Cebu City News

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Cebu City - Archived News

Cebucity-aerial view.jpg
Aerial View of Cebu City


Cebu achieves Zumba record

By Caecent No-ot Magsumbol / BRP (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Queen City of the South broke one world record but fell short of another du-ring yesterday’s attempt to set multiple world records in one day. Two more attempts have yet to be submitted to the Guinness World Record headquarters in London for validation.

Pink Formation and Zumba Class

The first world record attempt was the largest human pink formation in the parking lot of SM City Cebu.

However the 6,611 participants were 237 less to break India’s record of 6,847 participants. The pink ribbon symbolizes breast cancer awareness.

Participants who joined in the pink formation were the same ones to join the attempt for the biggest Zumba class which followed shortly. The pink formation record attempt fell short because many who went for both attempts did not know they had to wear a pink shirt and a pink headscarf to join the pink ribbon attempt.

“Everything was perfect. The people here are so amazing and so lively. They just fall short on numbers on the largest human pink ribbon formation,” GWR adjudicator Provin Patel told The FREEMAN.

However, the Zumba class that followed did break the previous record of a Zumba class involving 6,671 participants achieved at the Peoples’ Plaza, Necklace Road, Hyderabad, India, last September 15, 2012. A total of 8,232 participants coming from all ages and walks of life participated in Cebu’s attempt yesterday.

Guinness required at least 30 minutes of non-stop basic Zumba for the attempt to be declared successful, according to the official time keeper Joel Baring of Sports and Fitness Enthusiasts. Zumba is a dance fitness program created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez in the 90’s which involves dance and aerobic elements and event martial arts.


Two other GWR attempts were made at the Cebu City Sports Center —the largest archery tournament with 13,102 participants and the largest archery lesson with a total of 754 students. The current record holder for the world’s largest archery tournament is with the National Archery in the Schools program of the USA with 9,426 established May of last year.

The archery world record attempt, a brainchild of national team mainstay Dondon Sombrio, started two years ago, but had to be shelved mainly because of super typhoon Yolanda and the earthquake.

Even before Guinness could formally declare Cebu City to have broken archery records, Simon Wee, an international judge/jury and council member of the World Archery Asia said, the Cebuanos have already become a model on grassroots development in archery in the world.

“I didn’t expect this one to be this big. I will definitely present this to the World Council and make this an example for Asia and the rest of the world,” said Wee.

Wee also said Cebu City can even add another GWR record out of the two-day archery event; the largest archery tournament using a PVC bow.

Cebu City mayor Michael Rama said that the GWR attempts only prove that Cebuanos are achievers, not only in local, but in the international scale.

“This is one proof that we are a city of achievers. Not only of simple accomplishments, but on a higher level. We aim not only of simple things, but even to the point of achieving Guinness World Records,” said Rama.

CCSC chairman Edward Hayco said the world record is only a means to promote sports and fitness to the grassroots. With that, CCSC is looking at establishing the world records for the largest arnis and scrabble tournament in the future.

Cebu’s other world records

The world’s largest dance class and largest board game tournament (chess) were also broken in Cebu City in attempts initiated by the Cebu City Sports Commission involving mainly public students. The record for most firework rockets launched was also broken in Cebu City through the efforts of Pyroworks International Inc.

Prior to that, Cebu City also had the biggest dance class also initiated by the CCSC in 2009 with 7,770 individuals, however that record was eclipsed by 9,223 participants in an event organized by Athena, the national Israeli council for the advancement of women in sports in Tel Aviv, Israel, last April 30, 2010. The dance class was exclusive for women.

First BRT coordination meeting held

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

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communication is expected to disclose later this year or early next year the engineering and consultancy firms that would provide a detailed engineering design for the Bus Rapid Transit system in Cebu City.

This was revealed by the city’s ‘transport czar, lawyer Rafael Yap, also the head of the City Traffic Operation Management during the meeting of the project’s Technical Working Group.

“Ang detailed engineering design gyod atong gihuwat but there are also equally important studies like the social management study that deals with the impact on the jeepney drivers, conductors, operators and commuters,” he said.

The detailed engineering design will identify and quantify all the essential works needed to implement the BRT and of the transport and procurement for construction services, including the infrastructure related design and station design.

On the question as to who will run the BRT, Yap the DOTC with the assistance of the city government, will determine the institution that will receive the mandate through an executive order.

“There have been recommendations based on the feasibility studies, but this is subject to finality pa man,” Yap said.

Among those present in the meeting were representatives from DOTC, NEDA, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Education, Department of Labor and Employment, and Movement for Livable Cebu.

MLC expressed earlier that it wants the BRT to traverse busy streets from Bulacao-Pardo and pass through N. Bacalso Avenue, P. del Rosario, New Imus road, M.J. Cuenco Avenue all the way to M.C. Briones and to Cabancalan, Mandaue City.

BRT’s original design will pass four intersections: Osmeña Boulevard/Colon Street, V. Rama Avenue/M. Velez Street, M.J. Cuenco Avenue/J. Luna Avenue; and Gorordo Avenue/Salinas Drive. Pocket lanes will be built in different locations in the city.

Yap said MLC was appeased upon hearing another development that favors their proposal.

“Na-appease ang MLC kay nakahibaw sila that there is already similar proposal which is the high quality public transport sa SRP (South Road Properties) that will address their specific demand,” he said.

SM is in proper coordination with DOTC for the full implementation of the high quality public transport starting February next year since its mall at SRP will be operational by the last quarter of 2015.

While the bus-based transport is closely similar to the BRT, there are some differences like non-segregated lanes.

“Basta, this is the first demonstration of a good public transportation in the city,” Yap said.

The proposed route of SM’s project is from the SRP’s end in Minglanilla town down to the coastal area and to the Plaza Independencia, North Reclamation Area, North Bus terminal and to the Cebu Doctors University intersection in Cebu City.

Yesterday’s coordination meeting with stakeholders was carried out after approval of the World Bank and the National Economic and Developmental Authority. The next coordination meeting is slated middle of next month.

PDIC raises P23.9-M from sale of closed bank properties


MANILA – A total of P23.9 million was raised from the sale of commercial and residential properties owned by closed banks in a public bidding conducted by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC).

The PDIC said 14 properties, which were all owned by closed banks, were sold and generated a premium of P2.08 million as against the properties' aggregate minimum disposal price of P21.82 million.

The public bidding was held on October 9 at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Regional Office in Cebu City.

The bidding, PDIC’s third for the year, offered a total of 131 properties located in the provinces of Cebu, Negros Occidental, Quezon and South Cotabato.

Proceeds from the sale of the properties are credited to the funds held in trust for the closed banks and are used to settle claims of creditors and uninsured depositors. Payment to these parties is subject to the rules on concurrence and preference of credits.

The PDIC, as liquidator of closed banks, regularly conducts public biddings to dispose non-financial assets. Properties not sold during the bidding are available for negotiated sale or may be bidded out again.

Interested buyers are encouraged to visit the PDIC website at and use the PDIC's Property Finder for information on available inventory of assets for sale.

Prospective buyers may also call the Asset Management and Disposal Group at (02) 841-4650 for inquiries on available assets.

Cebu one of best cities for retirees

By AJ dela Torre /RHM (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City has been named as one of the top Cosmopolitan Cities to retire in outside the United States.

An article published yesterday in the website “Investopedia” showed that Cebu City is one of the cities outside the US recommended for people to retire in.

According to the article, for people wanting “a cosmopolitan lifestyle while living abroad without the high price tag of a big U.S. city,” Cebu City is one of the best cities to choose.

“Cebu City, the oldest city in the Philippines, has all the traditional modern conveniences and is located close to beautiful beaches and lush mountains. It’s one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, and is the main center of commerce, education, industry and trade in the region,” it said.

Cebu City was picked second to Buenos Aires in Argentina for those “looking for a change of scenery, new cultural experiences and a lower cost of living during retirement” away from the U.S.

“While tranquil beaches and quaint, quiet towns are what many people envision for retirement, it’s not the only option. Larger cities offer modern conveniences and plenty of recreational and volunteer opportunities, as well as good transportation systems, healthcare, restaurants, shopping and cultural offerings,” the article added after revealing its top 10 pick for the best cities around the world to retire in.

Investopedia describes itself as a “premiere resource for investing education, personal finance, market analysis and free trading simulators” with the aim of “educating the world about finance.”

Overall, it described the Philippines as the country known for “its vibrant culture, hospitality, natural attractions, tropical climate and friendly, English-speaking population, including a substantial expat community.”

The country, Investopedia said, has the second-lowest cost of living, based on the International Living’s Global Retirement Index, where expat residents are offered with ample incentives.

It also mentioned that “good, affordable healthcare is available in nearby Manila.”

Cebu City edged Chiang Mai, Thailand; Cuenca, Ecuador; Malaga, Spain; Montevideo, Uruguay; Ottawa, Canada; Panama City, Panama; Penang, Malaysia; and Vienna, Austria.

Cebu congregation observes quake anniversary

By Ador Vincent S. Mayol (Inquirer Visayas)

CEBU CITY, Philippines—At least 1,000 people gathered at the Basilica del Sto. Niño in downtown Cebu City Wednesday morning to mark the first anniversary of the earthquake that destroyed the church’s century old belfry and killed 12 persons in Cebu.

The faithful stood in silence for a minute, lit candles and offered prayers and chants during the 8 a.m. Mass at the basilica’s outdoor pilgrim center.

“Together we mark this day with prayers of remembrance, of healing and guidance,” said Fr. Jonas Mejares, rector of the basilica who presided over the Mass with a dozen of concelebrating priests.

“The images of the tragedy of Oct. 15, 2013 are still so vivid in our mind and senses,” he added. “As we look back, we remember the lives of those who died so tragically.”

Amid the gloom, Mejares urged the people to “upgrade your faith” and to move on.

“The earthquake that we experienced last year was a test of faith. Let us be reminded that God’s ways are not our ways, and that His plans are not our plans. We could not fully understand God. But we know that He’s one with us in our sufferings,” he said.

Mejares, who is called the singing Augustinian priest, ended his homily by singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

The Basilica del Sto. Niño has been closed to the public since the earthquake but daily Masses continue in the quadrangle of the Pilgrim Center in front of the church.

Pre-restoration activities, which include the installation of scaffoldings, braces and shoring to shield the people from falling debris and to protect the structure itself from further damage, are in progress under close supervision of the Agustinian fathers and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

The big challenge now is to restore the belfry, which was completed in 1740.

In 2015, the Agustinian fathers, who supervise the basilica, will celebrate the 450th year of the finding of the Sto. Niño image in the ruins of a village in Cebu, the presence of the Agustinian friars in the Philippines, and the 50th anniversary of the church’s title as a “minor basilica” designated by the Vatican.

The basilica is home of the image of the Sto. Nino de Cebu, which was given as gift by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to Cebu’s Queen Juana in 1521.

The current structure was built in 1735 and completed in 1740.

Mejares said he hoped to re-open the basilica by the end of November or the first week of December 2014.

“We just have to cordon off the area near the belfry. But the church will be re-opened to the public,” he said.

Cebu Chess holds first kiddie tourney

(Sun Star Cebu)

CEBU’S top kiddies chess players will have their hands full this weekend as the Cebu Chess Masters unfolds the two-day 1st Kiddies Inter-School Team Tournament this Saturday and Sunday at the Robinsons Cybergate Event Center.

The event, held in cooperation with Robinsons Cybergate and the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (Cepca), will hand out P30,000 in cash prizes to the top three teams and individual board winners.

The champion squad of five players will receive P6,000 in cash prizes together with the championship trophy and gold medals for the team members, P4,000 will be given to the second best team and a silver medals each to the players and P3,000 and a bronze medal to each member will go to the third placer.

The top three board finishers will also get cash prizes and corresponding medals as well as the top alternative player and the best female performer.

This tournament is open to elementary students aged 14-years old and below, and will follow a time control of 25 mins. plus 10 secs. increment for each player of the team to finish the game.

Registration is now on going, contact Eduard de la Torre at 0932-8622-010 or at the Cebu Chess Masters at Tel. No. 266-8966.

On Sunday, National Master Merben Roque who was crowned champion in the recently concluded 1st Sagay City Open Chess tournament and co-champion of the Brgy. Taft Mindanao Open Chess Tournament will hold a simultaneous games for players to test their skills against a certified winner.

Council to study DEPW’s P70M project; DPWH 7 warns firms vs. illegal tapping

By Elias O. Baquero and Princess Dawn H. Felicitas

TO determine if they can really solve the city’s flooding problem, the Cebu City Council will tackle today the Department of Engineering and Public Works’ (DEPW) P70 million worth of dredging and declogging project for rivers, creeks and waterways.

The matter, which is covered by a resolution by Councilors Noel Wenceslao, Roberto Cabarrubias, Hanz Abella and David Tumulak, was filed during their Oct. 8 regular session.

However, the council decided not to approve the resolution yet because of several concerns raised by some of the councilors.

The P70-million declogging and dredging project is supposed to be the emergency flood control projects that DEPW seeks to undertake after the city was declared under a state of calamity due to the flood that hit in September.

During their session, Councilor Eugenio Gabuya said the City will just be wasting money if it will continue with the dredging and declogging projects.

“We’ve been doing several dredging projects before and wa gyud nasulbad ang baha. Mag-dredge ta pero kung mag-uwan mapuno ra pod dayon ang mga sapa (Dregding did not solve flooding, the rivers still overflow),” he said.

The Tagunol river, for one, Gabuya said has been dredged by the City Government many times but added that its surrounding area are still being flooded when there is a heavy downpour because there are no outlets where the water can freely flow.

Because of this, Gabuya said the City should expand instead the culverts of the city’s drainage lines.

Councilor Gerardo Carillo answered that dredging and declogging projects are not really the ultimate solution to the flooding problem in the city.

“But it is one of the solutions,” he said. Carillo said that in the past, Barangay Pahina San Nicolas was easily flooded by the Estero-Parian Creek during the rain while Barangay Mambaling was easily flooded by the Kinalumsan River.

This is because the creek and the river were heavily silted, he said.

“While I agree that we need a comprehensive solution to the flooding but this (dredging and declogging) is very immediate. This needs attention,” he added.

But Councilor Alvin Arcilla echoed the statement of Gabuya. In the past year, he said, the City has implemented a P45-million dredging and declogging project, but the flooding problem has still not been addressed.

Also, Arcilla questioned the resolution, saying it doesn’t have a contract yet and it did not specify the scope of work that will be conducted.

Based on the proposed resolution, it only outlines the equipment that will be rented by the City for the declogging and dredging project.

Of the P70 million, P35 million will cover the works for the north district, particularly for the Estero-Parian waterway (P5.1 million), Lahug River (P12.7 million) and for the Mahiga Creek (P7.2 million).

The remaining P35 million will be spent in the south district, particularly for the Guadalupe River (P17.2 million), Kinalumsan River (P13.3 million) and Tagunol waterway (P4.45 million).

Because of this, the council decided to hold first an executive session today.

Those that have been invited to appear before the council are the engineers of the DEPW.


The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 warned business establishments, industrial firms and subdivision developers to refrain from dumping wastes on government drainage systems, otherwise they will face prosecution.

DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas said the dumping of waste by various establishments, which are illegally connecting their sewerage to their drainage systems, are often the cause of floods during raining days.

Canlas said DPWH 7 has organized teams to inspect establishments without sewerage systems and are illegally connecting to the government agency’s drainage system.

“We want to remind them that DPWH drainage systems were designed to absorb rainwaters from the roads only and its capacity do not include waters from buildings and subdivisions,” Canlas said.

He advised building owners and real estate developers to build water catchments to store rainwaters, which they can use for washing vehicles, watering the plants or cleaning the toilets.

“With water catchments, you can prevent floods and reduce water bills,” Canlas said.

The estero (waterways) always overflow to the Cebu City’s North Reclamation Area during rainy days, including the area around SM City, because of obstructions of the flow of water, such as illegal concrete bridges, illegal encroachment of buildings and siltation.

One of the alleged existing concrete bridge was built by a shipping company along T. Padilla St. near the corner of Serging Osmena Ave., Cebu City.

However, District Engineer Fernando Cruz of the DPWH Cebu City Engineering District, said they have no jurisdiction over the illegal bridge because T. Padilla is a city street.

Cebu City hall sources said the Office of the Building Official (OBO) issued a building permit upon the recommendation of the former city planning and development officer who is now an official of Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Canlas said all the questions on illegal concrete bridges along city streets must be addressed to the City Government.

Character training set for CCPO men

By Bryner L. Diaz, JMD (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - In order to address the numerous controversies and issues involving police officers assigned in the city, Cebu City Police Office is set to conduct Character Aptitude and Development Enhancement Training among its members.

The chief of Police Community Relations Branch, Chief Inspector Enrique Belciña, said City Director, Senior Superintendent Noli Romana, called key officials of CCPO for an emergency conference on Friday.

One of the subjects tackled during the conference was the launching of CADET program.

The program aims to revisit the police’s moral values that have been taught to them from their parents while they were young.

Belciña added that aside from that, the PCR plans to conduct seminar on how to handle their finances.

“Kinahanglan nga dili molapas ang gigasto sa usa ka polis sa iyang kinitaan, unya di sad siya magpataka og loan kung dili gyud kinahangalanon,” Belciña said.

“Dagko man og sweldo ang polis… Sa PO1 lang, ang ilang sweldo is from P19,000 to P20,000 a month,” he said.

He said if a police officer does not know how to handle money, they might end up out of budget every month and might think something foolish.

Cebu City police officers will also undergo Basic Human Rights Seminar as part on the CADET program, Belciña said.

He emphasized that police officers should know the basics of human rights to ensure that in every police operations, no rights will be violated by the law enforcers.

“Di malikayan nga ma-apektahan gyud ta, pero ang nagpabadlong gamay ra man na sila. Ato lang himuon sa PCR kutob sa atong mahimo aron matabangan ang atong kauban nga kapolisan,” he added.

They are doing this program, according to Belciña, not only to help the police officers but also to their families who will be directly affected if a police officer will be dismissed from service.

Although there is no definite date when the program will start, Belciña said it would be anytime sooner.

The first batch will be composed of two police officers coming from 11 police stations and of the special units and the seminar will be conducted at Camp Sotero Cabahug, Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City.

Engineering district offices in Metro Cebu focus on flood control projects

By Elias O. Baquero

ENGINEERING districts of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH) 7 plan to pour most of their resources into drainage and flood control projects next year.

District Engineer Nicomedes Leonor Jr. of the Cebu 2nd Engineering District said that about P300 million worth of projects for 2015 are related to flood control.

The 2nd Engineering District covers the cities of Talisay, Naga and Carcar and the towns of Minglanilla, San Fernando and Sibonga.

Leonor said the district’s proposed drainage projects for next year include that for the public market in Poblacion, Carcar City worth P8 million; in front of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) office in Bulacao, Talisay City worth P10 million; P10 million for Linao, Talisay City; P10 million for Tunghaan, Minglanilla; and P14 million for Calajo-an and Pakigne, both in Minglanilla.

All of the 6th Engineering District’s proposed P455.014-million budget for 2015, on the other hand, will be used for flood control and drainage projects.


The districts oversee the implementation of ongoing drainage projects in their areas.

In the 6th Engineering District, there is the P28.7 million worth of drainage projects in the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue.

These projects include the construction of flood control systems along the Mactan Circumferential Road in Lapu-Lapu City, which were completed last Sept. 27 and Oct. 4.

The 6th Engineering District covers the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue and the municipalities of Consolacion and Cordova.

Engineer Fernando Cruz said the Cebu City Engineering District is implementing drainage improvement projects worth P5.6 million on Archbishop Reyes Ave.-N.G. Escario St.; another on Arellano Blvd. worth P7.1 million; and the P19.6-million widening of the Canduman Bridge over Batuanon River along Gov. Cuenco Ave.


DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas said the proposed projects are meant to address flooding problems in Metro Cebu.

In another development, Cruz requested the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) to demolish its concrete fence and guard house on Arellano Blvd., Cebu City to avoid further delays on the road project in the area.

Cruz said the road concreting of Arellano Blvd. is 90 percent completed but work has been hampered by informal settlers who occupy sidewalks and gutters and the CPA structures.

He said that before the project began, DPWH paid disturbance compensation but the settlers merely transferred to the other side of the road.

Canlas said CPA General Manager Edmund Tan promised to discuss with him the Arellano Blvd. concreting project.

Pope in Cebu City?

By By Jessa J. Agua /BRP (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Officials of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño are preparing for the possibility of Pope Francis dropping by Cebu en route to Palo, Leyte, where he will dine with survivors of the earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda come January.

Apart from the usual arrangements by the exe-cutive committee for the huge Catholic celebration in 2015, a contingency plan is in the works considering the spontaneous nature of the Pope who is known to sometimes defy protocol and official itinerary to personally meet with devotees and ordinary folks.

“If the Lord wills that he visits Cebu, the cradle of Christianity, then the Pope cannot do anything about it. He has to follow the will of God. He is the kind of Pope who will take into consideration the welfare of those who need his prayers and presence,” Fr. Harold Rentoria told The FREEMAN.

Rentoria is chairman of both the Commission on Cultural Heritage of the Augustinian Fathers and the Commission on Cultural Heritage of the National Cultural Commission for the Arts.

He assured that local Catholic authorities are ready for the Pope possibly joining the Fiesta Senyor and Kaplag Festival acti-vities in 2015.

“We are prepared just in case the Pope decides to drop by Cebu. We’ll be notified days prior by the Va-tican or the CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines) anyway since the visit is national if this pushes through. We have plans to check on the possible areas to receive the Pope,” Rentoria said.

Possible areas considered to accommodate the Pope include the South Road Properties and the Basilica complex, among others.

Authorities are likewise preparing special security and traffic management plans should this possibility come true.

Basilica rector Fr. Jonas Mejares revealed that two letters were sent to the Vatican inviting the Pope.

The first communication was sent last year for the Kaplag 2015 celebration activities, which include the 450th commemoration of the finding of the miraculous image of the Holy Child at the present Basilica location, the 450th year of Augustinian presence in the Philippines, as well as the 50th year since the church housing the original image of the Sto. Niño from the first evangelizers was declared a Basilica Minore.

The most recent one, sent just this September, invited the Pope anew for the Sinulog 2015 celebration following official announcement of the Papal visit from Sri Lanka in the same year.

“There has to be a Plan B so that we will be prepared should the Pope decide to include Cebu in his visit. As far as initial itinerary is concerned, Cebu is not in the list. But we remain hopeful that he will realize that Cebu is an important place as far as Christianization is concerned, being the cradle of Christianity in the Philippines,” Mejares said.

The rector added that he has been meeting with the Sinulog Foundation Inc. led by Ricky Ballesteros, the Cebu City government and the Philippine National Police for this possibility.

Should a stopover at the Mactan Cebu International Airport be done, Rentoria said they will consider the possibility of bringing the original image of the Sto. Niño to the airport for the Pope to bless.

The last time that a pope visited Cebu City was in 1981 when Saint John Paul II —then Pope John Paul II— came to the Philippines to beatify San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint.

On February 19, 1981, a day after the beatification, he celebrated a Mass attended by thousands at the then Lahug airport, where the business process outsourcing hub Cebu IT Park now stands.

He also led some 7 million Catholics in a Mass at the closing of the World Youth Day in January 1995 held in Manila.

However, his first visit to the Philippines was actually in 1976, two years before he became the pope, he was then carrying his original name Kraków Archbishop Karol Cardinal Wojtyla.

Saint John Paul II served as pontiff from 1978 until his death in 2005.

Worldbex opens Cebu Trio 2014

By Kristine B. Quintas/JMO (The Freeman)

Intent on making sure that Cebu’s potential is explored exponentially, Worldbex Services International (WSI) was more than excited to launch the Cebu Trio 2014 yesterday.

It will run until Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at SM City Cebu Trade Hall and open grounds.

An event of many firsts, it is the first time for SM City Cebu's open grounds to be converted into fully air-conditioned tents to ensure comfort for the visitors.

WSI believes that Cebu is more than ready for a world-class exposition with its equally world-class products and services and Cebu Trio 2014 will provide the most effective means to allow all parties to connect with one another.

Setting this year’s exposition apart from its previous installments, Cebu Trio will lay the groundwork to make cross industry connections happen. As the region opens up for a more promising economic future, the need for industries to utilize the expertise of each sector is most crucial.


The counterpart of WSI’s highly successful Worldbex expositions, PHILBEX Cebu (Philippine Building and Construction Exposition) is setting the stage to make B2B opportunities flourish as well as providing the platform to showcase the latest product innovations and technology, industry players are able to thoroughly assess their next strategies in their own respective companies.

Occupying a total of 2,000 sq.m. of exhibition area with 90 companies and a total of 150 booths, industry professionals expected to flock to the trade show can expect a world-class trade show environment which can open up a lot of doors for B2B opportunities, networking, and investment possibilities.

Cebu Auto Show

The biggest motoring event to drive by the region, the CAS gathers the most imaginative concepts of local makers along with the most coveted line up of foreign automotive brands for the season.

Occupying 2,000 sq.m. of exhibition space, car enthusiasts and industry players alike will be likened to kids in a candy store upon entering the venue with over 60 car displays and 100 exhibitors all revving up to showcase the latest in automotive innovation and technology. Furthermore, companies who will be presenting are California Eco Bike, Ford, Hyundai, Isuzu, Mazda, and Meguiars, among others.


Armed with its plethora of industry partners and decade-long experience in producing food exhibitions, CEFBEX has the recipe of a salivating and flavorful food event all figured out. Taking over a total of 3,000 sq.m. of exhibition area, the four-day food show showcases the region’s culinary staples alongside new food and product innovations.

With120 booths and 85 companies, products being showcased include food service, snacks, franchising companies, food picks, cookware, beverages, food packaging materials, food machines, food service equipment, breads and pastries and more.

Cebu City to set aside P300M for K to 12

By Kristine B. Quintas/JMO (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City government will be setting aside P300 million for its preparations for the implementation of the K to 12 program come 2016.

Lawyer Jose Daluz III, executive assistant to the mayor, said the amount will be part of the Annual Budget that will be proposed for 2015. The budget for K to 12 will be used to build additional school buildings.

"Bisan ni-promise ang national government to pour billions for the construction of schools, we have to allocate a budget as guarantee that there will be enough school buildings in 2016 during the implementation of the program," Daluz said.

The executive department will present to the City Council the proposed budget for 2015 either at the end of this month or on the first week of November.

Education Program Supervisor Faviolito Alberca of the Department of Education - Cebu City Division said earlier that DepEd needs P307.1 million to implement the program.

The amount would be utilized to purchase about 9,500 chairs and equipment; build 241 classrooms; and hire 395 teachers for senior high school.

Daluz said the city would be able to save around P150 million from the scholarships under the Special Education Fund, considering that there would be no incoming first year college students for school year 2016 to 2017.

The possible surplus amount, he said, may be realigned to augment the budget needed for the school building constructions and the like.

In preparation for the advanced educational scheme, DepEd has conducted a series of orientations, consultations and focus group discussions with stakeholders.

DepEd has also tapped business process outsourcing companies, information technology companies, hotels, resorts, restaurants and other establishments in the tourism industry where students can hone their skills during on-the-job trainings.

Cebu town launches mobile app to boost tourism

By Lianne Llesol

CEBU - With numerous waterfalls in Samboan’s forested hills, no doubt a journey to this southern Cebu town begins and ends with a splash. Water abounds in Samboan, and it’s something one can not only drink but experience.

It’s on these flowing waters – from loud, shallow currents to inviting hushed cascades – that Samboan’s strength as a travel destination rests, and a mobile app now provides a handy guide to all these sites and other top town attractions.

Samboan launched recently the Samboan Guide, a mobile application for Android devices that can now be downloaded at the Google Play Store. The mobile guide is a component of the Digital Tourism program being implemented nationwide by wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and new media startup InnoPub Media.

“With the digital tourism, Samboan will now be connected to the world: its destinations, accommodations and services. We are very hopeful that tourists will soon be coming in, whether local or foreign,” said Samboan Mayor Raymond Joseph Calderon.

Governor Hilario Davide III lauded Samboan, SMART, and Innopub on their efforts in working together to further Digital Tourism in Cebu. “Through cooperation and hard work, together, we can enter into a new age of tourism, prosperity and growth,” he said.

Complementing Samboan’s natural wonders are heritage structures that can magically transport visitors to colonial times. As one of Cebu’s oldest settlement grounds, Samboan plays host to various heritage sites echoing its glorious past.

To provide visitors more information about Samboan’s rich historical heritage, interactive tourism markers were also deployed in the town center. The markers contain a quick response or QR codes and near-field communications or NFC stickers that, when scanned or tapped with a compatible device, trigger the download of more information about a site or structure.

In Samboan, the markers can be found on the ancient stone structures Escala de Jacob, Campanario de Antigua, and St. Michael Archangel Church as well as the Museo de Samboan and Municipal Hall.

The town center is perched atop hill and forms a landscape that offers a panoramic view of the Tañon Strait and neighboring islands like Negros.

Lawyer Jane Paredes, communications head for Visayas and Mindanao of Smart, assured app users of Samboan Guide’s constant update. “The app is not static. When new information about Samboan comes or a new tourist spot is discovered, we will update the app and add the new information,” she said.

InnoPub co-founder Max Limpag shared that preparation for Samboan’s Digital Tourism launch took a year due to extensive data gathering conducted in coordination with the local government.

“What’s important is we can deliver correct information to our users. To achieve this, coordination with LGU’s tourism and historical office is needed,” he said.

The Digital Tourism launch in Samboan is part of a province-wide expansion of the tourism project pioneered in Cebu. The Cebu Province component was launched in Argao last year by Governor Davide.

The Digital Tourism program was recognized by the Cebu City Council in a resolution passed on mass motion last January 2012 as an “ingenious” way of delivering information. Last February, the program was recognized with an Anvil Award of Merit during the 49th Anvil Awards held at the Solaire Resort and Casino.

Colon night market now permanent; P5M set aside for improvements

By Rene U. Borromeo/RHM (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Mayor Mayor Michael Rama has decided to make the night market in Colon Street permanent, allocating P5 million for the street’s revitalization to make it more attractive to customers.

In particular, the portion of Colon Street—the oldest in the country— at the corner of Osmeña Boulevard to Mabini Street is where the night market would be.

The project’s main purpose is to encourage the public to patronize the products of downtown area businesses so as to restore Colon’s grandeur as the heart of Cebu City’s shopping and business activities.

As planned, the city would install entrance markers at the Osmeña Boulevard intersection, particularly beside McDonalds, and an exit marker at the Mabini Street juncture.

City Administrator Lucelle Mercado said the Office of the President has been informed already on Rama’s September 11, 2014 executive order, which could only be implemented if the City Council approves the requested budget.

Rama said in his order that Colon Street was once a celebrated and famous center of downtown Cebu, but it slowly became a low-grade or second class shopping center after several malls mushroomed at the uptown sections of the city and at the North Reclamation Area.

“To restore Colon Street’s once held grandeur and to compete with other shopping malls and business centers, there is a need to strengthen Colon Street economic viability and sustainability, hence this revitalization concept is imperative,” read the executive order.

It said that aside from the daytime operations of shops and stores, night market operations shall also be allowed in Colon Street, with uniform booths or stalls available 6 p.m. until midnight. Vendors would be required to wear a uniform with name plates.

The Department of Public Works and Highways-7 had already suggested that if the city would allow the operation of night market it should be done in thoroughfares not considered as major roads so it will not affect traffic.

The city assured it would first secure DPWH’s approval before re-allowing the night market.

The city Department of Engineering and Public Works has been assigned to repair and improve Colon Street, particularly its drainage system and sidewalks.

More police and security personnel would also be assigned in the area to protect the public from lawless elements.

Meanwhile, traders who would be allowed to operate during the night market would have to make sure that they do not sell illegal, harmful, and dange-rous products.

Council okays gas station in Talamban

By Mechelle P. Florita/ JMO (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Council's Committee on Urban Planning agrees to grant Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Incorporated a clearance for its proposed gas station in Barangay Talamban.

"This committee interposes no objection on the subject resolution (Barangay Talamban Resolution No.011 Series of 2014 giving a consent to the said company for its project)," reads the committee's report.

Despite its report, committee, headed by Councilor Noel Elueterio Wenceslao, said the resolution alone will not suffice to justify approval of a development permit. The committee said the development permit has to be complied with.

"It has complied all the necessary requirements for its project on sanitary and environmental measures like garbage disposal and drainage system," the resolution reads.

The barangay resolution further stated that the barangay has conducted a public hearing last January 24, 2014 on the matter and no one objected to the opening of the gas station. It was agreed for the company to prioritize the safety and security of residents nearby.

The gas station will be constructed along A. Borbajo Street.

"That Phoenix Petroleum will have enough fencing height to maintain the ventilation of the nearby residents," the minute of the public hearing read.

It was also agreed that the business will fill the area with land up to the road level to avoid flooding in the adjacent side near Pryce Gas. The company should also provide a road-right-of-way to residents of the Tintay Market Side and construct a standard drainage system.

P100-million socialized housing program for City

By Richiel S. Chavez

A COMPREHENSIVE socialized housing program in Cebu City would need an annual funding of P100 million.

The Cebu City Council's committee on socialized housing proposed this amount to address the housing problem of the City’s urban poor.

The committee's chairperson, Councilor Alvin Dizon, asked the City Government to appropriate funds for the program, ahead of the Oct. 16 deadline for all local government units to submit a budget proposal for fiscal year 2015.

Dizon called for a consultative meeting yesterday with the different homeowners’ associations.

In celebration of the World Habitat Day, the committee and stakeholders discussed the proposed socialized housing site development and lot acquisition fund ordinance yesterday.

Half of the proposed amount will be used for site development while the other P50 million will be for lot acquisition.


"There is a need to strengthen the city's socialized housing program to make it responsive to the ever increasing housing needs of the Cebu City residents especially the urban poor. These can only be addressed when enough resources are provided for the housing program," read the draft of Dizon’s proposed ordinance.

"The institutionalization of the fund intended for the site development and lot acquisition will really help the urban poor sector of the city," Dizon said.

Section 3 of the proposed ordinance states that the fund under the site development will be exclusively used for existing and future relocation sites.

Funds under the lot acquisition will also be used to purchase lands for socialized housing to serve those families living on private lands with court-ordered demolition, creeks, riverbanks, landslide-prone areas, other danger zones and fire victims who are barred from reconstructing their homes on the property struck by fire.

To ensure the implementation of the ordinance, the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor will lead consultations with homeowners in identifying housing needs and facilitating the approval of the necessary program of works and estimates of the site development.

Businesses told: Change mindset, help gov’t

by Jean Mondonedo-Ynot/Mildred Galarpe

CEBU CITY -- Cebu entrepreneurs were asked Friday to help change the people’s mindset to mitigate the effects of disasters and calamities and achieve business continuity at the same time.

“It's more logical to see people who are better prepared, than to see people who just say ‘Bahala na ang Diyos.’ Our attitudes must change if we are to mitigate the effects of all these disasters,” said Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., of Ayala Corp.

Paynor, one of the speakers in Friday’s Globe Cebu Business Forum held at Marriott Hotel in Cebu, said businesses must be ready in times of crisis by translating their companies’ continuity plans into personal survival plans.

“We are free to choose what to do. So, I think we ought to be ready. Prepare for all these disasters…We need to prioritize; see how does your company can continue to provide services immediately after disasters,” he said.

He stressed that Filipino are resilient, but urged them to be proactive. “That’s the only way by which we can lessen casualties. It enables us to cope with the situation and stand up faster. We should learn our lessons.”

“If we can move ourselves to the state of readiness, I think we're good to go, because we Filipinos are very resilient,” he added.

Paynor also urged the private sector to help the government in implementing the disaster risk reduction and management plans, saying they are the ones who can understand the plans better because they are the ones affected by disasters and calamities.

“Translate warning protocol terms to local terminology and tell your people about them...Let us help the government,” he said.

Paynor said Corporate Social Responsibility is not for the big corporations only, but also small businesses can do their share by collaborating with other stakeholders in addressing the problems in their immediate communities like flooding.

“No matter how small the action is, but if the effort is collective, then the impact would surely be of impact,” Paynor said.

He said there is a need to empower companies in disaster preparedness and response. (Jean Mondonedo-Ynot/Mildred Galarpe/Sunnex)

Volkswagen flies high in Cebu

by Dino Ray V. Directo III

Automobile Central Enterprises, Incorporated (ACEI), the exlcusive distributors of the Volkswagen brand in the country, has spread its reach even further with the inauguration of its second showroom at the heart of the Queen City of the South-Volkswagen Cebu. In attendance were John Philip S. Orbeta, ACEI president and CEO; Iconic Dealership Incorporated General Manager Nemesio Solomon, Jr and Cebu Mayor Mike Rama.

“Cebu has always been cosmopolitan and at the forefront of innovation. Hence, it only makes sense that we open our second dealership at the automotive row of Cebu City; not only will it cater to discerning Cebuanos, but it will also serve as the hub for the entire Visayas region. In doing so, I wish to highlight the importance of Cebu to Volkswagen and I want to emphasize our commitment to the growth of our brand“, states Orbeta.

Strategically situated at the North Reclamation Area, the 4,000 square meters dealership has a floor area of 2,095 sqm, can display eight cars and has eight work bays manned by specially trained personnel and equipped with the latest service equipment. The service center features advanced diagnostic tools, genuine Volkswagen parts, a workshop that includes eight service bays plus Dialogue Reception, Wheel Aligner and Paint Booth and hands-on VW Certified Technicians that offer only the highest level of expertise and quality.

The high-tech showroom also boasts of using the latest Volkswagen Interactive Showroom application. This unique platform was developed by Linked Tech Solutions of Hong Kong and debuted at Volkswagen HK Showroom in November 2013. This makes the Philippines second in the world to offer these technologies, making Volkswagen showrooms the most innovative and digitalized facilities in the country. Also introduced at the dealership inauguration is the 8th generation Golf Gti, which was launched recently at the Philippine International Motorshow.

80 houses razed in Cebu City fire

by Joel Locsin

At least 80 houses were razed in a fire that hit a residential area in Cebu City Tuesday afternoon.

No one was reported injured in the fire at Barangay Luz, according to a report on "24 Oras" Tuesday evening.

A post on the Facebook page of GMA Cebu's "Buena Mano Balita" by GMA Cebu's Alan Domingo said some 200 families lost their homes in Tuesday's fire.

The fire spread to three sitios in the barangay as the houses there were made of light materials.

An electrical short circuit may have caused the fire, according to investigators. They initially estimated the damage to property at P700,000. — Joel Locsin/ELR, GMA News

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