shift.

Primary tops off Mabolo Garden Flats

By Katlene O. Cacho


REAL estate developer Primary Homes Inc. announced it has topped off its 25-storey Mabolo Garden Flats. A top official said the “eco-urban investment” is already 60 percent sold out.

Ramiro Espina, the company’s vice president for sales and marketing, said the topping off marked the condominium’s structural completion, with units set for delivery to owners by the third quarter of 2015.

Mabolo Garden Flats, which is located on Tres Borces Street, Mabolo, Cebu City, has 320 studio and small office-home office (soho) units. The company positioned the project as an “eco-urban investment” because of its “ecologically balanced” designs and features.

Espina said Mabolo Garden Flats has a good mix of buyers who are end-users and investors. He said the overseas Filipino market remains their key investor.

Espina said the Philippines, particularly Cebu, remains a good area for investment, mainly driven by robust business activities in sectors like business process outsourcing, tourism and manufacturing.

He said that despite global market challenges, Cebu continues to log double-digit growths in BPO and tourism and will continue to reap investments with the re-development of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

“This development could mean more jobs, more money coming in to Cebu and more investors especially in the property sector,” Espina said.

A Colliers study revealed that “Cebu City remains the preferred location for residential condominiums.”

Slide, flashflood warnings up

By tempo.com.ph


CEBU CITY –The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 7 of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has warned anew the possibility of landslides and flooding as a result of two low pressure areas (LPA). The MGB 7 issued an advisory to 19 barangays, which are highly susceptible to landslides, in Cebu City. These include Lusaran, Binaliw, Guba, Budlaan, Malubog, Buot-Taup, Busay, Sirao, Taptap, Tagbao, Tabunan, Pung-ol Sibugay,Sudlon II, Sudlon I, Sinsin, Buhisan, Pamutan, Sapangdaku, and Adlaon. Based on the results of the geohazards mapping and assessment by the MGB 7, there are five barangays in Cebu City that are also considered to be most hazardous to flooding, including Kasambagan, Kinasang-an, Labangon, Mabolo, and Bonbon. “We urged our local chief executives to use the available data as provided by the MGB 7 through the geohazards threat advisories so that they will know which areas are prone to flooding or landslides,” said DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo. Montejo added that areas that have been declared as “highly susceptible” to flooding and landslides by the MGB should be carefully monitored during heavy rains or typhoons. On Thursday, heavy downpour triggered at least six landslides that injured a woman and damaged a house in the different areas of Cebu City, the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) said. (Mars W. Mosqueda, Jr.)

Residents’ stay stalls anti-landslide project

By Justin K. Vestil


CONTRACTORS working on an ongoing road-widening project at the Talisay-Toledo Wharf Access Road in Barangay Manipis complained that they cannot proceed with putting up landslide mitigation measures if residents there would not relocate to safer ground.

While consultations organized by the Talisay City Government with more than 100 residents living near landslide-prone areas in Manipis was postponed yesterday due to heavy rains.

Willie Abatayo, QM Builders project supervisor, told reporters yesterday that as much as they want to build slope stabilization structures in Barangay Manipis, they could not do so since it might affect residents in the area.

QM Builders is the winning contractor hired by the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) to undertake the P56.8-million road-widening project at the Talisay-Toledo Wharf Access Road.

Measures

Abatayo said that the DPWH Second Engineering District instructed them to implement landslide mitigation measures while their work is still ongoing.

They plan to build “benches” or stair-like structures that will prevent landslide debris from fully going down the slope.

“Maglisud man sad mi ug benching kung naay mga mamuyo nga magpabilin dapit sa ubos kay maigo nga sila sa among construction (We can’t do benching when there are residents in the area as the construction works might hit them),” Abatayo added.

Vince Monterde, Talisay City public information and local disaster risk reduction and management (LDRRM) officer, said they plan to meet with DPWH and QM Builders next week to discuss their proposal.

Monterde and the members of LDRRMC were at Manipis yesterday to conduct consultations with affected residents, but it was postponed due to heavy rains.

Monterde said the City is concerned that no relocation site is being provided by DPWH and its subcontractor since a lot of residents in Barangay Manipis could be affected by their road works.

Even Barangay Manipis Chief Emma Cabiluna is concerned because she had found no possible relocation site for residents living near the danger zones.

But Cabiluna advised residents to leave their homes and transfer to their relatives living nearby in the meantime.

Refused

Talisay City Councilor Danilo Caballero, who was in Manipis yesterday to attend the consultations, said residents near the landslide prone areas refused to leave because their livelihood could be affected.

Caballero said most of the residents have crops planted near the landslide areas.

Caballero plans to talk to Talisay City Mayor Johnny De los Reyes on how to persuade residents to evacuate to safer ground.

Cebu archbishop Palma reiterates stand favoring cutting of trees along highway

By Philippines News Agency


CEBU CITY -- Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma has reiterated his stand favoring the cutting of century-old trees along the national highway in southern Cebu that pose danger to humans.

But he also made it clear he did not conclude that trees along the highway in southern Cebu identified for cutting should all be felled since he still believed that others could be preserved.

Palma said he suggested that these trees should be assessed individually.

Palma was earlier quoted as saying that century-old acacia trees that dotted the highway in the cities of Naga and Carcar and the town of San Fernando in southern Cebu should be felled if they pose danger to the public.

He even recalled an incident in Barangay Zapatera, Cebu City two years ago when an acacia fell on a public utility jeepney, instantly killing the driver.

Running priest Fr. Robert Reyes, who has led protest actions against the cutting of the trees, had told Cebu reporters that he believed the prelate was misquoted.

Palma said that though the century-old trees have value, considering that they are part of our culture and tradition, the danger some of them pose to the community should also be taken into account.

“We are talking of more than 1,000 trees and the trees should be considered individually. Consider the various factors not only the culture, value as centennial trees but also the danger. For example, are they a big encumbrance to traffic?” he said.

More than 80 acacia trees standing along roads from the City up Naga to San Fernando town and to Carcar City have been identified as “defective” and schedule to be felled.

However, the special tree-cutting permit the Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued was recalled, halting cutting operations.

The recall of the permit also came after a series of protest actions by environmental groups.

“They said these trees should be treated but I said how far can they stand? I pass by the route so many times. I say some of these trees are in danger. If we say cure the trees, that’s okay, but if they are on the side of the road? He said.

”How much do we need to save them? When you travel that route, you see a tree which is not really a centennial tree, almost occupying 1/4 of the road. To me, why it is left there? We do not just preserve the tree because it is a tree, we should also consider the good of the community,” Palma further said.

“We are aware of many acacia that fell down because they were already sick and old, and they endanger lives. We are also aware that if not addressed early, they (trees) can be a great inconvenience to others,” he added.

Grand Land assures quality wires for project

By Jeandie O. Galolo


CITING the importance of safe and quality wiring in their developments, the Gaisano Grand Group has extended its partnership with Phelps Dodge Philippines Energy Products Corp. (PDP) for the installation of Phelps Dodge (PD) wires and cables in its flagship condominium project in Banilad, Cebu City.

Grand Land Inc., which is the property development arm of the Gaisano Grand Group, announced that it has installed two towers of their Grand Residences with lead-free type THHN/THWN2 PD wires, which began last March.

‘Responsibility’

In previous years, PDP has also installed PD wires and cables in 24 Gaisano Grand establishments scattered across the Visayas and Mindanao.

“As a developer, our business is not just about selling a house. It is also our responsibility to our buyers to give them the best investment. (The investment) should not just be limited to the external factors but also what is inside the building or development,” Grand Land president Ryan Go said.

With PD wires, Go said unit buyers of Grand Residences can be assured of a “safe and worry-free” home.

Safety features

This type of wire is designed to operate at a maximum conductor temperature of 90 degrees Celsius for both wet and dry locations. It also has a higher cable ampacity and greater resistance to abrasion and the effects of petroleum byproducts and chemical agents and oils, PDP sales engineer for Visayas Mark A. Resma explained.

Before year’s end, Resma said two additional towers in Grand Residences will be installed with PD wires.

Causes of fire

“Wires and cables is the lifeblood of a home,” said PDP senior vice president and chief operating officer Alex C. Ignacio. The installation of poor quality wires, he added, can mean the loss of homes, or worse, lives.

In the Philippines, 31 percent of fire incidence, according to the Bureau of Fire and Protection, is “electrical in nature,” followed by spontaneous combustion and open flame at 22 percent.

Fires in high-rise buildings, according to PDP, could be worse since the country’s firefighting equipment can only reach the 10th floor.

In one month, PDP produces 100 to 120 metric tons of wires for the Visayas, which is equivalent to roughly P60 million. Majority of its clients are utility companies and industrial and commercial establishments. Resma said some of its clients include Cebu Landmasters Inc., Innoland Development Corporation, and Primary Structures Corp.

Of the entire construction cost, wires and cables account for only two to five percent. “For a P1 million budget for a house, only P20,000 to P50,000 will be spent for electrical wires,” noted Resma.

PDP is also working with the Visayan Electric Company Inc. (Veco) for the latter’s underground cabling project.

Heading south

Resma noted that with the construction boom in the next three years, especially for Cebu, the demand for PDP wires and cables will also grow. However, he said that the demand is expected to decline.

“In the later part of 2016, construction is seen to slow down,” Resma said.

The growth in the next year, he said, will trickle down to the south of the Philippines, citing Davao, in particular.

At present, the bulk or 40 percent of PDP’s sales come from the greater Manila areas.

PDP maintains its manufacturing hub in Tarlac. The company is a partnership between the Andres Soriano Corp. (Anscor) and Phelps Dodge International Corp. (PDIC). In 2007, PDIC became part of General Cable Corporation, making PDP part of the latter’s global network.

Sir Organico opens at Lagtang, Talisay

By (PR)


SIR Organico, a store that sells organic chicken and liempo, opened last August 30 a new branch at Lagtang Road in Talisay City, Cebu.

The store claims to be the first to sell naturally flavored organic lechon manok and liempo. Organic because the chicken does not have antibiotic and vaccine. All are natural.

The substitute to vaccine is the natural immuno booster, used to make the chicken's immune system strong, said Sir Organico in a press release.

"Immuno booster is from the nectar of the garlic, ginger, onion, chili, pineapple and some other organic nutrients that are mixed into water, and this serves as their (chickens) drink," it added.

The store is called Sir Organico for the owners are all boys and they are all health conscious. The owners are Tito Calooy, Rey Calooy, Gavino Dejeto, Angel Padrigano and Gilbert Arabes. They met in one business gathering and then decided to come up with a business that offers a service or product affordable to all types of people.

Sir Organico has other branches located in Tisa, Labangon, South Road Properties, Consolacion, all in Cebu, as well as four in Leyte. It will also open another branch in Cebu City on September 8.

The store is selling lechon manok at P180 and liempo at P170.

Sir Organico is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

30 Cebu mayors want 84 trees cut

By Carmel Loise Matus


CEBU CITY—At least 30 Cebu mayors want Environment Secretary Ramon Paje to reissue an order to cut 84 trees, many of which are century-old, in two cities and one town in southern Cebu province. During the general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Cebu (LMP-Cebu) on Friday, the mayors agreed to pass a resolution addressed to Paje because they wanted the road-widening project in the south to continue. Tuburan Mayor Democrito “Aljun” Diamante, LMP-Cebu chapter president, told a news conference that the trees should not be an obstacle to development. “There are other areas where we can plant the trees but these should not be on the roadside. These trees [along the highway] can prevent the development of an area,” Diamante said in Cebuano. The 84 trees are among the 154 earlier identified to be cut or earth-balled to give way to the 15-kilometer road-widening project that covers San Fernando town and the cities of Naga and Carcar worth P1.025 billion from the pork barrel funds of former Representatives Eduardo Gullas and Tomas Osmeña. The widening was stalled when the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) required the Department of Public Works and Highways to conduct a public hearing due to the opposition to the plan to cut down the trees. But the DENR inspected the 88 old trees in July when two century-old trees separately fell in San Fernando and Carcar. The agency then declared these trees as “diseased” and “rotting” and recommended their cutting. Four century-old trees in Naga had already been cut when Paje ordered to stop the operation due to massive opposition from environmentalist groups. The mayors earlier planned to file a class suit against the DENR and Cebu for stopping the cutting of trees because, according to Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia, the trees should be chopped down, regardless of their health condition, to give way to “progress.” Diamante said the mayors decided to settle the matter diplomatically by asking Paje to reconsider his decision because the trees could be planted anywhere but the highway where falling trees could pose danger to passing motorists. He stressed that the local governments, and not the environmentalists, would be the ones to respond in cases of emergency brought on by falling tress. Diamante said stopping the cutting of trees was “antidevelopment.” “We could always plant trees but we should not prevent the development of a place. How will we bring products from the province to the city if we have not widened the roads just because of these sick and old trees?” he asked.

Cebu City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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