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Contents

DPWH 7 bares plan for Php750-M underpass in Cebu City

(PNA), FPV/EB/EDS

CEBU CITY, April 24 (PNA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has bared a plan to build a Php750-million underground pass to decongest traffic on N. Bacalso Ave. in Cebu City.

Engineer Nonato Paylado, DPWH 7 planning and design division chief, said the underpass will stretch 700 meters from the Muslim Mosque on N. Bacalso Ave. to the corner of Cabreros St.

Paylado said the underpass, which will allow two-way traffic with two lanes per direction, is projected to be completed in 2017 or next year if there are enough funds.

The construction of the underground pass will affect surrounding properties, including two shopping centers.

DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas said an initial funding of P200 million has been set aside for the first phase of the project.

He said another Php176 million was allocated by DPWH for this year to acquire road-right-of-way for the underpass and the widening of N. Bacalso Ave. in Barangay Kinasang-an, from the corner of the road going to Inayawan to Sto. Tomas Villanueva Church in Barangay Pardo.

The underpass project is included in the 2015 DPWH Infrastructure Program, which is funded by the national budget for this year.

Canlas said that the project will be done in three phases.

Funding for each phase will be covered by the annual national budget, he said.

Cebu City Council asks Palace to declare 450th Kaplag anniversary a holiday

(PNA), FPV/EB/EBP

CEBU CITY, April 23 (PNA) -- The Cebu City Council has requested the Office of the President to declare April 28 as a special non-working holiday to allow Cebuanos to celebrate the 450th Kaplag anniversary or the finding of the image of Senior Santo Niño.

Cebu City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco, chairman of the committee on tourism, local and international relations, arts and culture, said the declaration would give Cebuanos the opportunity to participate in the celebration.

“The Cebuanos would really participate in the numerous cultural and historical activities lined up to commemorate the 450th Kaplag anniversary,” he said.

Fr. Harold Rentoria, executive director of the 450th Kaplag, informed the members of the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) they already sent a letter to Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III and President Benigno C. Aquino III on the same request.

On April 15, the council declared April 28, 2015 as the 450th Anniversary of the finding of the image of the Santo Niño de Cebu “a significant milestone in evangelization and Christianization of the only Catholic nation in Asia.”

In line with the celebration, traffic rerouting will be implemented in some areas in the city.

The Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) reminds the public on traffic interruptions and possible congestions on areas affected by the annual celebration especially starting Friday April 24.

On April 24, a second traslacion of the Sto. Nino will be held but it will have a different route, according to Citom.

It will kick off from Basilica and will end at San Nicolas. From Basilica, it will pass Magallanes, straight to Tupas Street until it reaches San Nicolas Church.

On Sunday, there will be a third traslacion of the Image. It will start from San Nicolas Church and ends in Mandaue City passing through Tupas Street then to Colon Street, Osmeña Boulevard, Plaza Independencia and M.J. Cuenco Avenue until it reaches in Mandaue City.

Indian BPM firm hikes employees in Cebu to 1,000

(PNA), FFC/EB/EDS

CEBU CITY, April 22 (PNA) -- Indian business process management (BPM) firm Tech Mahindra has expanded its operations in Cebu by adding 500 seats in its new office in the eBlock 3 of Cebu IT Park in Cebu City.

Sujit Baksi, chief executive officer of Tech Mahindra’s Business Services Group, said the additional capacity will increase the firm’s strong presence in the Philippines.

The company now has at least 3,000 employees in four sites in Manila and Cebu.

Baksi said Cebu’s head count could reach up to 1,000 employees by yearend, taking into account the additional manpower they will need during peak seasons.

Baksi said the expansion signifies the firm’s confidence in the country’s healthy economy and its ability to produce highly qualified workers.

“The Philippine operation has grown the fastest in the last two years compared to other overseas sites,” he said.

“We are happy so far with the four years of operations here,” he said.

He said they picked Cebu from among other potential sites for this expansion because of lower costs, good quality of manpower and delivery of services.

He said the expansion will cater to an increased volume of work from its existing clients and the anticipated new products from new and present clients.

Tech Mahindra operates an all-voice operation in the Philippines.

It provides support channels for voice, email, chat, data entry and social media. Other services include customer service, technical support, structured cross and upsell, employee helpdesk, and social media support.

But the firm recently has been integrating non-voice services in its operations.

The firm entered the Philippine BPM industry in 2008 when it opened its Manila office.

It expanded in Cebu City in 2011, with its first facility located on General Maxilom Ave.

Cebu's oldest tennis tournament opens 20th edition on April 22

(PNA), LGI/EB/MP/EDS

CEBU CITY, April 21 (PNA) -- Cebu's oldest and biggest age group tournament, the JRG Gulals Cup, will have its 20th edition in two venues on April 22.

The six-day tournament, which will be played at the Citigreen Tennis Resort and at the Alta Vista Golf and Country Club in Cebu City, attracted close to 200 players from all over the country.

It will have the 10-Under unisex and the Boys and Girls 12, 14, 16 and 18-Under divisions. It will also have a doubles division and organizers are allowing double entries for the players.

Jose “Dodong” Gullas, the recepient of the Sportsman of the Year award of the Sportswriters Association of Cebu-San Miguel Beer annual sports awards, said he wrote a personal letter to all participants, urging them to be grateful to God for their tennis skills.

"I also urged the players to study well because it is an insurance to a good future, not only for themselves but also for their families," said Gullas.

The sports patron added that he supports tennis because he used to play the sport and he believes Filipinos can excel internationally.

"Running a tournament for 20 years isn't easy. That's why I want to experss my gratitude to those who supported in making the Gullas Cup a succes. I was once a player and a coach, so I would really like to help the young players. Tennis does not require any height, so we have a very good chance of making it big abroad," said Gullas.

Former age group player Sally Mae Siso, who ruled the tournament first as a nine-year-old before winning titles in the 12-Under, 14-Under, 16-Under and finally in the 18-Under divisions, also thank Gullas for his support to tennis.

"We are thankful for Sir Dodong's continued support and help for junior netters to get a chance to develop themselves by being exposed to top players from Luzon and Mindanao," said Siso.

Siso now helps run the tournament along with former teammate Hannah Espinosa.

Siso said it is only through tournaments like the Gullas Cup that the local players get to face the top players from Mindanao and Luzon.

"This is a Group 2 sanctioned tournament by the Philippine Tennis Association, that's why we expect the top players from all over the country to join," said organizer John Pages.

Senior citizens to get aid Friday

By Rona Joyce T. Fernandez (CNU Communication Intern)

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama announced yesterday that the City Government will release on Friday the P120 million worth of cash assistance for the estimated 60,000 senior citizens in the city.

The mayor also plans to distribute the cash aid to the elderly through ATMs (Automatic Teller Machine) in the next distribution instead of doing it in the barangays to save time and effort.

“If OSCA (Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs) and the senior citizens would also agree, we will distribute it via ATM, if possible. This will simplify things for everyone,” Rama said.

Rama, in his regular press conference yesterday, said that each senior citizen will receive P2,000 from the City.

The City set aside some P120 million for the distribution, which will be supervised by all the department heads of City Hall.

It will be distributed in the 80 barangays simultaneously, whole day on Friday.

Amount

The amount forms part of the P12,000 financial assistance promised by Rama for each senior citizen this year.

OSCA presiding officer Dominggo Q. Chaves Jr., in an interview yesterday, said that in the event that a senior citizen will fail to claim his or her cash assistance, he or she may visit the City Treasurer’s Office.

“If they are not available, they can claim it in the City Treasurer’s Office. They will be given 15 days to claim it, just like the PWD (persons with disabilities),” Chaves added.

If the plan will be implemented, Rama said a counter-checking of the registered senior citizens must be done to remove those who died already from the list of beneficiaries.

“Basin unya og patay na ang uban, unya (Maybe the others are already dead, and then it is) via ATM, we will not be able to validate. We will only be doing a post-validation,” Rama said.

Perspective

Rama said the project will have to consider how the City Government can put all of this in the proper perspective.

Chaves agreed that giving the financial assistance through ATM will be more convenient, but added that this has downsides as well.

“We are apprehensive that it might go to the wrong hands. Naa may usahay nga mahadlok na mutuplok sa ATM kay tiguwang na. Unya, basin patay na unya ang pamilya sige’g kuha kay wala pa ma-declare (There are times that the elderly is afraid to use the ATM. It is also possible that even if the beneficiary is dead, the family will still continue withdrawing the assistance because there is no declaration yet),” Chaves said.

Keeping track

Chaves said such apprehensions will be prevented if OSCA, the City Registrar’s Office and the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) will work together in keeping track of the registered senior citizens in the city.

Aside from the senior citizens, Rama said he would also like to have the PWD, and the other barangay incentives and honorariums to be distributed through ATM.

The distribution on Friday will be the second this year. The distribution last February was in completion of last year’s cash assistance.

450th Sto. Nino Kaplag celebration starts Sunday

(PNA), CTB/EB/PJN

CEBU CITY, April 19 (PNA) -- The 450th Kaplag celebration on the discovery of the image of the Sto. Nino de Cebu officially opened on Sunday with an opening salvo mass at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño in this city.

The celebration marks the discovery of the image of the Holy child Jesus in the city 450 years ago.

This is separate from the feast of the Sto. Nino which falls on every third Sunday of January and capped with the sinulog Grand Parade.

Fr. Jonas Mejares, the basilica’s rector, urged the faithful to let go of the unfavorable memories and disappointments of the past and “go back to the first love, the love of Sto. Niño.”

He said the people today are like some disciples in the past who also experienced doubts and frustrations but continued to believe in God.

Mejares also reminded the public to use technology properly, as the medium is affecting the spiritual lives of the people.

“Let us not allow technology to replace Jesus in our life, let us not allow the things of this world to become so large in our eyes that we cannot see Senior Santo Niño anymore, let us not allow the things that we encounter to become so big, our worries and fears, that we lose sight of Jesus has beckons us to success and victory.” Mejares said.

He encouraged the people to propagate the values and practices of a Christian to bring a bright future for Cebu, the Philippines and the entire world.

City honors 241 valedictorians

By Janessa Costillas & Aeryka Jurienne Dimaclid (CNU Communication Interns)

NEW graduate Margie Pasay had to cross a river every day to attend classes in the Tagba-o National High School, in the mountain barangay of Tagba-o, Cebu City, located 35 kilometers from the urban center.

Zielvestra Añora, 15, is a graduate of the First High School for the Hearing-Impaired in Barangay Basak Pardo.

Pasay and Añora never succumbed to their education challenges; instead, they worked harder to be on top.

They are just two of the 241 valedictorians in Cebu City's elementary and high schools awarded with the Don Sergio Osmeña Sr. prizes for academic excellence.

“I'm so happy to receive this award because it makes all my struggles worth it,” said Pasay.

Añora said she worked hard to compete with the achievements of her sister.

Hard work

The award was given by the Cebu City Government and the Department of Education (DepEd) at the Mariner's Court yesterday.

“It would be hard work, a lot of sacrifice and determination to reach this level because only the winner takes it all,” said DepEd Assistant City Schools Division Superintendent Danilo G. Gudelosao.

Tara Ysabel Datan, an elementary graduate from Golden Success College Inc., said that she was bullied in school but that didn’t stop her from achieving her dreams.

She said that her parents and her teachers are her role models.

Fail

Xavieur Jomar Plaza, on the other hand, never thought he'd get such award after failing to crack the honor roll during his first four years in grade school.

“Grades one to four, effort kaayo ko unya wa man gyud ko nada, ni-accept nalang ko. Unya pag grade five naka-ingon ko nga dapat grabi akong effort nga bisag sa elementary life nako gusto ko naa koy madawat (From grades one to four, I worked so hard but it was never enough so I accepted that. But in fifth grade, I told myself to exert more effort so that I will get an award when I graduate from elementary),” Plaza, a valedictorian from the Cebu City Central School, said.

During his speech, Mayor Michael Rama also shared that he graduated valedictorian in grade school despite some challenges.

In high school, Rama said he worked as a help in a poultry and piggery. But he never complained.

“I went to law school in San Beda in Manila while selling RTW (ready-to-wear clothes),” he said.

Despite his achievements, Rama said he never forgot his past, and hopes that the recipients of the academic excellence award will do the same.

“If you reach tomorrow, please go back to where you come from,” added Rama.

Cebu City to release PHP10-M aid to PWDs on April 18

(PNA), FFC/EB/EBP

CEBU CITY, April 17 (PNA) -- The Cebu City Government will release on Saturday, April 18, the PHP10 million worth of cash assistance for some 10,000 persons with disabilities (PWD) in the city.

Cebu City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas said each PWD will receive PHP1,000 from the city.

The amount forms part of the PHP5,000 financial assistance Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama promised for PWDs this year.

Cuevas said the distribution of the PHP1,000 will be held in their respective barangays to make it easier for the PWDs.

In the event a PWD fails to claim the cash assistance, he or she may visit the City Treasurer’s Office, Cuevas said.

“If they will be unavailable during the distribution, we will give them 15 days to come and claim their cash in the office,” Cuevas added.

As this developed, Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama said the city will start releasing the cash aid to the city's 60,000 senior citizens as soon as the PWDs have received their cash aid.

1,500 cops to secure 450th Sto. Nino Kaplag rites in Cebu City

(PNA), FFC/EB/EBP

CEBU CITY, April 16 (PNA) -- Some 1,500 police personnel will be deployed to secure the 450th Sto. Nino de Cebu "Kaplag" (finding) anniversary on April 27 at the Basilica del Sto. Nino in Cebu City.

Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) officer-in-charge Senior Superintendent Marciano Batiancela said that while they expect lesser crowd for Kaplag compared to the Sinulog Festival, they will still augment the police force who will maintain the peace and order during the celebration.

He said that heightened alert in Cebu City will be declared on Saturday.

He said they will implement the same security measures similar with what they did during the Sinulog Festival in January.

He also said they have coordinated with the Mandaue City Police Office.

Batiancela said they have requested for K9 units from the Central Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

He said he also requested one company from the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) 7 to provide additional security.

He said elements of the Waterfront Police Station will primarily secure the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño since it belongs in its jurisdiction.

He said that they will also maximize the existing 1,000 police personnel in Cebu City.

Batiancela said they expect overcrowding and street congestion at a lesser level compared to the Sinulog Festival since the Kaplag requires shorter procession and street dancing routes.

CCSC summer sports program starts

By Janessa Costillas and Aeryka Jurienne Dimaclid (CNU Communication Intern)

IN LINE with the Summer Grassroots Sports Training Program of the Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC), Alex Ballesteros, coach of the football clinic, continues to mold football enthusiasts despite the blazing heat.

Aside from football, the program also covers other sports like basketball, table tennis, volleyball, taekwondo, chess, sepak takraw, softball, badminton, track and field, arnis, boxing and dancesports.

The football clinic will run until the end of May. It will be participated by children aged 6 to 16 years old.

Practice happens during Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays but according to Ballesteros, practice should be done daily to improve the children’s skills in football.

Denyce M. Diana, 14, a football beginner, challenged herself through joining the football clinic this summer. “Fun although kapuy siya pero my aim is also to lose weight at the same time have fun,” she said.

Ionna Gonzalez, 15, also tried joining the football clinic for the first time. Gonzalez said she wanted to try a different sport aside from swimming, tennis and badminton, which she has all tried.

Other young football beginners like Diana and Gonzalez are inspired to pursue football after the sports clinic.

Cebu City school sets PHP30-M expansion

[(PNA), LAP/EB/EDS]

CEBU CITY, April 14 (PNA) -- The Abbey Park Academy in Cebu City, which specializes on personalized teaching method, is set to infuse PHP30 million for its expansion.

The school is run by the Abbey Park Inc., owned by the couple Elton and Catherine Salimbangon who decided to resettle in Cebu three years ago after migrating to Canada.

Catherine Salimbangon said the company will shell out the budget for the expansion for the school, a big chunk of which will be for the acquisition of the 700 square-meter property that used to be the Gloria Maris School in Magsaysay St. Kasambagan, Mabolo, Cebu City.

"There is a big potential for personalized teaching approach in Cebu, while Cebuanos have become more aware of investing on good foundation for education at an early age," she said.

Salimbangon said the growing number of expats who understood this kind of system also encouraged the company to make its first big investment.

After migrating to Canada, the couple decided to come back to Cebu to take advantage of the promising opportunities here.

Since their return, they have opened several businesses, one of which is the Abbey Park Academy.

With educator Christi Lapradez as a business partner at the helm, the school is slowly gaining ground among parents who seek for full attention given to their children in pre-school and elementary years, otherwise known as personalized educational system.

Lapradez, the school principal, said it is in the early stages of the child’s life that is considered crucial in the development, performance and success of the child throughout his life.

‘US Fine Foods Show’ opens in Cebu City

BY JENNIFER C. TILOS (mbcn/jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

CEBU CITY, April 13 (PIA) -- The US Embassy has announced the opening of its ‘US Fine Foods Show’ this year on April 16-17 at SM Atrium, Cebu City.

According to US Embassy Manila information officer Tina Malone the show is an annual event staged by the U.S. Embassy Manila’s U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) in major cities all over the Philippines.

This year’s show is co-located with World Food Expo Visayas, and highlights USDA-FAS’ longstanding partnerships with SM City Cebu, American Hospitality Academy and American Culinary Federation–Philippine Chapter, Radisson Blu Hotel, PEP Group, and the Hotel, Resort & Restaurant Association of Cebu.

Malone said the show will feature the wide variety, high quality, and versatility of U.S. food and beverage products throughout the day.

The event includes sampling and live cooking demonstrations by top chefs.

Hoteliers, restaurateurs, bar and cafe owners, food caterers, culinary professionals, supermarket and convenience store operators, food manufacturers including the media are welcome to attend.

Participants are expected to join the trade reception to network with the U.S. Potato Board and the country’s leading importers including Alternatives Food, Belcris Foods, Bigfood Trade & Commodities, Dane International Commodities, Equilibrium Intertrade, Global Strategic Partners Distribution, Goodway International Trading, Happy Living Philippines, Ideal Macaroni & Spaghetti Factory, JEDCO, Link Import Export, Mix Plant, RAM Food Products, and World Wide Food Supply on April 16 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Lobby of Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu City.

Restoration of centuries-old Sto. Nino de Cebu Basilica's belfry to start this month

By Eddie O. Barrita [(PNA), CTB/EB/PJN]

CEBU CITY, April 12 (PNA) -- A representative of the Augustinian community said the restoration of the belfry of the centuries-old Basilica del Sto. Nino in Cebu City, which was originally set last January, will finally start this month.

The basilica's belfry collapsed at the height of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Oct. 15, 2013 that shook Cebu and Bohol.

Fr. Harold Rentoria, head of the Technical Committee on the tower’s restoration, said an architect from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) said there was a “minimal glitch” in the site restoration plan.

He said the NHCP is currently finalizing the master plan for the restoration process, which is hoped to start this month.

Rentoria said last November, a conference was held in Cebu and Bohol where experts in the field of architecture and engineering presented their studies on the Basilica and Fort San Pedro following the Philippine Standard on Conservation.

NHCP also presented its site restoration plan.

“During the expert’s conference, there were a lot of suggestions and comments from the experts, who came from the different parts of the world. It took them some time to implement the recommendations as they based on the additional studies for the revision of the plan,” said Rentoria.

He said he made a follow-up with NHCP after the observance of the Holy Week and the agency replied that the restoration will start this month.

“We had some minimal glitch with our consultant. The Church based on our test we already have a design strategy,” said Rentoria.

“We will post the project for bidding by next week. Bidding will take at least three weeks then we will know the contractor to do the project. We are sorry for the delay and I hope the parishioners understand this minor delay,” the NHCP said.

Cebu City's 10,000 PWDs to get first tranche of cash aid on April 18

(PNA), RMA/EB/PJN

CEBU CITY, April 11 (PNA) -- Cebu City's 10,071 persons with disabilities (PWDs) will receive the initial Php 1,000 from their annual Php 5,000 cash assistance on April 18.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama directed City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas to distribute the Php 1,000 assistance to each PWD registered with the city’s Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS)before he left for his official trip to South Korea on Thursday.

Since the Cebu City Council has appropriated Php 5,000 to each registered PWD in the city, the remaining balance of Php 4,000 will be released to the beneficiaries within the year, Cuevas said.

DSWS head Ester Concha said the PWD cash assistance will be distributed to the barangays to make it easier for the beneficiaries to collect.

Rama said that after the release of the initial PWD cash assistance, he would also announce the date of the next distribution of the financial aid for the city's 60,000 senior citizens.

But he declined to say how much will be released.

Cuevas said her office had already prepared the Php 2,000 cash assistance to each senior citizen in Cebu City.

At least Php 720 million has been allocated for the city’s 60,000 senior citizens, who will each receive Php 12,000 or Php 1,000 every month.

Cebu City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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