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Cebu to form local organizing committee for APEC Summit next year - Gov. Davide

(PNA), LAP/EB/

CEBU CITY, July 23 (PNA) -- Cebu will form a local organizing committee as counterpart of the national organizing team in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit next year, Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III said.

Davide said he will meet with Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes for the composition of the local organizing committee.

Davide said he has initially convened some private and business sectors including hoteliers, representatives from the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Cebu Business Club and Cebu City Tourism Commission.

The Office of the Vice Governor and the Cebu Capitol’s tourism office will represent the provincial government in the committee, Davide said.

“We should take advantage of this opportunity too that Cebu is the venue. Let us put our best foot forward. We have to go the extra mile in receiving these delegates of the summit,” he added.

Davide said representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and national organizing committee under the Office of the President met with him Tuesday to be briefed on the updates of the preparation for the APEC Summit.

Ma. Angelina Sta. Catalina, deputy director general for Conference Management Services and former ambassador to Finland, was one of those who met the governor.

She announced that four of the 21 major meetings will be held in Cebu set in August to October next year.

The first one will be a three-week preparatory meeting in August 2015 for senior officials.

The other three are ministerial meetings for APEC transportation, energy and finance.

Sta. Catalina said the team could not yet determine the venues since they are still waiting for final instruction from the national government.

“We are going to hold it in different hotels here. It depends if the hotels have conference facilities. We are still looking at the possible venue of hotels. I can assure you that we are quite happy of the kind of facilities that are available here in Cebu,” she said.

The series of meetings will be followed finally by the meeting of the heads of state towards the end of the year.

The Philippines has been a member of APEC for the past 25 years and it first hosted the summit in 1996.

Sta. Catalina said Cebu was chosen as host to several meetings because of its economic progress.

“Cebu is the second largest city in the Philippines. It has become a hub for development, for economic enterprise for the country. The main objective of APEC is really to enhance trade and economic integration within the region. We see Cebu as a prime mover in the country,” Sta. Catalina said.

Cebu guv welcomes COA’s participation in assessing CICC

(PNA), CTB/EB/

CEBU CITY, July 22 (PNA) -- Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said he welcomed the Commission on Audit’s (COA) involvement in the assessment of the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) should the provincial government decide to sell the property.

Davide said COA’s involvement will avoid any hitches in the proper valuation of the CICC, which was built by the provincial government at a cost of more than P800 million in a property owned by the Mandaue City Government.

The lot was valued at P457,632,000.

Mandaue City, which expressed intention to buy the CICC, assessed the property at only P200 million, a third of the provincial government’s assessed value of P600 million.

Davide said COA’s participation will avoid later accusations that the provincial government was placed at a disadvantage.

The CICC was built during the time of former governor and now Cebu third district Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia as one of the main venues of the 2007 Association of Southeast Asian Nationas (Asean) Summit.

After the Asean Summit in 2007, the building had been used as a venue for product exhibits, concerts, school events and others, until it was damaged by last year’s earthquake and typhoon.

The property has been lying idle after the series of calamities.

Davide said the provincial government will no longer spend for its repair or maintenance because it was not earning ever since.

State flying school eyes transfer to north Cebu town

(PNA), FPV/EB

CEBU CITY, July 21 (PNA) -- The Philippine State College of Aeronautics (Philsca) is considering Medellin town in northern Cebu as its relocation site to give way to the Php17.5-billion expansion project of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

Medellin, Cebu Mayor Ricardo Ramirez said Philsca executives visited his town last week.

Ramirez said the Philsca building in Mactan belongs to the Philippine Air Force while the lot is owned by the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority.

Medellin is known for its vast sugar plantations and has wide flat lands suitable for an airport, most especially the runway.

Ramirez said they have been offering their lands to interested flying schools.

Ramirez said the municipal government is willing to donate the land and building to the state flying school on condition that Philsca will use it as a campus.

Ramirez said the matter will still be discussed by the Philsca board of directors.

If the transfer pushes through, Ramirez said Philsca will be the second state-run educational institution in his town, next to the Cebu Normal University.

Rep. Benhur Salimbangon (Cebu, fourth district) has filed House Bill 1943 seeking for the construction of an alternate international airport in Medellin, which is now pending before the House committee on transportation.

Salimbangon said Medellin is geographically suited as site for an alternative airport considering that it is situated near tourist destinations like Bantayan Island and Malapascua Island.

Salimbangon is also pushing for the transfer of all other aviation and flying schools from Mactan to Bantayan Island to decongest the Mactan airport.

Event showcases ‘best of Cebu’

(SunStar Cebu)

SUN.STAR Cebu showcased last Friday the winners of its Best of Cebu 2013 search.

The event was held at the Oakridge Pavilion on A.S Fortuna St., Mandaue City and was described by guests as one of the “best” nights in Cebu as it put together the best in the city.

“The Best of Cebu was such a laudable effort to highlight what we have to offer. It gives people the chance to experience and taste the best-all in one place,” said Theresa Gonzales, corporate communications manager of Visayan Electric Co.

Carmel De Pio-Salvador, managing director of Global Carrier Philippines and president of Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association Cebu Chapter, said the event was a showcase of Cebu’s pride.

She said the project is “very laudable” because it enabled Cebuanos to know more about what they can offer to guests visiting the province. It also allowed locals to patronize their own delicacies.

“Whenever I visit a new city, I always check what the place has to offer and I look forward to the experience all the time. With the Best of Cebu, now we have the right guide for our guests to have the memorable experience too,” said Salvador.

World class

Half of the 80 winners of the Best of Cebu 2013 search were gathered together in one night to celebrate what made them stand out in their respective categories.

Sun.Star Publishing Inc. president and general manager Julius “Jayjay” Neri Jr. said the event aims to make Cebu a world-class destination by featuring only the best. He said the initiative is the company’s effort to help spur development and bring the local economy to greater heights.

He advised the winners to keep up their good work and level up. He encouraged non-winners, though, to continue striving for the best.

The Best of Cebu search was conceptualized by Maki Garcia-Evans. It was first featured in the Dec. 13, 2013 issue of Sun.Star Cebu’s Weekend magazine, which had just been redesigned. The first batch of winners was spread across seven categories namely services, shopping, hotels, public facilities; food and drink; fun and games; and beauty and wellness.

The selection process for Sun.Star Best of Cebu 2013 took four months. This involved nominations from the panel members for each category, collating of data from random office polls, lengthy deliberations, site visits, and in the case of food and drink, “blind” taste tests.

Driving force

However, with the twin calamities that hit Cebu last year, the project took on a more significant meaning: “the honorees now represent the driving force behind a resilient Cebu economy,” the company said.

“The Best of Cebu is great because it makes establishments want to up their ante, which can only be good for us locals and tourists alike. We will end up having only the best of the best in the city, and it will help put Cebu on the international map as a must-visit destination even more,” said Kaye Luym-Sala of A~List.

“It is a brilliant project that would not only help the local business players of Cebu but boost tourism by showcasing the best of what Cebu can offer, especially that it’s endorsed by a leading publication that the Cebuano locals trust,” said Charlene Go, public relations manager of Cebu City Marriott Hotel.

Asked what could be further improved, Gonzales said, “it would be best though to make it a little longer, not just for one night, so more get to experience it. It would surely boost the retail industry in Cebu as more people get to know our products and services, more people would want to come and that means more business for our local industries.”

“The project is already great because it helps locals discover what the best and new establishments are in Cebu. If there’s a way to open it to the public in the future it will be even better, especially for the food since that’s what Filipinos love. Look up “Taste of Chicago,” said Mynimo founder and chief executive officer Wesley Chiongbian.

Foundation gives automated weather stations to 10 LGUs in Cebu

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

CEBU CITY, July 19 (PNA) -- A non-profit organization has given Automated Weather Station (AWS) to each of the ten local government units (LGUs) in Cebu to provide them with a more localized and detailed weather forecasting.

Weather Philippines Foundation (WPF) of the Aboitiz Group, in partnership with MeteoGroup, chose the towns of San Francisco in Camotes island, Madridejos in Bantayan Island, Alcoy, Malabuyoc, Dumanjug, Santander, San Remigio, Tuburan, Daanbantayan and the city of Bogo as recipients of a unit each of Lufft-type AWS.

WPF general manager Celso Caballero III said the AWS will provide the LGUs “solid weather information,” enabling them to detect weather disturbances and do micro-climate forecasting.

Caballero said the initiative was not intended to level or even surpass the state weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

He said they are working closely with the state weather agency.

“It is incumbent upon the private sector to help the government in ensuring disaster preparedness, because climate change and its effects are not just a concern of the government. It is everybody’s concern,” he said.

He said that as soon as their partnership with Pagasa is sealed, data from their weather stations all over the country would be fed to and integrated with the state weather bureau’s database and weather advisories.

The AWS equipment is given to the LGUs for free and, as stated in the memorandum of understanding, the security and cleanliness of the weather station would be the lookout of the recipients.

San Francisco, Camotes, Cebu Mayor Ali Arquillano said the device is very useful especially in their town which is situated in an island and isolated from the mainland.

The devices were turned over Friday at the Diamond Hotel, with the help of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., the family foundation of the Aboitizes.

In 2013, WPF also distributed eight AWS in Metro Cebu. The recipients were Mandaue City, Cebu City, Talisay City, Danao City, LapuLapu City, Toledo City, SM City Consolacion and SM City Cebu.

Pagasa-Mactan Chief Al Quiblat lauded the initiative of the private sector in augmenting the capability of the state weather agency.

But Quiblat said official weather information and advisories would still come from Pagasa.

Lapu-lapu’s installation in Mactan necessary

By Junex Doronio

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu—The Lapu-lapu monument at Rizal Park in Manila should be transferred to Mangal Point in Punta Engano in this city where it belong, Mayor Paz Radaza said on Thursday.

She said the transfer was in accordance with opinion of the National Historical Institute that Lapu-lapu’s statue “could desecrate” Rizal Park, which was intended for the hero who died there.

“We call it Rizal Park so only Rizal should be there. If they insist on retaining Lapu-lapu, it should be named Rizal and Lapu-lapu Park,” Radaza said.

Cebu had initiated putting up the Lapu-lapu statue at the Luneta Park in 2004. It was supported by then Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon.

Lapu-lapu was the local chieftain who defied the Spanish colonial forces under the command of Ferdinand Magellan, who was killed by Lapu-lapu in the battle of Mactan in 1521. The Cebuanos wanted the statue transferred to Mangal Point, which was named after the father of Lapu-lapu.

Radaza said the Lapu-lapu statue at Mangal Point would attract tourists and create livelihood to people in the area because “we will be making a small island at the tip of Barangay Engano just like the statue of Liberty in New York.”

Cebu Rep. Raul del Mar, who was one of those who worked for the erection of the Lapu-lapu statue at the Luneta, opposed the transfer but Radaza said the issue was discussed with Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez when he visited Cebu last week.

The Battle of Mactan is reenacted every year in the spot where Magellan was killed. The Spanish government put up an obelisk to honor Magellan, but it was defaced shortly after the US military occupation of the Philippines.

Cebu Capitol sets activities for province’s 445th anniversary

(PNA), FPV/EB

CEBU CITY, July 17 (PNA) -- The Cebu Provincial Government has lined up activities for its month-long celebration of Cebu’s 445th founding anniversary next month.

The series of events will kick off on August 1 with the launching of the “Province Awards” at the Cebu Capitol grounds.

Local government heads and congressmen are expected to grace the affair.

On the following day, August 2, there will be a fun walk from the Capitol to Fuente Circle and back, which will be followed by a zumba, a famous dance exercise.

There will also be a family day and a free concert on this day.

On August 3 is the “Ironman,” an international sports event attended by triathletes.

August 4 and 5 are for wellness events and entertainment like singing competition and others.

On August 6, the founding day anniversary itself, there will be a “Sayaw sa Dekada 80” dance contest and “Gabii sa Sugbo” event on Aug. 8.

A “Media Night” activity and “Halad sa Kabataan Awarding” will be held on August 13 and 15, respectively.

King Philip II of Spain appointed Miguel Lopez de Legaspi as the first governor of Cebu on August 6, 1569.

Republic Act 8952 declares August 6 a special non-working holiday in the entire province, including all component cities and Cebu City as Cebuanos celebrate the founding of the province.

AFP Central Command ready to deploy personnel to Glenda-hit areas

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

CEBU CITY, July 16 (PNA) -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command (Centcom) based in Camp Lapu-Lapu, Lahug, Cebu City is ready to deploy its personnel to other regions heavily affected by typhoon Glenda, an official said.

Lt. Gen. John Bonafos, Centcom chief, said some 80 personnel in their headquarters are on standby.

More personnel are on standby at the personnel in Naval Forces Central in Lapu-Lapu City, the 8th Infrantry Division, the 3rd Infantry Division and the 2nd Air Division at the Benito Ebuen Mactan Air Base in Lapu-Lapu City.

Bonafos said they have deployed soldiers to other regions when super typhoon Yolanda struck large parts of the Visayas last November.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) 7 is also on red alert.

OCD 7 Director Olivia Luces said they have activated their operations center to keep tab on the situation in Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.

“Even three days before typhoon Glenda entered the Philippines, we have already alerted our personnel to prepare for any eventuality,” she said.

She said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 has prepositioned relief goods in the region for distribution during emergencies.

Cebu creates prov’l youth commission

By Michael Vencynth H. Braga / JMD (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines- Youth sector in the province of Cebu will now have a “permanent” representation at the provincial government after an ordinance creating a Provincial Youth Commission has been approved in the third and final reading yesterday.

The ordinance, authored by Provincial Board member Miguel Antonio Magpale, plays as the highest policy making and coordinating body in all efforts on youth development in the province.

It will be responsible for the formulation and recommendation of policies, and coordination and implementation of youth development programs, projects and activities in the province.

Magpale said this would be done in coordination with the National Youth Commission, different national government agencies, local government units, youth organizations, and youth serving institutions or those organizations whose principal programs, projects and activities are youth-oriented.

He added that the Sangguniang Kabataan, which positions are made vacant to pave way for the Congress to study and create reforms on it, will also be a partner with the commission.

The specific functions of the committee which are provided under the ordinance further include developing and providing support for the development and coordination of youth projects and design strategies to gain support and participation of the all sectors, establishing youth centers, convening and confederate all youth organizations operating in the Province and registered with the National Youth Commission, among others.

The PYC will be chaired by the Governor, or his authorized representative, and co-chaired by the Vice Governor.

This committee will also have set of commissioners which are composed of President of the Provincial Federation of SK, and Presidents of the Provincial Federations of Student Organizations, Community Based Youth Organizations, Working Youth Organizations, Out of School Youth organizations, Youth with Special Needs Organizations, Religious Youth Organizations, and representatives of the Provincial Federation of Youth Serving Organizations and Institutions.

Magpale said the committee will convene this month. He added that though there is no budget yet allocated for the committee this year, stakeholders will tie up with LGUs and national government agencies for the realization of its programs.

"Hopefully sa creation sa PYC which is under the Office of the Governor, atong ma-address ang concerns and issues sa youth. Ang SK man gud is legislative in nature so they are just like us, as public officials, they are elected every three years. Kining commission it has permanence and is executor aron sab naay continuity ang programs sa youth," he added.

Carcar City govt. signs MOU with solar power producer

By Liv G Campo/ATO (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Carcar City has tied up with a solar power producer for the possible setting up of a solar-fired power plant.

“The MOU will help us see if a solar power plant is feasible in our city. But hopefully feasible gyud siya kay maayo nalang madugangan atong power supply,” said Mayor Nice Apura.

The city signed the memorandum of understanding with Ceko Solar Corp., a power company jointly owned by Filipinos and Korean nationals.

The city and Ceko Solar entered the MOU last week.

Jessie Tundag of Ceko Solar said they are proposing to construct a 15-megawatt solar plant in Carcar, which is expected to cost them at least P2 billion. Carcar City will be providing the land, said Tundag, where they will set up the plant. He said they will need six to 10 hectares of lot for their solar panels and plants. Apura said they plan to set up the project at the newly launched Eco City Center in Barangay Polacion III.

“If they are earning money in Korea in winter how much more in the Philippines?” said Tundag.

Tundag said this may be the first time their company will have a solar plant in the Philippines, if their proposal in Carcar pushes through. Their Korean partners, Posco ICT, MIR SYSTEM, Hantherm, Chanju Industrial Development, Areone Investment and Consulting Group, Sung Hyun High-Tech, have established renewable energy plants in South Korea for years.

Ceko Solar, he said, has on-going negotiations with Cadiz in Negros for a 50MW solar plant, a 10MW plant in Minglanilla and another 10MW plant in Liloan, Cebu.

Tundag said if everything goes smoothly as planned, and the Department of Energy has given them the go signal, they shall start with the construction one and a half years from now.

He said they also hope to have similar projects in other local government units in Cebu.

City in southern Cebu plans to develop river into a water park

(PNA), SCS/EB/

TALISAY CITY, Cebu, July 13 (PNA) -- The Talisay City government is planning to develop Mananga River, its biggest river, into a water park.

Talisay City Mayor Johnny delos Reyes said this would turn the Mananga River into a tourist attraction.

Based on his proposal, the four-meter mouth of the river will be dredged to allow seawater to merge with the river system.

In effect, it will become a larger body of water, which will be opened for recreational swimming, water sports and even ferry services.

When that happens, Delos Reyes will then develop the riverside to make it more attractive to tourists.

He said he will coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 regarding his proposal.

But Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas (Cebu, first district) said there is a need to study the proposal because of the unpredictable condition of the river.

There had been incidents of flash floods in the Mananga River during heavy rains.

Gullas emphasized that public safety should be the primordial consideration in Delos Reyes’ proposal.

Capitol allocates P3M for 445th anniversary next month

By Claire Tano /JMO (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Capitol has allocated P3 million for the Cebu province’s 445th month long anniversary celebration next month. Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera said that unlike last year, this year’s celebration will be a month long.

“No increase in budget. Last year, it was P3 million but half ang among nagasto so this year we still used the 3 million as a budget for the entire month. Barely igo-igo lang ato budget kay some of this mu-ingon na mu-offer service for free,” Natera said

A budget has been allocated for activities of different departments, which will be undertaken in coordination with the legislative branch.

Natera said awards will be launched after the flag raising ceremony on August 1, which will be participated by mayors and vice mayors in the province, as well as personnel of the Philippine National Police.

“Our target are NGOs and the people who helped sa probinsya, ug kadtong ni tabang sa Yolanda will recognize them during the governor’s night on August 8 and to those empleyado bag-o ra ni retire ug outstanding nga naka-contribute sa development sa province they have also an awards” she said.

MMDA to train Lapu-Lapu City barangays on disaster preparedness

(PNA), JBP/EB

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu, July 11 (PNA) -- The Lapu-Lapu City government will tap experts from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in its move to prepare different barangays in the city for disasters and calamities.

Lapu-Lapu City Administrator Teodulo Ybañez said experts and personnel from the MMDA will be the speakers and trainers of 60 participants coming from the different barangays.

Ybañez said there are ongoing trainings and seminars in the different barangays related to disaster preparedness.

The seminar and trainings are initiated by the members of the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation, Bureau of Fire and Protection and the Local Disaster Risk and Management Council.

Ybañez said tapping the experts and personnel from MMDA will help them upgrade their knowledge in effective response during disaster and calamities.

The earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda last year, according to Ybañez, will be the basis to educate the people especially the barangay officials.

He said the barangay officials are at the frontline of defense not only for maintaining peace and order but also for calamity response.

The training and seminar next week will focus on the islet barangays in Lapu-Lapu City like Caubian, Caohagan and Pangan-an.

Cebu Province Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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