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Talisay OKs measure about blood donation

By Garry B. Lao (Freeman, The Philippine Star)

CEBU, Philippines - The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Talisay City approved an ordinance that institutionalizes a voluntary blood donation program.

The Committee on Laws and Ordinances of the City Council chaired by Councilor Socrates Fernandez has already rendered its report and sees no legal impediment in the proposal.

In fact, the report said the move actually "harmonizes" with Republic Act 7719 or the National Blood Services Act of 1994.

"The Committee finds out that the ordinance is not contrary to the approved ordinance if read in its entirety. The Committee finds out that the ordinance is not an ultra vires act," the report read.

City Councilor Richard Francis "Choy" Aznar, who authored the ordinance, said the program involves the conduct of massive bloodletting and blood typing, and seeks to provide a local mechanism by which Republic Act 7719 will be implemented in the city to promote public health.

Under the ordinance, the 22 barangays will identify at least one percent of its population who are 18 years old and above to undergo bloodletting every six months.

Their names will be entered into a databank of the barangay and shared with the City Health Office that will manage it.

Each barangay will also have its list of walking blood donors according to blood types and with their contact numbers.

"The capabilities of local government units, especially the municipalities and barangays, shall be enhanced by providing them with opportunities to participate actively in the implementation of national programs and projects," Fernandez said in the report.

Aznar, chairman of the Committee on Health, also said the ordinance will promote and encourage voluntary blood donation by the constituency and will install and heighten public awareness of the principle that blood donation is a humanitarian act and a community responsibility.

Under the ordinance, the blood donor program in the barangays will be made a regular but voluntary activity in the barangay. This will be conducted every July, which will be considered Barangay Blood Donors' Month.

There will also be a separate list for people with rare blood types or those with type AB or RH negative, with their addresses and contact numbers, to facilitate coordination in case of emergencies.

Aznar said the walking blood donors are individuals included in the list of qualified donors who are ready to donate blood whenever needed by the community.

The city government will be setting aside funds as seed money for the operation of the Barangay Blood Donors' program in the first year of its implementation.

The funds shall be used to purchase blood bags, reagents and other materials used for bloodletting.

Aznar said the barangay is authorized to set aside one percent annually to be taken from the 20-percent Barangay Development Fund to finance the annual bloodletting activity, in the second and succeeding years of implementation.

BJMP-7 urges pharmaceutical companies to donate HPN drugs to inmates

By Fayette C. Riñen (rmn/fcr/PIA-7)

CEBU CITY, October 23 (PIA) -- Twenty inmates died mostly from cardio-pulmonary arrest in September alone in various jail facilities in Central Visayas, making the region the highest in case fatality rate among detainees nationwide.

From January to September this year, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP-7) registered 60 deaths in the region mostly from heart diseases.

There are 34 jail facilities in Central Visayas under the auspices of the BJMP-7, of which 17 are based in Cebu.

“We are appealing to pharmaceutical companies and drug stores to donate hypertensive drugs and even those for diabetes for our inmates,” urged Ma. Roselle Escaño, senior jail officer II of the BJMP-7 as the country celebrates the 20th National Correction Consciousness Week from October 23-30.

Escaño said the allocation for medicines per inmate is only at P5 per day.

“The amount only covers medicines for common ailments such as flu, colds and headache and does not include drugs for hypertension and diabetes,” said the senior jail officer.

Most of the detainees are poor and cannot afford to buy maintenance medicines for hypertension and diabetes, said Escaño.

Escaño said the health condition of inmates is further aggravated by over congestion of detention cells. The most congested jail facilities in the region are the Mandaue City Jail and the Cebu City Jail.

Though Escaño did not specify which province in Central Visayas recorded the most number of deaths, the senior jail officer surmised the bulk of the fatalities come from Cebu which had the highest number of inmate population at 7,001 out of the 9,000 inmate populace in the entire region.

Escaño said most of those who died were aged 30 years and above.

“For inmates who need maintenance medication, this will already be the lookout of the immediate family,” said Escaño.

The BJMP-7 custodian of the detainee who is rushed to the hospital for urgent medical care is even responsible for the processing of document for the indigent detainee through the Department of Social Welfare and Development so hospital fee could be waived, bared Escaño.

“They (inmates) are still human beings and need proper care and attention,” as we appeal to kind-hearted people and organizations including pharmaceutical companies and drug stores to donate medicines for hypertension and diabetes to the prisoners, said Escaño.

Group turns over school facilities

By Flornisa M. Gitgano

A NON-GOVERNMENT organization (NGOs) turned over yesterday more than 200 classrooms and day care centers in four towns in northern Cebu that were hit by typhoon Yolanda last year.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi) repaired and built 229 classrooms and day care centers in Daanbantayan, Sta. Fe, Madridejos and Bantayan.

The classroom rebuilding and construction project was implemented in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and local and foreign groups.

The project cost P218.95 million. Of the amount, P27.5 million came from local and international NGOs that are partners of Rafi.

Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) Chief Panfilo Lacson and Rafi president Roberto Aboitiz led the turnover ceremony held at the Bantayan Central School.

The project repaired 95 classrooms and eight day care centers in Daanbantayan; 67 classrooms and four day care centers in Bantayan; 42 classrooms and three day care centers in Madridejos; and five classrooms and five day care centers in Sta. Fe.

Anthony Dignadice, Rafi education development unit executive director, said the classrooms and day care centers will benefit a total of 11,300 children.

The structures were designed to withstand disasters, he said.

The rehabilitated classrooms and day care centers have stronger columns and beams, improved roofing and elevated flooring.


The League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Cebu chapter and the International Labor Organization (ILO) helped in the repair and construction of classrooms in Sta. Fe, which cost P4.5 million. The league provided skilled workers and equipment, while the ILO paid for the wages of the workers.

Dignadice said the contractors had to transport materials through motorized banca to two islets in Bantayan.

Aboitiz said the project was implemented using the “coalition model,” which involved the local governments, private sector and DepEd.

Rafi’s partners include the International Rescue Committee, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, She Entrepreneurs Organization, Let's Help Philippines, Christ Leather Foundation, Pesch Family, Calligaro-Mueller Family, Sacred Heart School-Alumni 85, Portraits Artists Society of the Philippines, Art Association of the Philippines, St. Clare's Foundation and St. Clare's Hospital.

The turnover ceremony was witnessed by Gov. Hilario Davide III, DepEd Undersecretary for External Linkages Mario Deriquito, PARR Communications Director Karen Gimeno, town mayors and some Provincial Board members.

In his speech, Lacson thanked Rafi for helping the National Government. “Without them I cannot imagine where we would be right now,” he said.

He said that he was tempted to resign from PARR when confronted with the problem of lack of funds.

“(I was like) Superman without powers,” he said.

Engineers' group pushes biogas technology

By Jose P. Sollano (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines – The Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers in Mandaue City has urged local officials in Metro Cebu to adopt biogas technology in addressing the problem of garbage.

The PSME-Mandaue City Chapter headed by its president Pedro Ronulf Diongzon is now working with Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes to implement biogas technology at the 6.5-hectare relocation site in Barangay Paknaan.

Mandaue City government and PSME-Mandaue signed a memorandum of agreement for the implementation of the project.

PSME-Mandaue has been tasked to conduct the design of the project while the city government will look for available funds to finance the project.

While PSME-Mandaue is working for the project implementation, they have also urged local officials in Metro Cebu to adopt the same project.

Their project is called Biogas Technology, the Solid Concrete Fermentation Digested Chamber.

Biogas, which is mainly methane, is a gas produced from the digestion of organic materials in an oxygen-free environment or anaerobic fermentation.

PSME officials said that proper disposal of organic household waste, especially from backyard piggeries and poultries, is usually done in open-dug pits which are messy, odorous and often breeding grounds for mosquitoes, flies, rats and pathogenic bacteria.

This system of waste disposal threatens the ground water through the infiltration of pollutants.

This scenario creates health hazards as well as potentials of conflict with neighbors, PSME officials said.

Having a biogas digester, Diongzon said, can help solve this issue.

Senica Engineering & Construction represented by Engr. Fableo Senica Jr., a contractor based in Carmen town, is the one who designed the biogas technology.

At present, Senica Engineering & Construction already constructed a biogas plant in Mindanao and is also working on another plant in Leyte.

Developer beefs up presence in Cebu

By Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Vista Land and Landscape Incorporated, one of the largest home and commercial developers in the Philippines, is now planning to build more projects in Cebu including a shopping mall, BPO complex, condominium towers, and subdivisions.

Vista Land chairman Manuel Villar said that although the company already has several projects here such as Camella Homes, Crown Asia, and other brands, these are not enough to make its strong presence in Cebu.

Villar was in Cebu recently to meet with the local real estate brokers and agents announcing the company's grand development plans in the province.

In an interview, Villar said more residential inventories are lined up for Cebu, specifically in Mactan Island, Talamban, Talisay, Carcar, and other areas in the province.

Another Camella Homes will be built in Mactan, a construction of a condominium project and establishment of Star Mall in Cebu. Construction of these projects will start before the end of the year.

Despite the presence of big and small developers competing in Cebu’s upbeat condominium market, Villar is confident that his company will be able to catch up in this market segment saying there is still a huge room for growth in the market.

Villar said his company will initially build a twin-tower condominium project here, although he did not divulge the exact location of the development.

The former Senator added that as Cebu provides a conducive environment for more real estate projects, he is going to be hands-on on this move.

"We are beefing up our presence in Cebu. I will be coming here often," he told brokers.

At present, Villar's company has more or less 50-hectare land bank located in different areas in Cebu. However, he emphasized that the company is actively looking for more properties for acquisition.

Meanwhile, aside from making a much stronger presence in the real estate sector in Cebu, Villar said his group will also open up other businesses here like the planned opening of its All Home, a home depot retail concept, as well as establishment of its All Day convenience store chain here.

For the first quarter of this year, the company reported a P5.4 billion revenue performance, a 12 percent up from the same period in 2013.

Capital expenditures for 2014 are expected to reach over P20 billion.

Talisay as highly urbanized city pushed

By Garry B. Lao (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines – Is Talisay City ready to be converted into a highly urbanized city?

For former mayor and now City Councilor Socrates Fernandez, who is the chairman of the Committee on Laws, Ordinances and Good Government, yes it is.

"There is an urgent need for the conversion of Talisay City into a highly urbanized city so that it can effectively and efficiently address social, economic, environmental and political concerns brought about by urbanization," according to Fernandez in his two-page proposed resolution No. 2014-38-15 filed before the City Council.

His proposed resolution, which will be deliberated in next week regular session, was co-authored by third and last-termer Councilor Edward Alesna.

Fernandez, in his resolution, is requesting President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to declare Talisay City a highly urbanized city. Currently it is a component city of Cebu province.

Talisay City, which celebrates its Charter Day every January 12, became Cebu's component city on Dec. 30, 2000 by virtue of Republic Act 8979, which former congressman Eduardo Gullas authored.

Fernandez, who was then the municipal mayor before it was converted into a component city, said as a component city, Talisay has moved on forward to progress under the leadership of past and present administrations.

"The City of Talisay, Cebu, as a component city throughout the past years, has displayed its competence and capability to address problems affecting the city under the able leadership provided by the local government and private sector. As a component city located within Metro Cebu, serious problems affecting the metro communities are spilling over to Talisay City, such as problems of criminality, demand for housing, squatting, transportation congestions and other social concerns," said Fernandez in his resolution.

If upgraded to HUC status, Talisay would be a separate political subdivision from the province of Cebu with its own congressman who could bring in funds for the city's various projects.

The city's internal revenue allotment would also increase considerably and would bring enormous benefits to the city.

Local Government Code of 1991 requires that a city should have an income of P50 million before it could be classified as highly urbanized.

According to Fernandez, the city has already met all the requirements for a highly urbanized city, such as a population of more than 200,000 and an income of more than P50 million, among others.

He said the city is also possessing wide tract of lands comprising agricultural, forestall verdant plains and endowed with springs and rivers and a beautiful coastal area facing Bohol and Siquijor provinces.

However, Fernandez admitted the ultimate decision - whether they want Talisay City to be converted into a highly urbanized city or not - will be put in the hands of the voters.

So far, the country has 32 highly urbanized cities.

In Cebu, there are three highly urbanized cities, namely Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City.

Cebu first district Representative Gerald Anthony "Samsam" Gullas and Talisay City Mayor Johnny De los Reyes are still waiting for the council's action before making their statements on the matter.

Talisay City belongs to Cebu's first district.

IT and BPO sectors fuel Central Visayas economy

By Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The continued expansion of the information technology and business process outsourcing market in Central Visayas, particularly in Cebu and Negros Oriental, has greatly contributed to the growth of the regional economy, according to the National Economic and Development Authority region 7.

In a recent economic report, NEDA-7 assistant regional director Ruth Cruz said the IT and BPO sectors remain as two of major growth drivers of the economy in Central Visayas.

Data from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority showed that in the first quarter of this year, direct employment generated by IT centers reached to 65,303, up from 51,962 last year.

In 2013, investments from IT companies reached to more than P9 million. Manufacturing ecozones' investments stood at more than P15 million in 2013 and generated direct employment of 120,989 this year, higher than last year's 116,651.


Despite the good prospects in the BPO and IT sectors, Cruz said the tourism industry in the region has relatively not been doing good this year due to the Bohol earthquake last year and the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda which hit Northern Cebu.

"Tourism has been the growth driver in 2013, however, 2014 has not yet been a good year (for the industry)," she noted.

Data from the Tourism Department revealed that in the first semester, foreign visitor arrivals in the region decreased by 1.13 percent to 684,864 this year, slightly lower compared to 692,719 last year.

Of the four provinces, only Bohol recorded a decrease by 8.51 percent in tourist arrivals which went down to 209,634 this year from 229,138 last year.

On the other hand, NEDA's Cruz mentioned some development goals for the region's economy: to attain an average gross regional domestic product growth rate of 9.9 percent by 2016; expanding the supply and reach of basic facilities and services including health, education and infrastructure to make the economy more inclusive; and fast track rehabilitation and recovery efforts caused by major disasters that hit the region.

The updated Regional Development plan has also identified some challenges for the region's economic performance, she said.

These include the high poverty incidence, high cost of doing business, poor infrastructure and logistics support, uncoordinated transport network and planning and limited capacity and inadequate maintenance of transport facilities.

Malacañang proposes P1.8B for public health care

By Elias O. Baquero

THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has announced that Cebu will get P1.8 billion out of the P30.5 billion set aside by the Aquino administration for public health care programs in 2015.

During a press conference in Cebu yesterday, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the P30.5 billion will focus on the 44 poorest provinces.

“While Cebu is among the most prosperous provinces in the country, it has one of the highest number of poor families at 151,425 in 2012,” read a copy of the 2015 proposed national budget, which DBM gave to Sun.Star Cebu.

The budget for Cebu will cover subsidy to health insurance premiums of more than half a million residents, construction of 122 barangay health stations and the construction or improvement of healthcare facilities. It will also fund the deployment of 543 healthcare workers, including 422 nurses, and the construction of six potable water facilities.

Abad said that through the Universal Healthcare Program, the Aquino administration seeks to increase health insurance coverage, improve accessibility to healthcare facilities and help achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Abad said that drainage projects, considered a priority by local government units in Metro Cebu that face flooding problems, will be funded through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The DPWH proposed a budget of P174.5 billion to pave 2,231 kilometers of national roads and build a total of 5,231 linear meters of permanent bridges.

DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas earlier said that the agency will ensure that all road projects will have accompanying drainage.

Malacañang is also proposing P450 billion for basic education programs in 2015. The amount covers construction of more classrooms, hiring of teachers and purchase of books.

During the Good Governance Dialogue organized by the Union of Local Government Executives of the Philippines, Abad said fiscal management in the National Government has improved.

“Leakages have been plugged in the planning and execution of the budget enabling the faster implementation of programs,” he said. “Budget prioritization has been strengthened further.”

Firm behind Bluewater to build hospital

By Katlene O. Cacho

CEBU-BASED Alenter Resort Hotels Corp., the company behind the Bluewater Properties, is diversifying its investments in the province by putting up a 100-bed hospital in Mactan Island.

Rhyz Buac, vice president for finance and operations, said in an email that the group is holding off any major resort expansion in all of its properties as they will concentrate on building a hospital facility, whose construction is scheduled for next year.

The company will be spending about P300 million for the Mactan Island General Hospital, Buac said in a statement. “Resort plans and expansion will follow after the development of the hospital,” he said.

Alenter Resort Hotels Corp. owns Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort, Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort and Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort. The company also owns Almont Hotels in Mindanao.

Buac reported occupancy in its three big resort properties are doing well amid tight competition among resorts players and the lingering effects of the twin calamities last year.

“So far this year, we average 85 percent occupancy for Bluewater Maribago; 60 percent occupancy for Bluewater Sumilon; and 50 percent occupancy for Bluewater Panglao,” he said.

Edison Navas, resident manager of the 54-room Bluewater Panglao, said the beach resort is now recovering from the impact of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake and tourists, particularly foreigners, are starting to come back.

Holiday influx

Because of the earthquake, tourism arrivals and occupancy in Panglao Island resorts dropped in the last quarter of 2013 and first quarter of 2014. Arrivals started to increase, however, during the summer.

“What we are now anticipating is the influx of tourists for the holidays. In fact, our resort has already logged bookings for December, (mostly from) the domestic market,” he said.

The biggest challenge among tourism players in Bohol is the impact of the travel advisory imposed by China on the Philippines. The Chinese market, Navas noted, is one of the top travel markets for resort players in Bohol, apart from Koreans, Japanese and Europeans.

China recently advised its citizens to avoid the Philippines due to the country’s security situation.

Bluewater Panglao is a 5.5-hectare property in Brgy. Danao, Panglao Island, Bohol. The firm invested P500 million for its development in 2010.

According to Buac, there are no definite plans yet for Bluewater Panglao’s expansion, as future developments will depend on the timing and development of Bohol infrastructure such as the Tagbilaran seaport and international airport.

Meanwhile, the 25-year old Bluewater Maribago is getting a makeover.


Buac said they are updating and renovating their facilities, including the rooms and main swimming pool. The beach resort expanded its room inventory from 158 to 165 rooms.

Among the ongoing projects at Bluewater Maribago include the renovation of its main swimming pool, whose target completion is on Oct. 25, and beach wing rooms in December. The renovation of its deluxe rooms will start in the first quarter of 2015.

Bluewater Sumilon also expanded the number of its rooms from 14 deluxe rooms to 27 rooms composed of deluxe rooms, premier deluxe and one- and two-bedroom villas last year.

For this year, Buac said they also augmented their island activities by introducing the island cruise, pedal boat, lagoon trek, recreation corner with board games, arts and crafts and billiards.

Mandaue lays down plans, designs for new market

By Flor Z. Perolina (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines – Plans and designs for the construction of a new public market in Mandaue City are now in place.

Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes said the local finance board is now in the midst of discussion on where to source out money for its construction, which will probably start before the year ends.

Cortes, in an interview with reporters, said the city government might come up with a P300 million budget for the construction of the new market in Barangay Centro where the old market used to stand in the 90s.

It was badly hit by a fire in 2004.

Cortes said they have finally decided to construct the new market in Barangay Centro after they found out that the market constructed at the back of the City Sports and Cultural Complex is not an ideal place for the market goers.

“Imagine, kaluoy sa mga tiguwang nga mo-tabok sa major thorough-fare, naka-cause na nuon og samot nga traffic,” Cortes said.

Once the market will be constructed in Centro, A. Soriano Street, which is the way towards the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, is seen to be decongested.

He said that the new public market can be of use by 2016.

Cortes also said the market at back of the complex which was devastated by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake last year will not also go into waste as many entities have already sent their proposals for a public-private partnership.

“We also have to maximize the use of that area kay taas kayo na ug value diha,” Cortes said.

He said aside from the market, the city has also to prioritize the construction of a “promotion investment center” where all of the city’s products will be gathered and displayed.

This as the city also aims to be the primary source of high-quality consumer products here in Central Visayas.

Carcar shoemakers to receive P1.7M set

By Marites S. Villamor

TO SUPPORT a key industry in Carcar City, P1.7 million worth of shoemaking set from Taiwan will be turned over to the Carcar United Footwear Manufacturers Association Inc. by the third week of this month.

The development was shared by Department of Trade and Industry Cebu business development chief Elias Tecson in an interview yesterday. The amount is part of the agency’s Shared Service Facility program where it has allotted a total of P36 million for Central Visayas this year.

Under SSF, DTI sets up common service facilities or production centers to give small and medium scale enterprises access to “better technology and more sophisticated equipment.”

“Actually, we can say that our shoe industry here in Carcar is really dwindling. If before we consider it a sunrise industry, now I can say it is a sunset industry, instead,” said Carcar City Mayor Nicepuro Apura in a separate interview.

The mayor said that in the 1980s, Carcar City had around 500 shoe manufacturers.

However, this went down tenfold, with only 50 surviving manufacturers, including himself.

Apura opened his shoe factory in 1985. By 2010, he started to feel the effects of the increasing presence of cheaper China-made shoes in the country.

From China

Cufmai president Gerry Sandoy said in previous interviews that imported shoes from China posed a competition to locally-made footwear. Apura and Sandoy both described shoes imported from China as cheap but of “low quality.”

Tecson advised local shoe manufacturers to find a way to keep up with the pricing of China-made shoes. In order to do this, the DTI official encouraged Carcar shoemakers to work together to buy raw materials in bulk rather than individually.

“The local footwear industry should adopt global strategies like the bulk buying of raw materials. To compete globally, (they should) decrease the cost of raw materials and labor,” Tecson said.

Food industry

To counter the dwindling shoe industry, Apura said the city is heavily supporting its food entrepreneurs.

Early this month, DTI and the local government of Carcar turned over a total of P3.21 million for skills training, with majority of the participants involved in food making.

Carcar, according to Apura, is popular for its chicharon (pork cracklings), ampao (puffed rice) and bocarillo, which are attracting locals and other buyers from outside Cebu.

Commercial activities are also upbeat in Carcar with the opening of supermarket giants like SM’s Savemore three months ago and Metro Gaisano, which is set to open soon.

Mactan-Cebu airport upgrade set

By Marites S. Villamor

CEBU CITY -- As a private manager takes over terminal operations at the second busiest airport in the country on Nov. 1, the state-owned Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) prepares to expand facilities and services to cope with growing airline and passenger traffic volumes.

A second runway by 2020 and an airport express to key urban centers in Metro Cebu are among the projects lined up to bring the airport up to par with world standards and cope with a projected annual passenger traffic volume of 10 million in the next five years, said Nigel Paul C. Villarete, airport general manager and a member of the MCIAA board.

To help fund the expansion and cover increasing operating costs as well as comply with the 25-year concession agreement between MCIAA and private airport operator GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), the board approved on Oct. 10 higher passenger service charge (PSC) rates, commonly known as terminal fees.

Effective Nov. 1, a domestic passenger would have to pay P220, P20 more than the current P200 fee, while an international passenger would have to shell out P750, or P200 more than the current P550. The domestic PSC rate will increase further to P300 effective January 1, 2016.

The new rates were approved after the board held two public hearings and a focus group discussion. The last adjustment in the fees was made 15 years ago for domestic and nine years ago for international.

In a statement issued yesterday, the MCIAA board said its projected investments along with those of GMCAC are “vital to ensure that our airport maintain its high safety standards and provide a much better world class airport experience to all its users and passengers.”

“It is our hope that MCIA not only evolve as a major contributor to Cebu’s tourism and business development, but as a vital and pivotal focus of the economic development growth of the entire country,” the statement added.

The Mactan airport is the “first and the only Certificated Aerodrome in the country pursuant to Annex 14 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Sec. 139.050 of Administrative Order No. 139 of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP),” the board added.

The increase in the PSC rates coincides with the takeover by GMCAC, which has vowed to promptly improve service and efficiency levels as well as the terminal’s aesthetic value. Simple turnover ceremonies will be held at 12 midnight of Oct. 31 to mark this new era.

“I can assure you that there will be significant changes from day one,” GMCAC Chief Executive Adviser Andrew Acquaah Harrison told journalists here during the recent launch of the group’s new corporate brand and tagline, “Start here.”

New seats have been ordered and will be rearranged for a more spacious environment, Cary Santiago-designed uniforms for staff are being prepared, the WiFi hot spot has been upgraded and MCIAA offices have been temporarily relocated to the Waterfront Mactan Airport Hotel to free up space at the terminal.

First up for renovation are the washrooms, Mr. Harrison said even as he assured that the group will minimize the impact of transforming the terminal. In time for the Sinulog festival in January, electronic passport gates will be installed, he added.

Also to be expected are an airport village with retail and entertainment options, six contact gates, triple-level in-line baggage screening, four baggage carousels and 14 escalators.

Construction of a second terminal, which will increase annual passenger carrying capacity to 12.5 million, will start in January and will take up to 36 months to complete. The existing terminal was designed for 4.5 million passengers, but now serves 7.1 million.

“All this we will do in conjunction with MCIAA. We are together as partners for the next 25 years,” Mr. Harrison said.

GMCAC, 60% owned by listed Filipino construction company Megawide Construction Corp. and 40% by Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd., expects financial close for the project between the end of this month and middle of November, GMCAC President Manuel Louie B. Ferrer said in a previous interview. The company is looking to raise P17.52 billion, 70% through debt and 30% equity.

The airport management has initiated pre-development work for the planned second runway.

The same MCIAA board statement said pre-investment studies will start next year. Construction is targeted for completion by 2020.

“MCIAA recognizes the need to expand runway capacity in the future. While present aircraft movement at peak hour is still less than half the single runway hourly capacity, we can’t overemphasize the fact that air transport infrastructure are bulk investments that may take years, sometimes even decades, to pursue.”

Another project lined up is the establishment of an airport express that will provide direct links to key urban centers in Metro Cebu as well as form another backbone for an expanded bus rapid transit (BRT) system.

Mr. Villarete, who was also the project development officer of the P10.6-billion World Bank-funded Cebu City BRT project, said the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) has asked him to study how it can be done. One option is for the DoTC, through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, to grant MCIAA the franchise for the proposed airport express and for MCIAA to procure the services of bus companies to operate the system.

Mr. Villarete said these projects will not only support the growth of the airport but also boost Cebu’s competitiveness. “We have to have that in the next five years,” he said.

The P17.52-billion Mactan Airport upgrading project is the second public private partnership contract awarded (Apr. 5) under DoTC after the P1.72-billion Automatic Fare Collection System awarded on Jan. 31. MCIAA and winning bidder GMR-Megawide, which offered a one-time premium of P14.4 billion, signed the 25-year concession agreement last April 22.

PRO-7 renews partnership with SoKor’s Chungnam Police

By Bryner L. Diaz, JMD (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Police Regional Office-7 and Chungnam Police of South Korea have strengthened their relations by signing a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday morning at the regional headquarters.

Top officials from Chungnam headed by Senior Superintendent General Sang-Yong Park came to Cebu to sign the agreement while Senior Superintendent Orlando Ualat, deputy regional director for operations, represented PRO-7 during the signing of the MOU.

In an interview with Lee Yong San, Police Attaché, he said that the purpose of the agreement is to foster the partnership between Chungnam police and PRO-7 and to enhance good relations of South Korea and the Philippines.

After the agreement was signed, Lee asked PRO-7 officials to protect the citizens of South Korea who come to Cebu mostly to study English and for recreation.

“As you know, many Koreans have been coming to Cebu for education purposes and recreation, I ask PRO-7 to protect them,” Lee said.

He said while they are asking the local police to protect their ci-tizens living in Cebu, he also assured that Korean criminals will be dealt with accordingly.

“I heard some cases the Koreans sometimes are victims and suspects as well. The criminal can be handled by law; criminals can be punished by law,” he added.

He said Koreans who come to the Philippines are obliged to follow the law of the host country.

“Koreans promise to abide by the law… Koreans come as foreigners. I ask you to treat them warmly,” he said.

In an interview, Senior Superintendent Pablo Labra III said the agreement has been there for years already and the signing of the MOU is just a continuation of the program.

“This agreement that we have with Chongnam Police has been there for several years already, ato lang ning gi-continue. Ang purpose is yung training at yung study tour, nakapadala na ta’g police sa ilang lugar, sila sad nakatrain na sad sila sa atoa,” Labra said.

Labra said the Korean police officials are happy with the Korean Desk established in every police station in the region and they are now learning PRO-7’s Beat Patrol System and the Comprehensive Deployment System.

“Usa is yung pag-establish nato sa mga station og Korean Desk and sa beat patrol system nga atong gi-enhance. They try to implement comprehensive deployment system, diin atong tun-an ang usa ka lugar kung unsa’y problema ug atong ibuhos ngadto ang mga personnel sa ilaha. Wala pa kaayo nila ma-practice but suwayan nilang tun-an,” he said.

Mandaue bags regional plum for helping coops

By Flor Z. Perolina (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Mandaue City government has been awarded for the third successive year as the best local government unit in Central Visayas in terms of support to the cooperative movement.

Norma Panulde, development officer of the Cooperative Development Authority, revealed this during a press conference last Thursday at the mayor's conference room.

Panulde said the city government won the award because through the Mandaue City Cooperative Development Office, it has extended the necessary support to the city's cooperatives.

The city also won the award in 2012 and 2013.

Lawyer Ernesto Maringuran, the City Cooperative Development officer, said with the three consecutive Gawad Parangal awards they have received, they are hoping to bag a slot for a similar search in the coming National Cooperative Summit this October 16-18 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

Having won the award in the regionals, Mandaue City is now automatically nominated to the national search. Maringuran said the city has also been accredited to conduct trainings on cooperative development at present.

"Nahimo na tang training provider ron human ta gi-acknowledge sa Cooperative Development Authority," Maringuran said.

According to The Cooperative Learning Centre, cooperatives are autonomous associations formed and democratically directed by people who come together to meet common economic, social and cultural needs.

Founded on the principle of participatory governance, coops are governed by those who use their services: Their members.

Based on the principles of empowerment, education, and community, coops operate laterally promoting participation both within their own organization, and through a focus on community interaction and support.

Councilor Beethoven Andaya, chairman of the Regional Cooperative Development Council, disclosed the important role of cooperatives in helping the people meet their basic needs.

Having recognized this, he said the city allotted P1.5 million to fund a soft loan program to cooperative members at a maximum of P100,000 and zero interest within a span of 12 months.

At present, there are around 25,286 members in 62 different cooperatives in the city.

And because the number of cooperatives in the city is rising, MCCDC Secretary Emy Bustillo said they are contemplating on asking the City Council to infuse an additional fund of P3 million to help other members in the city who are new players in the coop business.

Meanwhile, the City Cooperative Development Office announced the launching of their three programs: "Anak Mo, Lab Ko," which seeks to organize cooperatives with children, 18 years old and below as members; "Asenso Mo, Negosyo Ko," which aims to help a coop start off a business venture; and "Negosyo Ko, Buhay" to help strengthen cooperatives in manufacturing sector by offering training programs.

Lito del Castillo, CEO of Mandaue Market Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative and chairman of Mandaue City Cooperative Development Council, also announced the holding of a "Cooperative Run" on October 19, 4:30 a.m. at City Heritage Plaza City Hall grounds.

Aside from the fun run, they will also be conducting a medical mission and feeding program today at the 6.5-hectare relocation site in Barangay Paknaan.

Cebu Province Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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