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DAR Cebu holds climate change resiliency forum

(Sun.Star Cebu)

THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Cebu recently conducted a climate change resiliency farmers’ forum with a theme, “Empowering Small Holder Farmers toward Climate Resiliency.”

About 50 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from the different agrarian reform communities in Cebu attended the forum held at the Dohera Hotel, Mandaue City on Nov. 16 and 17.

Antonio A. del Socorro, assistant regional director concurrent provincial agrarian reform program officer (PARPO) II of DAR Cebu, said that the activity was part of the awareness campaign for the ARBs on climate change, and to integrate issues of climate and disaster risk.

Emma E. Melana, regional technical director of Ecosystems Research Development Services of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources 7 discussed her topics on understanding climate change, its causes, impacts, integration and adaptation.

Also in the forum were Roberto Bajenting, Cebu Coalition for Food Security (CCFS) chairman, who provided an input on resilient sustainable development, and Rey Ramos of CCFS, who facilitated the workshop on determining the level of awareness and adaptation to climate change.

Varinia Fabillar, chief of the Beneficiaries Development and Coordinating Division of DAR Cebu, also took charge of the action planning for integration to the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization’s Operational Plan on building resilience and ensures sustainable development.

Robinsons Galleria to showcase ‘best of the region’, opens Dec. 10

By Mia A. Aznar

ALL six floors of the Robinson’s Galleria Cebu will be opened to the public on Dec. 10.

At a briefing held for reporters yesterday, mall officials said the mall will be the focal point of their 4.7-hectare mixed use complex at the corner of Gen. Maxilom Ave. and Sergio Osmeña Blvd.

The mall features over 200 merchants occupying a gross floor area of 157,000 square meters.

Considered their biggest full service mall in the Visayas, this is Robinsons Land Corp.’s third commercial establishment in Cebu.

Although not as large as the recent mall developments, marketing and leasing consultant Cristina Angan said they set themselves apart by showcasing the best of what the region has to offer.

Aside from Robinson’s global specialty brands and affiliate brands, they reached out to those behind local food brands that have not yet opened branches in malls such as the Abaca Baking Co., Phat Pho, The Luncheonette, The Chocolate Chamber, Azabu, Fat Cow, Pueblo and favorites from neighboring provinces such as Bohol Bee Farm and Dumaguete’s SansRival.

It will also house the second Robinsons Selections in the country, a supermarket with a wider assortment of gourmet and imported products and food-to-go options, six cinemas, al fresco dining areas and greenery.

They also have the Lingkod Pinoy Center for government offices such as the Social Security System, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Land Transportation Office, Bureau of Immigration and Securities and Exchange Commission.

For Angan, Robinson’s Galleria Cebu is for a different set of shoppers--the 30 years old and above set in the broad upper C and A and B market.

Initially slated for a September opening, regional operations manager Floramie Vega said they pushed back the grand opening to December to “fine-tune” their design.

Vega said they received approval to remove some trees that could block the entry and exit areas of the mall and transfer them within the complex.

They are also working on getting more routes to pass by the mall, including the MyBus operated by SM. They also hope to provide shuttles to the port area, which is across the mall.

Angan said they could not have chosen a better time to open, as the Christmas shopping season is underway. She added that it will be busy time for Cebu as the Sinulog Festival and International Eucharistic Congress approach.

Megaworld launches country’s Reindeer Park

(Sun.Star Cebu)

SANTA Claus has been known to cheer kids with presents, but who helps him do the task of delivering each special gift to make sure that all children get a smile on their face during the happiest time of the year? It’s the reindeers!

This Christmas, Megaworld and its corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm Megaworld Foundation are helping deliver to kids a priceless gift--the gift of smile.

The real estate giant will transform all of its townships across the country into a Reindeer Park filled with reindeer displays made of wooden cut-outs in different sizes ranging from 10 to 15 feet tall, all of which with a corresponding amount.

All proceeds will then be handed to the Operation Smile Philippines Foundation, which gives free surgeries to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children throughout the country.

Painting of donated reindeers in various Megaworld townships has started last Nov. 7, which coincided with the “Smile Day” Philippines celebration.

At The Mactan Newtown, Megaworld’s first township project in Cebu, Operation Smile’s Cebu partner and chairperson of MSY Holdings Corp. Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung and Megaworld Cebu Properties Inc. president Noli D. Hernandez led the launching of the charity program.

To know more on how to take part of helping change the lives of some kids this Christmas season, call (032) 232-3030 or email

COA says Cebu richest PHL province in 2014 with Php 28.181-B equity


CEBU CITY, Nov. 21 (PNA) -- Cebu Province, with an equity of Php 28.181 billion, was the richest province in the country in 2014, a Commission on Audit (COA) annual financial report said.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III said he was glad about the province doing well in equity and assets in the COA report.

“Well, that probably explains why we are the third most competitive province in the country,” Davide said.

He said the Department of Interior and Local Government has recognized Cebu and granted the province the seal of good governance.

Cebu was followed by Rizal with Php 6.715 billion in equity and Cavite with Php 4.918 billion.

The COA annual financial report is based on the financial performance reports of all 80 provinces, 144 cities, and all but 11 of the 1,490 municipalities in the country.

The 11 municipalities failed to submit their reports.

Aside from Cebu, Rizal and Cavite, the other seven local government units with large amounts of equity were Negros Occidental, Laguna, Batangas, Pangasinan, Negros Oriental, Isabela and Pampanga.

Equity is the difference between a local government’s assets and liabilities.

Among high-equity cities, Cebu City ranked sixth with Php 7.855 billion in 2014.

Cebu City is the only city in Region 7 that made it to the top 10.

Makati City is the richest city with Php 34.461 billion.

Among towns, Cainta in Rizal Province, with Php 1.819 billion, ranked first in equity.

Cebu Province also reported the largest assets, at Php 29.695 billion.

Quezon City, with assets of Php 47.687 billion, and Cainta of Rizal, with assets of Php 2.826 billion, ranked first in the lists for cities and municipalities, respectively.

But Cebu Province only placed third in income.

Negros Occidental reported the highest income in 2014, at Php 3.33 billion, followed by Bulacan with Php 3.25 billion and Cebu with Php 2.76 billion.

Income includes the internal revenue allotments and fees collected for permits and services.

Cebu Province is not on the top 10 list in liabilities, while Cebu City ranked third among cities.

Cebu City’s liabilities in 2014 amounted to Php 8.87 billion. Only the cities of Quezon with Php 15.77 billion and Manila with Php 9.38 billion had bigger liabilities.

Among the provinces, the top three on the liabilities list were Bohol with Php 3.59 billion, Negros Occidental with Php 2.78 billion and Bulacan with Php 2 billion.

Mandaue mayor okays start of PhP129-M repair of first Mandaue-Mactan bridge


MANDAUE CITY, Nov. 20 (PNA) -- Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes has given the go-signal for the start of the PhP129.6-million repair of the first Mactan-Mandaue bridge at any time after the Lapu-Lapu City fiesta celebration on Saturday.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 said the bridge repair, awarded to Jegma Construction, includes replacing the expansion joints, reinforcing the steel, replacing the drain pipes, applying anti-corrosion paint, removing damaged asphalt and rehabilitating the access road on the Mandaue approach.

But Mandaue City Development and Planning Officer Florentino Nimor Jr. said the city prefers that the bridge repair would be done only after the Sinulog festivities and the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in January.

The Sinulog grand parade in Cebu City will be held on Jan. 17, the third Sunday of January, after a series of religious and cultural activities during the week.

The Sinulog Festival is one of the biggest drawers of both local and foreign tourists with hundreds of thousands in attendance.

The IEC, to be held from Jan. 24 to 31, is expected to gather at least 15,000 pilgrims from across the country and around the world.

Both events are expected to generate heavy traffic in both Cebu City and in Mandaue City, the gateway to Cebu.

Jegma Construction has 11 months to finish the bridge repair but it began working on the approach last August.

Nimor said the DPWH might have to wait until February to start on the PhP50-million upgrading of A. Soriano Ave. because the Mandaue City government cannot allow it while Sinulog festivities and the IEC are ongoing.

Nimor said the local World Youth Day, one of the highlights of the IEC, will be held in Mandaue City on Jan. 28 and 29.

The activity includes a walk of about 5,000 youth members from Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City to the Mandaue City Reclamation Area, where they will camp out.

Cebu PB wants to put social workers in each district hospital to aid poor patients


CEBU CITY, Nov. 19 (PNA) -- The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) committee on budget and appropriations has suggested the assignment of a social worker in every district hospital in the province to attend to the needs of indigent patients.

The suggestion came after the death of a one-year-old child early this month.

The committee made the suggestion when the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) presented its 2016 budget during the budget hearing at the vice governor’s conference room Wednesday.

PSWDO head Rose Zosa proposed a budget of PHP104.8 million for next year, an increase from PHP84 million this year.

Zosa also proposed to increase the “assistance to individual in crisis situation (AICS)” from PHP13 million this year to PHP20 million next year.

Zosa said AICS is the assistance given to the indigent patients from the different municipalities that are referred to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

Cebu PB Member Grecilda Sanchez said the AICS should also be available in every provincial and district hospitals and a social worker should be assigned in the district hospitals for 24 hours.

She said this is to prevent the incident in the Minglanilla District Hospital where one-year-old Mary Jane Bariquit died after she was reportedly not properly attended to when she was brought there in the evening of Nov. 7.

8 barangays drive home new vehicles

By Flornisa M. Gitgano

MORE than P1 million worth of multicabs that may serve as mini-ambulances were given by the Provincial Government to the eight barangays of a number of local government units.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III led the distribution of the vehicles at the Capitol parking lot yesterday morning.

The recipients were Barangays San Isidro of San Fernando, Obong of Dalaguete, Tapul of Talisay City, Sta. Rosa and Tabok of Danao City, Mangayan and Candaguit in Sibonga and the municipality of Sibonga.

The multicab of Candaguit was already given last month.

Each multicab costs P134,000.

Yesterday, barangay and municipal officials drove home the multicabs with sufficient fuel in their tanks.


Tapul Barangay Captain Mary Ann Nolasco said that without the multicabs that also serve as mini-ambulance, they would end up borrowing privately-owned multicabs to bring her constituents during emergencies.

“Kung walay multicab nga kahulaman, mapugos mig pasakay sa pasyente sa habal-habal (If no multicab is available, we will be forced to hire motorcycle to carry our patient),” she said.

Nolasco said the multicab can serve as service vehicle of the barangay officials and the barangay pulis.


In his speech, Davide said the barangays requested the multicabs.

“As we all know, it’s part of our program nga mohatag og ayuda (to give assistance) in terms of mobility, especially para sa mga barangays nga naa sa lagyo kaayo nga dapit (for the far-flung barangays),” he said.

Davide said there are still requests for multicabs, ambulances and mini-ambulances in addition to the pending requests for the different LGUs.

The governor assured that the Capitol will continue to provide these as long as funds are available.

“Inyo kini, wa ni MOA (memorandum of agreement), donation kini silbi sa (These are yours, no MOA, which means that you now own the multicabs. This is donated by the) Provincial Government,” Davide said.

Since Davide started his term in 2013, the Capitol distributed 25 ambulances, 33 mini-ambulances, 109 multicabs and nine units of mini-dumptrucks.

Yesterday, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and Provincial Board Members Jude Thaddeus Sybico, Miguel Antonio Magpale and Raul Alcoseba assisted the governor during the distribution of multicabs.

Magpale said the Capitol has spent P59,255,580.90 for the 176 units of ambulance, mini-ambulance, multicabs and mini-dumptrucks.

She explained the distribution of the vehicles indicated the current administration’s focus on heath and social services.

Esquire Financing opens in Cebu ‘to serve’ those unserved by banks

By Jeandie O. Galolo

NON-COLLATERAL business loan provider Esquire Financing Inc. (EFI) is expanding in Cebu reach out to more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Visayas.

“EFI is dedicated to building a distribution network that allows businesses (SMEs) in the country to conveniently access our loan offerings,” said EFI president and chief operating officer Navin Uttamchandani, who was in Cebu yesterday for the company’s press launch.

“Our first branch in Cebu is but a small step in realizing this strategy,” he added. The EFI Cebu branch is located at the ground floor of 148 Residences on Pelaez St. in downtown Cebu City.

Since its establishment in 2011, EFI claims its “fast” and non-collateral business loans are tailor made for SMEs’ needs, goals, cash flows, capacity, and financial position.

Uttamchandani said the company releases loans not beyond seven days, in contrast to banks that would normally take three weeks to process.

Over the past four years, the financial company has served about 5,000 clients, availing of loans that range from P100,000 to P10 million. Of the number, only five percent came from the Visayas and Mindanao while about 95 percent came from Luzon. With the opening of the Cebu office, EFI aims to grow the regional market, the official said.

“We see so many SMEs in Cebu, so we had to build the operational scale in Manila first to support the demand,” said Uttamchandani.

Its current client base is mostly composed of businesses that are in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, construction, accommodation and food services.

From September to October, the company released P4 million worth of loans.

Interest rates are flexible, Uttamchandani said, but this will not exceed to 3.5 percent per month.

He expressed optimism that EFI will perform well in Cebu, as there remains to be a big number of SMEs that are left unserved by the formal banking institutions.

According to EFI, only 20 percent of the one million SMEs are served by the banks, attributing this low number to the extensive collateral requirements, the revenue-driven structure of the banks, and high minimum loan amounts.

EFI has recorded P15.2 billion of total loan releases from 2011 to 2014. The company records a delinquency ratio of less than two percent.

“The core of our business is risk management. We pride ourselves of our own in-house credit evaluation process, which enables us to successfully manage risk levels,” the company said.

For 2014, the company generated total revenues of P641.38 million, which is P5.45 million higher than the 2013 revenues of P635.93 million.

6 far-flung villages get mini-ambulances


CEBU CITY, Nov. 16 (PNA) -- The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) has passed a resolution giving mini-ambulances to six far-flung villages in municipalities in the province’s second district.

The mini-ambulance costing PHP205,000 each, or a total of PHP1.23 million, will be distributed to Barangays Cabadiangan in Alcantara, Colawin in Argao, Calabawan in Ginatilan, Buguil in Moalboal, Manlapay in Dalaguete and Daanlungsod in Oslob.

They will share the vehicles in case of an emergency in their neighboring barangays.

Cebu PB Member Peter John Calderon, who drafted the resolution, said all barangays are located in the mountains, except for Daanlungsod.

He said they will give a mini-ambulance to Daanlungsod because the barangay has difficulty gaining access to a municipal ambulance.

Calderon said these ambulances will be given on top of the ones previously distributed.

The provincial government distributed in August 13 mini-ambulances, an ambulance and nine mini-dump trucks worth PHP18 million to different LGUs.

Singing Cebu’s praises

By Jeandie O. Galolo

CEBU’S new branding tagline, “Cebu, where the heart sings”, has earned praise from various sectors.

They believe that the brand, created out of tourism advocates’ shared love for Cebu, will sustain Cebu’s footing in the tourism and business arenas, and expand further its gains.

“I think it is spot on. It has a sense of place and captures, more than anything else, the soul of Cebu. This soul, this Cebu, is something worth sharing with the world,” said Gordon Alan Joseph, president of Cebu Business Club. A festival dancer holding up a bright red heart is the brand’s main image. She stands next to the word Cebu, marked in four colors, under which is the tagline “where the heart sings.”

“The choice of colors reflects how fun Cebuanos are and, yes, true enough the line ‘where the heart sings’ really reflects how Cebuanos put their love in everything,” said travel agent Mary Yuletide “Juliet” Amazona.

The red in “Cebu” stands for faith and passion; yellow for warmth and friendliness; green for nature and creativity; and blue for the sea and resilience.

“Personally, I love the brand. They say when you can’t express your feelings through words, you sing. When your heart sings, it is a good reflection of Cebu as a multi-sensory experience,” said Cebuano travel blogger Sinjin Pineda.

The creation of Cebu’s brand took months of collaborative work among Cebu’s key tourism stakeholders, led by the Cebu City Tourism Commission (CCTC), Cebu Provincial Tourism Commission, Cebu Association of Tour Operators and GMR-Megawide, along with Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Mega Cebu, Department of Tourism, Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu and individual volunteers. “After so much consultation and brainstorming...Yes, the brand best represents Cebu and its people. People say Cebu is nice yet they cannot identify any specific reason for that comment or feeling. Yes, Cebu makes one’s heart happy, makes it love the world... makes it sing,” said CCCI President Ma. Teresa Chan.

By Jeandie O. Galolo

‘What Cebu really is’

Gov. Hilario Davide III, in a message read by Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino during the brand’s launching last Friday in Ayala Center Cebu, said the unveiling of Cebu’s new brand comes at the right time--immediately after Cebu’s hosting of international events such as the APEC meetings, which gave the province positive exposure.

The challenge now is to use the brand to rev up the tourism industry as an engine of economic growth of Cebu. “(This new brand) will reinforce our standing in both tourism and trade. Moreover, the brand represents effective collaboration of all stakeholders,” Davide said.

CCTC chair Tetta Baad said the brand marks Cebu’s official entry to the world stage of tourist destinations, where a multitude of brands all compete for a good share of the global tourism market. She likened Cebu to David, the Old Testament shepherd boy who faced and conquered Goliath.

“The brand truly captures what Cebu is identified for—talent, culture, faith, and people, among others. It’s a fitting triumphant banner to recognize more of what Cebu really is and what it can offer to the world,” said Alfred Compra II, a BPO employee in Cebu who is also a frequent traveler.

After its launching, the Cebu Brand team will now work on creating marketing materials to promote the brand and engage all Cebuanos to own it.

Chan is confident the brand will be supported by whoever wins in the 2016 elections, as its creation is a product of a private and public partnership.

“There is much work to be done to support the brand... We want tourists to leave the island with a smile on their faces and lasting memories that will draw them back again and again. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. It takes a communal effort to achieve this,” said Baad.

Mandaue products at exhibit

By Rebelander S. Basilan

ORGANIZERS of the Expo Mandaue, an exhibit being held at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Manila, hope the exhibit will push President Benigno Aquino III to hasten the release of funds needed to restore the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC).

Aside from showcasing the best products from the city, the exhibit will underline calls of local business leaders for a permanent venue where the city’s manufacturers can display their products for prospective buyers and investors, said Clayton Tugonon, a furniture exporter and curator of the exhibit.

The exhibit opened last Wednesday night in the World Trade Center in Pasay City, with Presidential Communications Sec. Sonny Coloma Jr., APEC National Organizing Committee director general Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes and Rep. Gabriel Luis Quisumbing (Cebu Province, sixth district) gracing the ceremony.

APEC attraction

The Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and the City Government set up the exhibit as one of the attractions during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on Nov. 18 and 19.

“Hopefully, this will remind (President Aquino) to release the funds for the refurbishment of the CICC,” Tugonon said in a recent press conference.

The Cebu Provincial Government, which owns the building, and the Mandaue City Government, which owns the lot, submitted a program of works for the rehabilitation of the building to the Department of Trade and Industry last August, upon the instruction of President Aquino.

Cost to refurbish

MCCI executive director Marlene Bedia said refurbishing the structure will cost almost P300 million, based on the submitted program of works.

Aquino vowed the National Government will help restore the building, which was abandoned after getting severely damaged by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda in 2013, after visiting an exhibit organized by MCCI during Labor Day last May 1 in Mandaue City.

Once restored, the building will become an expo center for products made in the province.

Mayor Cortes earlier expressed an intention to buy the building from the Province, but the two parties failed to agree on a price.

The City had planned to make the building into the Mandaue Investment Promotions Action Center, which will showcase locally made products.


It had also eyed the building as a potential City Hall, before it abandoned the plan to prioritize the construction of a new public market.

In Manila, organizers of the Expo Mandaue are hoping world leaders will visit the booths. Among the leaders expected to attend the meeting are US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The exhibit features furniture, bags, accessories and souvenir items that APEC delegates can buy and take home with them.

Tugonon said the exhibit stands to gain international exposure, as it is located beside the international media center.

South Cebu town ecotourism group wins international tourism award


CEBU CITY, Nov. 13 (PNA) -- The Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association (BAETAS) in the southern Cebu town of Aloguinsan won this year’s Tourism InSPIRE Award for Best Community-based Tourism Initiative in Asia Pacific.

The award recognizes the association’s “serious commitment to sustainability principles and evident benefits to community members.”

BAETAS bested other entries from 26 countries.

Boboi Costas, Grassroots Travel consultant, said the recognition means Cebu is not only beaches and dance festivals and whale shark feeding.

Cebu, he said, has local communities working for sustainable and responsible tourism.

“This global recognition confirms that Aloguinsan is doing the right things right for sustainable tourism,” he said.

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) announced on its website Wednesday night the six winners of the Tourism InSPIRE Awards 2015.

The award recognizes organizations and businesses that have demonstrated excellence in social, environmental and economic sustainability in tourism.

The Tourism InSPIRE Awards are presented to outstanding applications in six categories: Best Branded Accommodation, Best Independent Accommodation, Best Marine and Wildlife Tourism Provider, Best Culture and Heritage Tourism Provider, Best Responsible Tourism Destination, Best Community Based Tourism Initiative.

Winners of these awards, according to PATA, exemplify use and application of sustainable consumption approaches resource efficiency, value chain approach, eco-innovation, sustainable consumption, sustainability reporting, community action, cultural heritage, and collective impact.

BAETAS, formed on June 14, 2009, became the official caretaker of Aloguinsan’s 1.4-kilometer Bojo River in Barangay Bojo, which covers riparian zone of 61 bird species and native flora.

With the help of the local government, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 and local eco-cultural organizations, BAETAS developed Bojo River into an ecotourism asset and a livelihood resource.

Fishermen who became members of BAETA now worked as river cruise guides of the Bojo River.

Members of BAETAS also became recipients of various trainings on ecotourism, housekeeping and accommodation, handicraft, and other livelihood programs.

Currently, there are more than 50 family members under BAETAS.

In 2012, it started helping other neighboring communities in Aloguinsan until three new associations were organized.

Costas said the group this year has started helping Tabuelan town for mangrove species identification and Asturias town in community consultations.

“Even before these towns, its members have been speaking and inspiring communities from Luzon to Mindanao,” he said.

Rudney Carcuevas, president of BAETAS, said he was surprised when he learned about the award.

Carcuevas credited the success of the organization and its initiatives to the commitment and loyalty of the members, as well as the support of the local government unit.

He estimates the organization was able to generate gross receipts of PHP3 million to PHP5 million from the Bojo River Cruise last year.

“BAETAS is here to stay. Sustainability is already embedded in its operation and culture. Its serious commitment to sustainability and its positive impact to other communities was the main reason it won the award,” said Costas.

PATA will present the six Tourism InSPIRE Awards at a special awards ceremony on Nov. 27 at a dinner gala by the Tourism Promotions Board Philippines during the PATA New Tourism Frontiers Forum 2015 in Legazpi, Albay, Philippines.

Construction of third Cebu-Mactan bridge to start in Q1 2016


CEBU CITY, Nov. 12 (PNA) -- The construction of the third bridge linking Cebu mainland to Mactan Island will start in the first quarter of next year, an official said.

Cordova, Cebu Mayor Adelino Sitoy said they are hopeful the construction of the bridge will start by February 2016.

The groundbreaking for the third bridge was held last January yet and construction was supposed to begin after three months, but project proponent Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), a subsidiary of the Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), still has to finalize some project details.

MPTC offered to build and operate the toll bridge in a joint venture with the Cordova Municipal Government and Cebu City Government under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.

The proposed bridge will span eight kilometers from the mouth of the Guadalupe River in Cebu City to Shell Island and then Cordova town.

Cebu City Administrator Lucelle Mercado said the cost of the third Mactan-Cebu bridge rose to PHP27 billion from PHP17 billion.

Ramoncito Fernandez, MPTC president, said the cost estimate of the project rose because of capitalized interest and inflation adjustment from 2014 to 2015 and 2016 prices.

Fernandez said the MPTC is in the final stage of completing the draft 35-year concession agreement with the local government units of Cordova town and Cebu City which will get one percent each of gross sales.

Sitoy said the project will be presented this month for a Swiss challenge in which the government publishes details of the bid and invites third parties to match or exceed the offer of the original proponent.

The proponent of the unsolicited bid, MPTC, has the option to match the most competitive bid.

Sitoy said the project does not need President Benigno C. Aquino III’s approval because both Cordova and Cebu City have PPP ordinances.

France-Phl group to continue building disaster-resilient houses for Yolanda survivors in north Cebu

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

CEBU CITY, Nov. 11 (PNA) -- The France-Philippines United Action Foundation (FP-UA) will continue to build disaster-resilient houses for super typhoon Yolanda (International Name: Haiyan) survivors in northern Cebu, an executive said.

Clementine Turgeon, FP-UA project coordinator, said these houses, designed by Filipino Architect E. Florentinoto, can withstand up to intensity 8 earthquakes and 275-300 kilometer-per-hour winds.

These houses will be able to resist future storms, which are predicted to become increasingly strong in the coming years due to climate change, Turgeon said.

Turgeon said the FP-UA, a consortium of leading French companies operating in the Philippines, was created in order to coordinate the relief and rehabilitation efforts lead by the French business community in the Philippines.

Turgeon said the FP-UA was launched to address coordination and communication issues and improve the efficiency of French-led actions for victims of the super typhoon which devastated central Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013.

In the face of massive devastation in 2013, Turgeon said then French Ambassador to the Philippines Gilles Garachon, convened representatives from leading French companies, the Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur and the French Chamber of Commerce to form the consortium, which is also tasked to encourage optimal allocation of goods, define key evaluation areas, provide various opportunities for involvements, and communicate all these efforts to the public.

Turgeon said the FP-UA recently marked two years of coordinated relief efforts from the French private sector by delivering its two sites in Daanbantayan town in northern Cebu to the beneficiary families.

The first village is a partnership with Habitat for Humanity Philippines, which completed the construction of 76 disaster-resilient houses as well as a multi-purpose center on a 5,488-square-meter site in Barangay Agujo, Daanbantayan.

The companies involved in this project include Republic Cement & Building Materials, Inc. (formerly Lafarge), Schneider, Commanderie de Bordeaux, Megacem, Archetype, ParexGroup and ManilleBienvenue.

Led by the Philippine Red Cross in partnership with the French Red Cross, another village, referred to as the Red Cross Village, was built on a 13,500-square-meter site in Barangay Paypay, also in Daanbantayan.

The village was built in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Philippines as well as FP-UA, with donations by Total, Sanofi, the French Red Cross and Caisse des Dépôts.

The village includes 128 houses, a multi-purpose center as well as a livelihood center, a day-care center and a barangay health center.

Turgeon said the FP-UA will soon start the construction of a third site for 46 houses in a 5,000 square-meter lot in Barangay Cayang Bogo City, also in northern Cebu.

The houses, funded by CitésUnies France (CUF), will of the same design as those built by Habitat for Humanity in Site 1.

Turgeon said Site 1 has a total budget of USD500,000, USD1 million for Site 2 and USD259,292 for Site 3 or a total of USD1.759 million.

Cebu Province Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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