Cebu City News

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Cebu City - Archived News

Cebucity-aerial view.jpg
Aerial View of Cebu City


Cebu experiences ‘worst flooding this year’

By Kimbo Maglaya |

MANILA, Philippines — A 16-year-old-boy has been reported missing while hundreds of employees and students in Metro Cebu were stranded after heavy rains that lasted two hours Thursday afternoon caused knee-deep floods. The Cebu Daily News reported that the teen, who has yet to be identified by authorities, went missing when he went to the beach before the rains fell. The downpour was reported to have started at 3:53 p.m., and ended at 6 p.m. The Pagasa weather station in Mactan recorded rainfall of 18.2 millimeters in just one hour. A millimeter of rain is equivalent to 5,000 barrels of water poured in a one square kilometer. Cebu City’s Councilor Dave Tumulak, who heads the city hall’s Command and control center (C3) said that the Mahiga Creek overflowed, and that the volume of rain overwhelmed the city’s drainage system. “It was the worst episode of flooding this year,” Tumulak said. Tumulak also said there were reported incidents of landslides in the sub-villages (Sitio) Pili, Malubog, St. Martin Heights and Lupa in Barangay (village) Sapangdako. City Hall, meanwhile, dispatched 10 buses to help ferry stranded passengers. “We should expect flooding with this. We can say it was caused by improper drainage,” said Alfredo Quiblat Jr., chief of the weather station.

Wall collapses, kills construction worker in Cebu City

By Joel Locsin

A construction worker was killed after a wall collapsed amid heavy rain in Cebu City on Wednesday evening.

The body of Ronel Suson was found an hour after the incident, GMA Cebu's Greg Magdadaro and Bexmae Jumao-as reported.

"Bigla na lang bumigay ang lupa," said foreman Ronello Fernandez.

Suson was rushed to a hospital but it was too late for doctors to save him.

Meanwhile, in Consolacion town, three families lost their homes after a wall in their subdivision collapsed after heavy rain.

No one was initially reported injured in the Consolacion incident. — Joel Locsin /LBG, GMA News

LBC robbed for 6th time in 2014

By Davinci S. Maru

SERIAL robbers are at it again.

Another LBC outlet was robbed before noon yesterday, this time the branch along a busy street in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City.

Six robberies so far this year have cost LBC outlets in Cebu a total of P191,000. Combined, the five outlets that were robbed before yesterday lost P167,000.

The outlet in yesterday’s case lost P24,000 in cash and valuables to two unidentified men within just three minutes.

It was the third time it got robbed since it started operating, police said.

The outlet has no security guard and its closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera bogged down; the police have been saying these factors place any establishment at a greater risk of getting robbed.

In the first half this year, an average of 374 robberies occurred in Central Visayas per month, records from the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 showed.

From January to June, there were 2,249 robberies recorded by police, which was 25 percent of all crimes against properties. Theft remained the most common crime, with 6,634 incidents or 75 percent of all crimes against property.

The latest robbery took place at 11:30 a.m. yesterday, when two men suddenly entered the outlet, said SPO3 Marcos Noval Jr. of Mandaue City Police Office’s (MCPO) Investigation and Detective Management Branch.

One of the suspects, clad in a white shirt, went directly to clerk Queenie Pie Diaz, 21. His cohort, who wore a helmet, sat down on the bench where customers sit to wait for their transaction.

The suspect declared a hold-up and opened the two drawers with one hand while the other hand was placed behind his back, as if he held a gun.

The suspect then took the P9,000 cash and P6,000 cash placed in each drawer. He led Diaz to the back room and took a mobile phone worth P9,000 and P300 cash owned by Shienna Uy, 22, the other clerk.

Struck thrice

Noval said that the suspect was apparently planning to lock Diaz in the bathroom, but left her and immediately ran outside. The two suspects then fled onboard a red XRM motorcycle.

Uy, who had gone out to buy lunch, came back several minutes later and learned from Diaz about what happened.

PO1 Jom Rosas of Subangdaku Police Station, who was patrolling several meters away, heard about it from residents and immediately proceeded to the scene.

Rosas, when interviewed by Sun.Star Cebu, said he checked the outlet at 10 a.m., about 90 minutes before the robbers struck.

He is assigned at the beat patrol and the area is one of his assignments since the outlet has been robbed several times. It was reportedly robbed in November last year and during the Holy Week.

“Mobisita gud ko diha pirmi. Maglingkodlingkod. Posible nagbantay ra gyud to sila (I visit that outlet a lot. It’s possible the robbers were monitoring the joint),” he said.

The outlet is equipped with a CCTV camera but it stopped operating yesterday after it was reportedly affected by the fluctuating electricity supply.


Senior Insp. Jimmy Fortes, head of MCPO’s IDMB, said they will ask the management to check their computer system because it may have recorded the suspects.

Edu Jay Ando, the outlet’s supervisor, declined to issue any statement yet regarding the incident. The outlet also suspended its operation after the robbery.

Noval said they will invite the female clerks for questioning as part of their standard operating procedure. Diaz has only been working in the LBC outlet for three weeks, while Uy has been there for less than a year.

During the robbery, an elderly customer was sitting on the bench and busy texting. The customer told Sun.Star Cebu he didn’t hear any commotion nor notice the suspect who sat beside him.

“Wa gyud ko kabantay kay busy sad ko ug text (I didn’t notice anything. I was busy texting),” he said. He had just dropped off some clothes to be delivered to Manila.

The customer said the clerk then went out from the room and informed him that they got robbed.

“Ato ning sutaon gyud kung unsay tinuod (We’ll find out what really happened here),” Noval said.

Cebu City’s traffic chief named rapid transit czar


CEBU CITY, Aug. 26 (PNA) -- Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has named lawyer Rafael Yap, the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) executive director, as the city’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) czar.

Rama said Yap is suited for the job because of his “intelligence, technical understanding of BRT and managerial capacity.”

Yap is part of the team handling the implementation of the P10.6-billion Cebu-BRT project.

Rama said he also wants to create a transportation office at the South Road Properties that Yap would supervise to monitor and assess the implementation of the Cebu-BRT, which is expected to be operational by 2017.

“The BRT needs focus, structure, people component, and professionalism. Yap has a heart for BRT as he also fought for it. He will head that very big transport office. I always give a change for anyone to grow,” he said.

”The role of the city is so huge. It is not a joke, so it has to be done professionally,” he said.

Rama said he has encouraged the 80 barangays to identify their respective “transportation czar” who would oversee major transportation projects and policies, including traffic rules enforcement, in their respective areas.

Rama also said he does not want the trees lining the BRT route to become a reason to halt the implementation of the mass transport system.

Some 2,024 trees would reportedly be affected once the construction of the BRT facilities starts.

“The trees should not be primarily the reason to halt infrastructure projects because development also needs to be considered. We need to develop in order to serve more lives. If development is needed it is given that there are some areas that will be affected,” he said. (PNA) CMR/EB

P80M feasibility study for Cebu circumferential road underway


CEBU CITY, Aug. 25 (PNA) -- An P80-million feasibility study is being conducted for the implementation of the proposed Cebu Circumferential Road Project (CCRP), which is intended to cut travel time from southern Cebu to Danao City in the north by half, officials said.

Director Ador Canlas of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 said the proposed CCRP will start in Carcar City in the south, some 73 kilometers from Danao City.

Canlas said the project aims to connect the southern and northern parts of Metro Cebu, with a route adjacent to the Natalio Bacalso national highway.

“We are considering different factors such as the cost of road right-of-way acquisition and the number of properties that could be affected by the project,” Canlas said.

Nonato Paylado, DPWH 7’s chief planning and design officer, said the consultancy firm Cedco, which won the bid to conduct the feasibility study, is looking at three possible alignments for the project.

The first option is to keep the CCRP close to the main urban areas of Metro Cebu.

A second option is to apply an old feasibility study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) back in 1993, which recommended a circumferential road from Barangays Pardo to Talamban in Cebu City.

The third option is to build the circumferential road far from the urban areas.

Paylado said Cedco may conclude their study by January next year. (PNA) LAP/EB/

Present Osmeña’s granddaughter back in Cebu from Sevilla

By Jaime Picornell

Myra Gonzalez y Osmeña, granddaughter of the late President Sergio Osmeña Sr., recently took a two-month vacation in Spain, spending most of her time in Sevilla where she had lived for more than 20 years. Main reason for her trip was to attend the first communion of her grandson Bernardito Losada, son of Myra’s eldest son Bernardo Losada, and his wife Carmina. A first communion in Spain is a big celebration. The reunion also gathered Bernardito’s paternal grandfather, Manuel Losada, Count of Palancar. The genealogy is assured if direct male heirs to the title in Bernardino and Bernardito. Myra also spent precious time with her younger son, Jose Maria Losada, his wife Vanessa, and their son Pablito; as well as with daughter Beatriz and Fran Garcia, who make their home in Granada with their children Lucia and Marcos. Residing in Cebu are Myra’s youngest daughter Inmaculada and her husband Paolo Manguerra. They have three children: Santi, Paloma and Ignacio. Whenever Myra goes to Sevilla she contacts her many friends and relations there from way back. They organized a whole day excursion to “El Fontanar,” a cortijo that is part of the vast estate of the prominent Benjumea family. It is located some distance from Sevilla in the picturesque Andalucian town of Puebla de Cazalla. The ancestral house, in an excellent state of preservation, was built in the 18th century and completed in the 19th. Highly rated for its heritage value, it is surrounded by well-kept gardens with hedges, lawns, towering trees and flowering shrubs, The rest of the estate is dedicated to centuries-old olive trees and wheat. Welcoming all were Sonsoles Rodriguez de Benjumea and Iñigo Benjumea de la Cova, who is a good friend of former Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines Jorge Domecq, now assigned to Vienna. “It was a wonderful day,” recalls Myra. “We had tapas to start with, then there was lunch, and we lingered over coffee and pastries until twilight.” Among those present were Cebuana in Sevilla, Dr. Dahlia Quijada Rafel, with husband Dr. Enrique Rafel; Concha Losada, Salvador Martos, Medalla Barrionuevo de Martos, Ignacio Quijano, Liliana Cardenas, Sebastian Cardenas Valdenebro, Carmen Rojo, Aurora Conde, Angelita Zamorano, Encarna Gavilan and Pili Davila. Myra is now back in Cebu amid its hectic social whirl. Eldest son Bernardo Losada has also come with her. He is now the food and beverage consultant of Casino Español de Cebu.

Belgium Day The National Day of Belgium commemorates the establishment of the country as an independent kingdom in 1830. It was celebrated in Cebu with a glittering diplomatic reception at the Manila Room of Marco Polo Plaza Hotel. Hosting were the new Ambassador of Belgium and Ms Roland Van Remoortele, as well as the Belgium’s honorary consul in Cebu and Ms Enrique Benedicto. Mila Espina emceed the brief commemorative program at which Ambassador Van Remoortele cited the strong ties between the Philippines and Belgium, for many years, dating back to the 19th century. To representing the Mayor of Cebu City, who was out of town, was Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella whose speech underscored the mutual friendship between the two countries. “As Theresians, you are the product of education by the Belgian nuns,” someone whispered to Nelia Neri and Marissa Fernan, who nodded in silence. Sayonara The Ambassador of Japan and Ms Toshinao Urabe hosted a reception, also at the Marco Polo, to say farewell to their numerous friends in the Visayas, as they are about to complete their tour of duty in the Philippines. With them at the reception line were Japan’s Consul in Cebu Shoji Otake with his wife Naomi who had done some magnificent floral arrangements. Not so long ago she did a demo for the members of the Cebu Ikebana chapter, some of whom were present on this occasion—Malou Hyden, Carmen Go, Margie Sy and more. In his valedictory speech, Ambassador Urabe mentioned this was his seventh visit to Cebu. “Come back as many more times you wish,” responded Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, who delivered an emotional farewell. Also present, and on stage to wish the ambassador godspeed was Gov. Alfredo Marañon of Negros Occidental. Everyone clinked glasses when he proposed a toast. Many prominent members of the Japanese community were present. There was also a good segment of the local Consular Corps. Among them, and listed here at random: Korea’s Augusto Go telling friends to mark Oct. 11 in their calendars; Slovak Republic’s Antonio Chiu with wife Nellie; Belgium’s Enrique Benedicto; Spain’s Anton Perdices with wife Maripaz; Sweden’s Cheling Sala with wife Susan; and US’s John Domingo. More: Germany’s Franz Seidenschwarz with wife Elizabeth, Mexico’s Eduardo Gonzalez, Czech Republic’s Philip Go, and Austria’s Julie Alegrado Vergara with her dad, Arcadio Alegrado, whom she succeeded at the post upon his retirement. Speaking of the Cebu Consular Corps, its chair Emily Benedicto Chioson, honorary consul of Israel, has called a general membership meeting over lunch on Sept. 1 at the Casino Español de Cebu. Special guests will be the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Nikki Fernandez, director in Cebu and Jun Espiritu. They will conduct talks on the protocols, duties and benefits of honorary consuls. Some spouses will also attend.

Cebu City to 'lose' P1.2B in 10 years

By Princess Dawn H. Felicitas

THE Cebu City Government will lose at least P1.2 billion that it could otherwise spend on basic services in the next 10 years if it will not convert its foreign loan for the South Road Properties (SRP).

Officials of the City Accounting Office, in an executive session with the City Council yesterday, said there is a “compelling need” to convert the loan into a domestic one.

The P1.2 billion will not cover the City’s payments for the principal amount of the loan it took from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), but only the payments for currency fluctuations and the guarantee fee.

The City had availed itself of a 12.315-billion yen with Jica in 1995 to develop the 300-hectare SRP. At that time, its peso equivalent was P4.65 billion.

The loan is payable in 30 years, ending in 2025. The City’s balance was P2.91 billion, including interest, as of Feb. 27, 2014.

Appearing before the council yesterday, City Accountant Atty. Mark Solomon said the foreign exchange losses are expected to reach P992,626,938 in the next 10 years or nearly P100 million every year.


For the next 10 years, Solomon also said, the City will have to pay P206,513,590 for the guarantee fee, on top of its foreign exchange losses.

Since the City started paying for the loan in 2005, Solomon said, it has already suffered foreign exchange losses of P90,238,812 per annum or a total of P902,388,126.

The amount forms part of the P2.63 billion that the City has so far paid for the principal.

“This is a substantial amount which is charged to the general fund of the City and this could have been used as additional budget for basic services,” Solomon said.

The City suffered foreign exchange losses, he said, because when the City entered into the loan agreement for the SRP in March 1996, there was a huge difference in the value of the yen to the US dollar and the dollar to the peso.

During that time, the exchange rate for one yen was US$1.3, while each US dollar was worth P26.30.


Now, however, Solomon said the yen-to-dollar exchange rate is at 0.90, while the dollar-to-peso exchange rate is at P43.

“So there is really a big difference. Foreign exchange loss occurs when an agreement is entered into under a foreign currency, which in this case is Japanese yen, and at the time of payment, there is a higher exchange rate due to the fluctuation of currency valuation,” he said.

The City pays for the SRP loan twice every year, in February and August.

"If we don’t convert the foreign loan into a domestic loan, we will really suffer further losses,” he said.

Aside from this, Solomon said there is a need for the City to convert the foreign loan to a domestic loan so the City will no longer be paying the guarantee fee.

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) collects a one-percent guarantee fee of the City’s total outstanding loan balance for the year and remits it to the Department of Finance (DOF). LBP is the conduit bank of Jica while DOF is the guarantor of the loan.


As of December 2013, Solomon said the City has already paid P546,362,774 for the guarantee fee.

Lastly, Solomon said there is a need to convert the loan in order to fix the actual interest rate. He said the present interest for the loan is based on the yen, and fluctuates depending on the currency valuation.

“As a conclusion, unless we provide a remedy today, the coffers of the City will continue to bleed, which will eventually affect the City’s capacity to deliver basic services,” he said.

In their discussion, Councilor Margarita Osmeña, chairperson of the council’s committee on budget and finance, said that Solomon’s report seems to show that the City is “in a bad position.”

She said that his report did not include the City’s receivables from the two investors at the SRP, SM Prime Holdings Inc. and Filinvest Land Inc., which amount to P602 million this year.

The amount, she said, can take care of the City’s loan amortization of P550 million annually.

Seal of approval

Also, Osmeña said there are qualifications that the City has to meet to convert the foreign loan.

Elsie Tagupa of the LBP, who also appeared before the council yesterday, submitted a list of requirements the City has to comply with.

Of the seven requirements, one is that the City should have the latest Seal of Good Housekeeping from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

DILG last gave the City the Seal of Good Housekeeping in 2011 yet.

“How can we even get that (seal) when we have adverse rulings from the Commission on Audit in the past three years? Maybe we should fix our books first,” said Osmeña.

Osmeña added that the conversion of the foreign loan is “easier said than done” and that the City should comply first with all the requirements set by the bank.

Exec: Capitol’s net worth expands

By Oscar C. Pineda

CEBU Capitol’s net worth as of May this year increased by about P1 billion compared to the first quarter of last year.

Provincial Accountant Marieto Ypil told the Provincial Board last Monday that the Capitol’s net worth as of May 31 is P27.924 billion, an improvement over the first quarter 2013 figure of P26.919 billion.

Capitol’s total assets of P28.736 billion as of end May this year expanded by only about P660 million over that of the first quarter of 2013 at P28.078 billion.

The improvement in net worth stemmed from the decrease in total liabilities. As of May 31 this year, the Capitol’s total liabilities reached P811.905 million, way below first quarter 2013’s P1,159,675,565.60.

Liabilities cover payables, such as taxes and government-mandated benefits for employees.

Total assets, on the other hand, include cash, receivables, inventories, investments, properties, plants and equipment.

The Capitol’s investments expanded in the 14 months between end of March 2013 to May 31, 2014. In the first quarter of 2013, the Capitol’s total investments were about P131 million, which grew to P188.3 million by end of May 2014.

Gov. Hilario Davide III, who assumed office in July 2013, said he wants increase the Capitol’s income by improving tax collection efficiency and economic enterprise.

DepEd orders schools to remove unsafe trees

By Jessa J. Agua (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Education in Central Visayas has issued a directive requiring schools to remove hazardous trees within their campuses.

In a radio interview, DepEd regional director Carmelita Dulangon said this was decided to avoid the unfortunate falling of trees which may potentially put risk to students and teachers.

Dulangon’s directive has already been disseminated to division schools superintendents in the entire Central Visayas, telling them to secure special tree cutting permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-7.

DENR-7 spokesperson Eddie Llamedo, for his part, said the agency is willing to assist DepEd, especially as this concerns the safety of students.

“As of the moment, our agency has not received any request from them. But it will go through the same process as cutting trees along the road. An assessment will be done on the condition of the trees; a tree inventory will be done,” Llamedo told The FREEMAN.

“Also, certifications from the school principal, barangay and local government unit chiefs have to be obtained to prove they do not object to the cutting of the defective tree,” he added.

While per school request will be accommodated and assisted, Llamedo said speedier action will be done for “institutional request” from the office of Dulangon, enumerating the schools and identifying trees of concern based on initial assessment by school officials.

“The initial list from the regional office of DepEd will be the basis of the tree assessment and inventory of our foresters. This way, we can prioritize the (ones in) most dangerous condition,” Llamedo said.

The special tree cutting permit applications will then be forwarded to Central Office for approval as the regional offices are not authorized to issue such permits.

Dulangon recalled an instance when she was still the division superintendent of Talisay City where two students were hospitalized after an old tree fell and hit them.

She added she did not want the same to happen again, which is why she has ordered the clearing of defective and hazardous trees in schools.

Meanwhile, DENR-7 executive director Isabelo Montejo yesterday maintained that the foresters at the Central Visayas office are equipped and have undergone proper trainings on tree assessment and surgery.

“Our technical experts are trained. We stand by the notion that our experts are enough. But we are thankful to them (environmentalists) that they wanted to know more. But if there will be people who will collaborate with us, we welcome them,” Montejo said.

This after the assessment and diagnosis on the trees lined up at the roadside in southern Cebu from Naga City to Carcar City are now basically back to square one. —/JMD (FREEMAN)

3rd bridge project may face less ‘red tape’

By Elias O. Baquero, Linette Ramos Cantalejo and Oscar C. Pineda

THE local governments of Cebu Province, Cebu City and Cordova can pursue the construction of a third bridge between mainland Cebu and Mactan Island, as a joint venture with a private company, said the chief counsel of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center.

Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy said that Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) will simultaneously submit its unsolicited proposal today to the three local governments.

MPTC is a subsidiary of the holding company of business tycoon Manuel Pangilinan.

Sitoy told Sun.Star Cebu that the PPP Center conducted a seminar in Cebu last week together with the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) 7 and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

During the seminar, Sitoy said, PPP Legal Chief Alberto Agra made it clear that a third bridge can be constructed without passing through the normal process.

Local Gov’t Code

Sitoy, a lawyer and former Provincial Board member, said Agra told them the legal basis are the town’s PPP ordinance and a joint venture agreement between the Cordova Municipal Government, Cebu City Government and MPTC.

The clarification came after Department of Public Works and Highways 7 Director Ador Canlas, Neda 7 Director Efren Carreon and Infrastructure Development Committee of the Regional Development Council Chairperson Emmanuel Rabacal said they were not aware of the project.

Joint venture agreements, Agra said, don’t need the approval of the RDC and Neda, citing a provision of the Local Government Code of 1991, or Republic Act 7160, and the PPP ordinance of the implementing local government unit (LGU).

“The power of (the) LGU (local government units) to enter into joint ventures is provided under Section 35 (Local Government Code) in relation to Section 17, 22 (a) (5), (c) and (d) thereof,” Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Austere Panadero said in a letter to Pasay City Mayor Antonio Calixto.


Section 35 states that an LGU may enter into joint ventures to develop local enterprises and to enhance the economic and social well-being of the people.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima also said LGUs are free to prescribe the requirements, procedures and conditions for local joint ventures.

Since there is no law on joint ventures, de Lima said LGUs may enact their own PPP code or omnibus ordinance outlining, among others, all applicable modalities.

She added that through legislation, LGUs can allow unsolicited proposals in the selection of the private sector partner.

And even if there is no law on joint venture, Agra said, the Local Government Code allows it so guidelines and details of a joint venture agreement is provided by the LGU in the form of the PPP ordinance.

Under the PPP Code, there are two processes: bidding and or unsolicited proposals.

‘Swiss Challenge’

Once MPTC submits its formal offer to Cordova today, Sitoy said he will organize a PPP selection committee.

Agra said the committee will check if all required documents are complied with and the financial eligibility of the proponent. The committee will also determine if the town is need of the project.

The committee will submit its recommendation to Sitoy for approval and issuance of a certificate of acceptance.

Sitoy will then open the negotiation for a “Swiss Challenge,” or inviting other parties to submit a better proposal.

Once a better proposal is submitted, the original proponent has the right to amend his proposal to beat the new proposal.

So far, 28 LGUs nationwide have passed a PPP ordinance.

Cebu City’s role

Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said Cebu City’s role in the proposed construction of the third bridge will be limited to endorsing the project for now.

He said, though, that he will welcome any participation in the future because a third link to Mactan Island will boost tourism in Cebu City.

In his press conference yesterday, he said it might be inevitable for the City to be a party in the undertaking since one end of the bridge will be at the city’s downtown area.

“For now, only our legislative intervention is needed, just to endorse the bridge project. Since a part of the structure is being constructed in Cebu City, the City Government will have to be part of it,” he said.

The mayor also said that he does not doubt that the construction of the bridge can start in January, since all stakeholders support the project and have been cooperative in every step of the project.

Junior badminton Visayas leg tournament set August 29-31


THE Sun Cellular–Ming Ramos National Juniors Badminton Tournament - Visayas Leg will be held on August 29 to 31 at the Racquet Zone in Banilad, Cebu City.

Events to be competed are: Boys and Girls Singles – U19 (1996), U17 (1998), U15 (2000) and U13 (2002); Boys, Girls and Mixed Doubles – U19 (1996), U17 (1998), and U15 (2000) with the winners advancing to the National Finals on October 24 and 25 at Robinsons Manila.

Entry fee is pegged at P500 per player for the singles event and P200 each for the mixed events. Prizes at stake are gold medals and Babolat items for the champions and silver and bronze medals for the runners-up.

Only those players in good standing with the Organizing Committee and the Philippine Badminton Association are eligible to participate. Those who qualify are allowed only a maximum of two events.

Interested players may log on to and submit their entries.

Foreigners may join the tournament but will not receive Philippine National Rating System (PNRS) points. A doubles’ team of a foreigner and a Filipino can likewise participate but such entry cannot also receive the PNRS points.

Players must submit a copy of their NSO birth certificate along with their entry form upon application.

Deadline of submission for entries is August 20 while draw date will be on August 28.

Tournament format will be knock-out system while competition rules and regulations to be applied are under the Badminton World Federation.

Student’s gesture earns woman, 64, scholarship

By Rebelander S. Basilan

MARIVEE Ann Velasquez was on her way home from school one night last July when an old woman riding with her on a jeepney caught her attention. The woman asked for six pesos from a younger woman sitting beside her, saying she had no money to pay for the ride, but her words fell on deaf ears. She turned to another woman, who gladly handed her six pesos. Feeling pity for the woman sitting across her, Velasquez struck up a conversation. The 22-year-old psychology student realized the woman had ridden the wrong jeepney, which was bound for Mandaue City. The woman, who carried two huge bags, said she was supposed to ride a jeepney bound for Colon St. in Cebu City, where she would start her long walk home to Sitio Alaska, Barangay Mambaling. Velasquez, who resides on Hernan Cortes St. in Mandaue City, offered to help the woman get a ride home. They got off on M.C. Briones St. When she saw the woman stagger as they walked, Velasquez-who was helping the woman carry her bags-decided to take her to a nearby fast food restaurant and bought her food. The woman told her she hadn’t eaten since 8 a.m. that day. Story While eating, Velasquez learned of the woman’s desire to go back to college and fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher despite her age. She is 64 years old. “I cried while listening to her,” Velasquez recalled in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu yesterday. “I admired her strong will.” When they finished their dinner, Velasquez hailed a taxi outside and accompanied the woman-who introduced herself as Aurelia Alburo-to a mall in Cebu City. Velasquez said the woman got emotional, saying it was her first time to ride a taxi. At the mall’s terminal, she gave the woman what remained of her money that night and asked the jeepney barker to get her to Mambaling. The woman thanked her profusely. Velasquez arrived home past 10 p.m. Deeply touched by the woman’s story, she logged on to Facebook and posted about their encounter-including a snapshot she took of the woman-with a plea for her friends to share the post so people with kind hearts could read it and help the woman. Four days after she posted the story of their encounter-which happened last July 27-an official of the University of the Visayas (UV) sent Velasquez a message informing her that the school had granted the woman a full scholarship and that she had been enrolled. Help Jacqueline Gullas-Weckman, UV vice president for academic affairs, also promised that the school will help Alburo find a part-time job. Less than a day after she posted Alburo’s story, Velasquez received a message from Weckman informing her that they were looking for the old woman. Alburo had told Velasquez she once studied in UV through a scholarship, but quit for some reasons. Having no permanent place to stay, she finds shelter in some of her acquaintances’ houses. She does housework like dish-washing and laundry in exchange for a room and food. She told Velasquez she hailed from Masbate and that she lived on her own, having no children or relatives. She spends most of her time in the church—at the Sto. Rosario Parish Church on P. Del Rosario St. and San Vicente Ferrer Parish Church on Urgello St. “She always prayed that she be given another opportunity go back to school,” said Velasquez. Alburo told her she also dreams of studying theology. Sincerity Velasquez, daughter of a public school teacher and a Mandaue City Hall employee, said she doesn’t normally talk with strangers, but she saw sincerity in Alburo, who kept mentioning God in their conversation. A third-year student of the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus, Velasquez said her experience proves how social media can be a powerful tool to help people in need. “It’s normal to share about our lives on Facebook, but sometimes we should also share other people’s stories and get people to help them,” she said. Her post about Alburo has been shared more than 1,600 times and more than 4,700 Facebook users have liked it. Velasquez, who has yet to meet with Alburo after their encounter, said several people have sent her messages expressing their desire to help Alburo. A freelance model, Velasquez-who is known to her family and friends as Mavii-joined the Miss Cebu 2013 and was awarded Miss Photogenic. A former student of the Cebu Normal University (CNU), she was also crowned Miss CNU Centennial in 2011. Velasquez said she hopes that Alburo’s story will inspire others to pursue their dreams despite their old age. “I think the lesson here is that regardless of age, you can aim for what you want,” she said.

Cebu City fifth in infrastructure competitiveness

By Jeandie O. Galolo

INFRASTRUCTURE plays a significant role in determining the competitiveness of a city, according to the National Competitiveness Council (NCC). If, indeed, Cebu is serious in attracting investors, it should improve its infrastructure, advised stakeholders.

In the NCC’s recently published Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI), the city with the most competitive infrastructure nationwide is Davao City, registering an infrastructure competitiveness score of 16.29. It is followed by Cagayan de Oro, with a score of 16.24. Cebu City leads the race in Central Visayas, ranking fifth nationwide with a score of 14.88.

Lapu-Lapu City is ranked 45th; Mandaue City, 53rd; Carcar City, 65th; Danao City, 74th; Toledo City, 89th; City of Naga, 90th; Talisay City, 91st; and Bogo City, 99th.

Iloilo City in Western Visayas has the seventh spot.

In measuring infrastructure competitiveness, 10 factors were considered, including existing road networks, distance of center to major ports, Department of Tourism-accredited accommodations, health infrastructure, education infrastructure, annual investments in infrastructure, availability of basic utilities, connection to ICT, number of ATMs, and number of public transportation.

Key pillar

The cities of Mandaue, Danao, Lapu Lapu, Talisay, Carcar, and Toledo received higher rankings for infrastructure competitiveness than their overall competitiveness ranking.

Infrastructure is one of three key pillars in computing for the city or municipality’s overall competitiveness, together with economic dynamism and government efficiency.

For municipalities, Argao grabbed the fourth spot in infrastructure competitiveness, with a score of 12.09.

NCC ranked Daet in Camarines Norte first for infrastructure competitiveness with a score of 14.79.

Assessing the state of Cebu’s infrastructure problems, particularly Cebu City, Regional Competitiveness Council 7 co-chairman Gordon Allan Joseph said the most prominent of them are the city’s narrow roads, traffic management issues, and sewage and seepage problems.

“Infrastructure, our relatively high ranking of fifth shows that the overall picture for infrastructure development in the Philippines is really low except perhaps for cities like Iloilo, CDO (Cagayan de Oro) and Davao where you do see catch-up development. In Cebu, I do not think we have any new physical or management infrastructure that addresses the issues of congestion, efficiency and mobility,” Joseph said in an e-mail to Sun.Star Cebu on Monday.

More projects

In response to the problem of congestion, Cruz said Cebu City can expect more road-widening projects from the Department of Public Works and Highways next year. He said P1.3 billion has been set for infrastructure projects in 2015 for Cebu City. A large portion of the budget will be allotted to road widening.

Among the road-widening projects in the north district are the Banilad-Talamban Road, the Talamban-Bacayan Road and the Bacayan-Pit-os Road.

In the south district, among the projects to be implemented are the improvement and widening of Quijada St. to V. Rama Ave., widening of Abellana St., widening of N. Bacalso Ave., widening of C. Padilla St., and widening of Salvador St.

“We rank fifth this year, but if everyone would just cooperate in the improvement (of Cebu City’s infrastructure) we can even be ranked at number one. The big budget is there, almost doubled than last year, which was at P700 million” Cruz said.

NCC ranked Cebu City in the 68th spot for annual investments in infrastructure, its lowest ranking under infrastructure competitiveness. Cruz expressed optimism that if the city’s present state of infrastructure is improved, more investors will invest in Cebu.

On traffic management, Joseph raised the need to install intelligent traffic signals and control centers.

“The MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) is spending P200 million for 87 intelligent intersections, complete with CCTV and a central command center. We need these in Cebu,” he stressed.


Meanwhile, Cebu Cham-ber of Commerce and Industry president Ma. Teresa Beltran-Chan called for more Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to improve the city’s present state of infrastructure.

For one, the approved P10.6-billion Cebu Bus Rapid Transit System is part of the top 16 PPP projects to be pursued by the Aquino administration. It will have 33 stations with 176 buses and is expected to serve 330,000 passengers every day.

Filipino-Cebuano Business Club Inc. resident Rey Calooy warned local government officials not to underestimate the ranking since this will surely be the investors’ criteria in choosing a place to invest.

Infrastructure, Calooy said, is a good indicator in determining how developed a city or municipality is. “We need to do more in our infrastructure (ranking) if we really are serious in attracting the investors,” he said.

Others cite that the present ranking is also affected by the unavailability or lack of data submitted by the local government unit to NCC.

4 Bando allies snubbed by TRO after SRP vote


A DAY after majority of the Cebu City Council authorized Mayor Michael Rama to sell 45.2 hectares in the South Road Properties (SRP), former mayor and south district congressman Tomas Osmeña called to a meeting his allies in the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).

But the four BOPK councilors who co-authored the resolution authorizing Rama to dispose of SRP lots were left out.

They are Councilors Gerardo Carillo, Noel Wenceslao, Roberto Cabarrubias and Richard Osmeña.

The meeting was held Thursday night in the house of the BOPK chief in Barangay Guadalupe. It reportedly started around 7 p.m. and ended around 8:30 p.m.

In an interview, Osmeña said he did not invite the four BOPK councilors to the meeting because, “I don’t know where they are coming from.”

“It wasn’t really a meeting but dinner lang. I just invited a few people over because I am the one cooking and I cannot cook for many people,” he added.

Those who attended the meeting were the seven councilors who opposed the passage of the resolution: Sisinio Andales, Nestor Archival Sr., Lea Japson, Nida Cabrera, Alvin Arcilla, Eugenio Gabuya Jr. and Alvin Dizon.

Osmeña’s wife, Councilor Margarita Osmeña, was not able to attend the meeting as she was still in the United States.

Asked what they discussed, Osmeña said they talked about “everything,” including the resolution that allowed Rama to sell SRP lots.

He, however, did not elaborate, saying he was not able to read the recently approved resolution yet.

Asked if the four councilors are still members of the BOPK, Osmeña said it is something only they can answer. “I just don’t know what’s going on,” he said.

“Well, (being a member of the) BOPK comes from the heart. I don’t know if they’re still BOPK or not,” he said.

Osmeña said he is ready to meet with the four councilors if they ask for it, but that he won’t initiate the meeting.

Andales, in a separate interview, said that during the meeting, they advised Osmeña not to make any drastic moves.

“We are still a group. We are still members of one group. Nag-uban pod mig pangampanya (We campaigned together). I think di pod baya lalim. This is only the issue seguro nga na-sold out sila ngadto sa pikas (Perhaps this is the only issue where they were sold to the other side’s idea),” he said.

Andales said the four BOPK councilors may have been misled on the information that even if they authorized the mayor to sell, the contract of sale will still go back to the council for their final scrutiny.

“I have been practicing for 35 years in court, naa’y legal issue na malusot ba. Maayo unta’g niingon lang nga negotiate wala’y dispose. This is not only negotiate. This covers everything. Klaro man na. Mao na ang gikuyawan nako (It would have been better if the resolution merely authorized the mayor to negotiate, but not yet dispose of the lots. This resolution, however, clearly covers everything. That’s what worries me),” he said.

Interviewed separately, Carillo said that even if he had been invited, he would not have attended because he had to go to Manila.

Carillo pointed out he is not the only one who favors the selling of the SRP lots. During their caucus, he said, all members of the council were supportive of it. They disagreed only on the mode of disposition of the lots.

For him, it would be proper to conduct a public bidding because there are several companies that have expressed interest in buying SRP properties.

An unsolicited proposal, he added, would only be good if there was only one interested buyer.

But while he supported the move to allow Rama to sell SRP lots, Carillo said he still belongs to the BOPK.

“If di ko nila dawaton, pwede ra man. Pwede ra man di ko modagan. (If they will no longer accept me, fine. I can also choose not to run.) But for me, we have to rise above partisan politics. Let’s move on. We cannot delay the development of the city because of politics,” he said.

Carillo also said he still respects Osmeña as his mentor.

Wenceslao, for his part, said he knew there was a BOPK meeting and that he was not invited. While he supported the move to authorize Rama to sell SRP lots, Wenceslao said it didn’t mean he has abandoned BOPK.

He said he sees the need to sell SRP lots so that the City can pay in full for the SRP loan balance, which stands at P3.2 billion.

Cabarrubias said he was surprised he was not invited to the BOPK meeting, adding that it was the first time that happened. However, he also said he respects the prerogative of the BOPK chief. PDF

Father suffers nervous breakdown, attacks son

By Jill Tatoy-Rabor

CEBU - A father who had stints at a psychiatric ward slit the throat of his sleeping two-year-old son inside their house in Sitio Riverside in Barangay Tejero, Cebu City about 7 a.m. Thursday.

The laceration on Prince Jassim Umpad’s neck was so long and deep that he died instantly.

His father Roberto Umpad, 29, is said to be suffering from schizophrenia and has not been taking his medicines lately.

This could be the reason for his nervous breakdown Thursday, his relatives said.

The incident happened at 7 a.m. shortly after Umpad, a construction worker, and his live-in partner Alice Cañete argued.

Cañete, 28, had nagged Umpad for not going to work. The nagging annoyed Umpad.

Umpad had requested that he skip work because he was not feeling well, SPO1 Victor Ruel Ayuman, homicide investigator of the Cebu City Police Office, said.

Cañete and Umpad have two children—Fatima Ann, 5, and Prince Jassim.

Fatima was preparing to go to school when her father attacked her brother. Her mother was out to buy food.

When Cañete came back, she saw Prince on the mattress, drenched in blood. Fatima ran toward her.

“Mura og naglain na siguro ang panghunahuna ni Roberto mao to iyang gigulgol ang liog sa bata (Maybe Roberto was not in his right mind, that is why he slashed his son’s neck),” Ayuman said in an interview yesterday.

Cañete saw Umpad holding a kitchen knife when she arrived.

When Umpad was going for their daughter, she grabbed Fatima and they ran out crying for help.

Umpad chased them but their neighbors, who noticed the commotion, pacified and disarmed him.

Neighbors tied up Umpad as Cañete’s relatives called the police.

The neighbors rushed Prince Jassim to the hospital to try to revive him but Ayuman said the boy was dead.

Cañete and her daughter were taken to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral to see a priest for counseling, while Umpad was brought to the psychiatric ward of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) for psychiatric evaluation.

Umpad’s older sister, Maria Rizza, told police investigators that her brother has been suffering from nervous breakdown in the last two years.

He had stopped taking his medicines, and Maria Rizza said this might have triggered another breakdown that pushed him to kill his son.

Umpad and Cañete live with their children in a small room made of light materials in Sitio Riverside in Villagonzalo I.

Umpad is a construction worker, while Cañete makes a living by selling pig intestines and “tuslob-buwa.”

They have been living together for about six years.

Neighbor Analisa Segundo, 24, said they seldom hear the couple arguing.

Inside the couple’s house, police recovered a kitchen knife and a hammer.

Ayuman said they will check if Umpad used the same kitchen knife to slash his son’s neck.

“Dako kaayo ang samad sa liog sa bata, unya ang na recover namo na kutsilyo murag dili ingon ato ang agi sa samad (The laceration is big and it appears that it could not have been done using that same knife),” said Ayuman.

Homicide investigators have yet to check on Umpad’s condition at the VSMMC.

“He will stay at the psychiatric ward for 24 hours so the doctor can check on his condition,” said Ayuman. If the psychiatric evaluation shows that Umpad is suffering from a mental illness, he will be admitted to the psychiatric ward.

But if the evaluation would show that he is not mentally ill, Umpad will face charges for parricide, said Ayuman. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Mayor gets approval from City Council

By Princess Dawn H. Felicitas

IN a 9-7 vote, the Cebu City Council authorized Mayor Michael Rama yesterday to negotiate and dispose of 45.2 hectares of the South Road Properties (SRP).

Councilor Gerardo Carillo, who introduced the resolution, said the move would allow City Hall to pay in full for the loan it obtained in 1995 to build the SRP.

He also said it did not mean that the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) councilors who supported the move are now allies of Team Rama.

The move authorizing the mayor to sell SRP lots was earlier supported by 10 councilors, but Councilor Eugenio Gabuya Jr. decided to back out.

Gabuya was among the 10 councilors who had drafted and signed the joint resolution.

The others included Councilors Carillo, Noel Wenceslao, Roberto Cabarrubias and Richard Osmeña of the BOPK and Councilors Hanz Abella, David Tumulak, Mary Ann delos Santos and Philip Zafra of Team Rama.

Gabuya, together with Councilors Sisinio Andales, Alvin Dizon, Lea Japson, Nida Cabrera, Nestor Archival Sr. and Alvin Arcilla objected yesterday to the move to authorize Mayor Rama to sell SRP lots.

When he introduced the resolution in the regular session, Carillo said the BOPK-allied councilors wished “to inform the public and the media” that their sponsorship of the resolution did not mean a “TOA or transfer of affection.”

It only means, he added, that “the council can always set aside political color.

Whether yellow or green, if it calls for the greater good for the Cebuanos, the City of Cebu and this representation can assure the public of the independence of this august body.”

Carillo proceeded to explain the need to sell SRP lots, including the ability it would give the City to pay back its SRP loan.

The City still has a balance of P3.2 billion out of the 12.315-billion yen loan it availed itself of from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency to implement the SRP. At yesterday’s exchange rate, the original loan was equivalent to P5.2 billion.

Loan payments started in 1995 and are supposed to end in 2025.


Carillo said the sale of 45.2 hectares in the SRP is expected to generate at least P12 billion, at P20,000 per square meter.

That’s more than enough, he pointed out, for the City to pay back its loan fully.

Carillo said the surplus can be used to cover the senior citizens’ financial assistance, fund the City’s scholarship program and implement other priority projects.

Based on the resolution, the properties to be sold are Lot 7 and Lot 17, with an aggregate area of 19.2 hectares, as well as Lot No. 8, covering 26 hectares. Lot No. 8 is the property where the San Pedro Calungsod templete stands.

Once these lots are sold, the councilor also said, the City can generate an additional P2 billion, with P1.5 billion in real property taxes and P500 million in regulatory fees.

Carillo then said the only question is how to dispose of the property.


He explained to the council it would be proper to hold a public bidding because several interested bidders have surfaced, among them SM Prime Holdings Inc., Filinvest Land Inc., Robinsons Inc. and Megaworld Corp.

“It is my submission, for the sake of transparency and accountability, that the competitive bidding must be conducted,” he said.

The councilor, who is a lawyer, also pointed out Section 379 of the Local Government Code, which provides that the primary mode of disposing of government assets must be public auction.

Following his explanation, Carillo moved for the approval of the two-page joint resolution.

However, nobody seconded his motion, which prompted Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella to call for a recess. Labella explained that a proponent cannot second a motion.


When the session resumed several minutes after, Zafra decided to withdraw as co-author of the resolution, then seconded Carillo’s motion so that the resolution could be discussed.

Gabuya also withdrew also his sponsorship of the resolution.

Asked why, Gabuya said he wanted the resolution fully discussed and studied, adding he has several questions, particularly on the mode of disposition of the SRP lots.

Councilor Andales then moved to reconsider the measure’s approval and asked if it has already been referred to the City Legal Office for their opinion.

Gabuya and Japson raised the same point, with Japson asking for a one-week deferment of the resolution's approval.


Carillo, however, said there is no longer a need for a legal opinion. He invoked a provision in their House Rules, which states that only contracts, undertakings and memoranda of understanding should go through the legal office.

Also, he pointed out that the resolution merely authorizes the mayor to negotiate for the sale of the SRP lots. The contract for the sale, he added, will have go back to the council for final approval.

Because of the discussion, Zafra moved to divide the house, and nine councilors voted in favor, while seven voted against the resolution.

Mayor Rama, in his regular news conference, welcomed the support of the BOPK councilors on the sale of the SRP lots.

“I am so elated and very much surprised. I am really thanking them,” he said.

If the sale pushes through, it would be the first time in Rama’s two terms as mayor—the council having blocked previous attempts.

For his part, former mayor Tomas Osmeña, who heads BOPK, said in an earlier interview that he was not consulted on the move of the BOPK councilors to allow the mayor to sell some SRP lots.

“Usa sa ilang tiil, tua na sa pikas tingali (Perhaps they already have one foot in the other camp),” he said.

Parental guidance required: PNP on saving minors

By Davinci S. Maru and Gerome M. Dalipe

IT still boils down to the lack of parental guidance.

The fact that minors are being exploited in illegal activities “is symptomatic of the breakdown of family relations when parents fail to supervise their children properly,” said Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Prudencio Tom Bañas.

Dealing with juvenile delinquents, he said, has long been a problem among law enforcers because the minors can’t be prosecuted unless they’re at least 15 years old and proof exists that they acted with discernment.

Intelligence operatives of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) arrested during the weekend a 14-year-old girl after she allegedly sold shabu to a decoy. Inside the house where she was arrested was an estimated P5.9 million worth of shabu.

Mother and daughter wept during the inquest proceedings in the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday. The mother, however, said she did not know about her daughter’s illegal activities.

Bañas said the police have been calling on lawmakers to revisit Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 and lower the age that minors can be held criminally liable.

Republic Act 9344, also known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, and its amendment, RA 10630, exempts a child 15 years old or younger from criminal responsibility. Those who are older but under 18 are exempted from liability unless they acted with discernment in committing a crime.

Under RA 10630, which President Benigno Aquino III approved last year, a child below 15 years old who has been arrested should be released to the custody of his or her parents or guardian.

But the minors must undergo a community-based intervention program, supervised by the local social welfare and development officer.

Minors who commit crimes may also be admitted to the Bahay Pag-asa, a child-caring institution to be established and managed by the local government unit.

Bañas, however, said that many of these children in conflict with the law are “willing victims” who commit crimes for money, among others.

Asked what he had to say to drug dealers who employ minors, the official said, “Makonsensiya sana sila. May mga anak naman siguro sila. Kawawa yung mga bata (I hope they heed their conscience. Some of them probably have children, too. They should take pity on the minors).”

The police, he said, will go to different schools and workplaces, with the help of local governments, to make more people aware of the need to stop the spread of illegal drugs.

14-year-old arrested in drug sting in Cebu

By Joel Locsin/ELR, GMA News

A 14-year-old girl was arrested in a drug buy-bust operation in Cebu City last weekend, in yet another case of what police described as drug rings exploiting minors to avoid prosecution.

The girl, who was arrested Saturday night by undercover police, said she merely repacked the methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) for a neighbor in exchange for P1,000, GMA Cebu's Vic Serna reported.

"Nagsisi na po ako," she said.

Seized from her were 13 packs of shabu worth about P5.9 million.

"Some people, they employ minors (because) they know these kids won't be jailed," Central Visayas police deputy regional director for operations Senior Superintendent Conrad Capa said.

Under Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice Law, a minor who is detained shall be ordered released on recognizance to his or her parents; released on bail; or transferred to a youth detention or rehabilitation center.

But Cebu City police intelligence branch head Superintendent Romeo Santander said the girl may not automatically be exempt from punishment.

"Hindi porke't minor siya ay may exemption na siya. Depende yan sa bigat ng kaso," he said.

For her part, the girl's mother insisted she had done her parental duty of disciplining the girl.

Meanwhile, police in Toledo City, Cebu uprooted some 200 marijuana plants from three plantations in a mountainous area last Saturday.

Police had to walk about an hour before reaching the plantations, Toledo City police head Chief Inspector Michael Bastes said.

The police did not make any arrest as they found no one guarding the plantations.

Cebu Business Park as model village

By Zash del Pilar (USJ-R Mass Com Intern)

THE Cebu Business Park is being eyed as a model village for low carbon emission.

The Cebu City Council's committees on energy and environment nominated the Cebu Business Park as the focus area for the Low Carbon Model Town (LCMT) Project of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Councilor Nida Cabrera, chair of the committee on environment, said that Cebu Business Park initiated a clear target of carbon dioxide emission reduction and comprehensive measures to achieve the same for sustainable development.

Among the park's more notable programs are its solid waste management, lighting system, cooling system, and green grass emission management.

Another upcoming project for the Ayala development is the plan to create a terminal for the Bus Rapid Transport once implemented.

The Cebu Business Park is the lone nominee from the Philippines.

Indonesia also has one nominee.

Cabrera said that even if Cebu City doesn't get the LMTC award, at least through the nomination, Cebu City's initiatives and good practices have been acknowledged and recognized by APEC.

The LCMT project was conceptualized during the 9th APEC Energy Ministers Meeting held in Fukui, Japan on June 19, 2010.

The project aims to name cities from Asian countries that have conducted comprehensive measures to reduce Carbon dioxide emissions.

The project carries the theme, “Low Carbon Paths to Energy Security.”

The nomination was done during the APEC energy ministers meetings with Kazutomo Irie, the general manager of the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre and its members.

Also present during the meeting were representatives of the Department of Energy, Cebu City Traffic Operations Management, Cebu Business Park, Cebu Holdings Inc., Ayala Property and the Cebu Provincial Police Office.

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