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Province of Cebu - Archived News

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Agro trade fair kicks off as Cebu starts month-long celebration of 445th founding anniversary

(PNA), LAM/EB/

CEBU CITY, Aug. 1 (PNA) -- The Cebu Provincial Government’s Agro Trade Fair dubbed as “Tabo sa Kapitolyo” (Capitol Market) kicked off Friday as part of the month-long celebration for the province’s 445th founding anniversary.

A total of 37 private exhibitors and 41 local government units (LGUs) in the province participated in the event, including some typhoon-hit areas in northern Cebu like the towns of Pilar and Poro in the Camotes Islands, Borbon, Bantayan and Tuburan.

Cebu Provincial Agriculturist Roldan Saragena said the event showcased the pride products of the respective LGUs. The event also aims to invite prospective buyers, he said.

Saragena said prizes await the outstanding exhibitors, which include P20,000 for the best booth and P5,000 for the early decorated booth.

A series of other activities have been lined up for the province’s 445th anniversary, which started with a flag raising ceremony Friday morning at the Cebu Capitol grounds.

The month-long celebration will be highlighted with a “Sayaw sa Dekada 80” on August 6, the founding day anniversary itself, which has been declared a non-working holiday throughout the province.

The “Gabii sa Sugbo” event will be held on August 8.

Assistant Provincial Administrator Ramil Abing, in-charge of the activity, said the Capitol allocated P3 million for the celebration.

‘Running priest’ appeals: Save trees

By Justin K. Vestil and Oscar C. Pineda

AN ADVOCATE of protecting the environment asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and local governments to preserve the century-old acacia trees along the highway from Naga to Carcar.

Fr. Robert Reyes, who is known as the “running priest” for his preferred means of calling attention to a social problem, said he has no objections to the removal of decayed or diseased acacia trees, but that the rest should be protected.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Central Visayas has finally agreed to remove seven decaying century-old trees in the City of Naga on Aug. 5, but with conditions.

Reyes, who chairs the National Coalition to Save the Trees, went to Barangays Tinaan and Langtad in Naga yesterday afternoon to tie white ribbons around some century-old trees.

In an interview, Reyes said the ribbons are intended to send a message to all concerned sectors to preserve the trees not only for their value to the environment, but also for their historic and spiritual value.

“The 10 commandments state, ‘Thou shall not kill’. That commandment does not only apply to people, but to every living being,” Fr. Reyes told Sun.Star Cebu.

Sustainability

While aware that some decayed trees in Cebu had caused traffic jams and almost cost lives when these toppled over, Reyes said that the trees wouldn’t be in such a condition if these had been properly monitored and cared for.

“In other countries, they have offices that specifically monitor and take care of trees growing along national highways. While our national government often creates monitoring teams, the actual monitoring never happens,” Reyes said.

He also urged the DENR to register century-old trees along national highways and maintain them if there are signs of decay or disease.

“We are not anti-progress, but progress must be sustainable and in the context of the environment and concerns on climate change,” the priest said.

Meanwhile, DPWH, DENR and the City Government of Naga agreed they will begin removing seven diseased acacia trees on Aug. 5.

They also agreed that DPWH will not shoulder the responsibility of cutting and replacing the trees by itself.

The agreement was made during a meeting in the DPWH 7 office in the South Road Properties (SRP) yesterday afternoon.

Ador Canlas, DPWH 7 director, told reporters that while they have agreed to cut the acacia trees, DENR and their counterparts in Cebu Province will help provide 700 seedlings for planting.

Replacements

The cutting will take place at 9 a.m. to avoid a traffic gridlock.

Due to an existing policy that prohibits the planting of trees along the road, all concerned agencies have agreed that the City Government of Naga will provide a planting area for the 700 seedlings. City of Naga officials have identified an area in Barangay Tuyan.

City of Naga Councilor Carmelino Cruz, who represented Mayor Valdemar Chiong in the meeting yesterday, said they have agreed to provide the heavy equipment and enforcers to supervise the traffic while the trees are being cut.

They also agreed that the City Government and barangay officials will help the DENR in maintaining the replacement trees.

The DENR 7 said it is also speeding up the approval of a special tree cutting permit (STCP) for 77 decaying trees in San Fernando.

Neil Enriquez, San Fernando municipal administrator, said they will implement the STCP.

However, they were assured by DPWH and DENR that these agencies will assist with the tree-cutting once the STCP is approved. The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office will help provide them with the 7,700 seedlings to replace the felled trees.

Exotic

In a separate interview, a former dean of the College of Forestry in the University of the Philippines (UP) in Los Baños said planting trees along roads is a mistake, because it endangers the public and weakens roads.

“It affects the durability of the road and safety of the public,” said Dr. Rex Victor Cruz, who added that concrete roads become more durable when exposed to the sun’s heat. He clarified he was speaking for himself, as a trained forester, and not as UP Los Baños chancellor.

“The problem with acacia is that when it gets old, the center rots,” said Cruz. From a conservation point of view, acacia also has a low biodiversity value because it is an exotic tree, an invasive species, and not endemic to the country.

“Development has a cost. But there is a law to ensure that the cost to our environment is minimal or mitigated,” Cruz added.

Century-old acacias can still have value as material for furniture, he added, considering that the wood’s grain gets more distinct with age

SONA hits the 'heart' of Cebu businessmen

By Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The fifth State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III boosted the confidence of Cebu business leaders not only because of its sheer honesty but also because it was a concrete report of accomplishments amid controversies haunting the present administration.

In a rating of one to 10, the Cebu business community gave Monday's SONA an average rating of eight.

"President Aquino's message was simple. His administration is focused on establishing reforms and transformation in governance.It will continue to implement changes in its systems - I think this one is important, and what we will be looking out for, said Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry newly elected president Jeruel Roa.

Aquino's report of the administration's savings in billions of pesos, in cutting the bureaucracy and other financial measures implemented by the President, was applauded by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

CCCI president Ma. Teresa B. Chan said the greatest accomplishment of the Aquino administration is its ability to recover public trust, emphasizing her belief that Aquino, despite the threatening issues that his administration is facing, still showed sincerity in leading the nation.

PNoy's emotional SONA hit the "heart" of Cebuano leaders who expressed their strong confidence that this administration has laid the foundation towards rebuilding its good impression to the international community, and hope that the next President in 2016 will continue the projects and programs that this administration has started. Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

"I really believe that most projects/programs are in the right direction, I just feel that people are being impatient," said tourism capitalist and business leader Jay Jonathan P. Aldeguer.

According to Aldeguer despite the efforts of the government, everybody is getting impatient.

The Yolanda rehabilitation program for instance, is moving slower than expected, the reason people are becoming impatient and blaming the government.

"It's not easy to rehabilitate the country that has been through several crises. He knows that he will not be able to finish the projects, and the 'honeymoon' is over. But he did all his best to jumpstart all the projects," Aldeguer said adding that the report on the movement of Public-Private-Partnership is good although the completion of the projects is yet to be seen.

Known for its proactive attitude, Cebuano business leaders chose to focus on the brighter perspective of the Aquino leadership, saying political detractors, issues, are always there and expected in any government and in any country.

"Counter-current has to be expected,"said Aldeguer.

MCCI past president Phillip Tan likewise said that although PNoy's accomplishments are not "okay"--not that big, "but we are already happy about that. At least we are moving, we are not deteriorating."

Aquino, in his one-hour and 25 minutes speech, started by saying that his job as a president is not easy and that he is just a human being, he then went on reporting on his administration's accomplishments and projects on the pipeline.

Cebu execs vow to monitor P12.2B rehab of north Cebu

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

CEBU CITY, July 29 (PNA) -- Cebu provincial officials have vowed to closely monitor the implementation of the P12.2-billion rehabilitation plan for super typhoon Yolanda-devastated areas in northern Cebu.

President Benigno S. Aquino III announced his approval of the rehabilitation plan for all provinces hit by Yolanda, including Cebu.

Baltazar Tribunalo Jr., head of the Capitol’s Task Force Paglig-on, a group mandated by the provincial government to supervise and monitor rehabilitation efforts in northern Cebu, said the team would still watch over the implementation of rehabilitation projects to prevent duplication of projects.

He said the fund would be coursed through national agencies and clusters where the needs in typhoon-ravaged areas in Cebu belong.

Tribunalo said it would be ideal if some funds would be given directly to the local government units (LGUs).

“My suggestion is for small amounts to be given directly to LGUs. This will measure the capability of our municipalities,” he said.

Tribunalo said the release of the rehabilitation fund would come in tranches from 2014 to 2016.

The rehabilitation plan of the province was submitted to the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) on April 2.

Last May 30, cabinet members and PARR Chief Panfilo Lacson signed the rehabilitation plans for areas ravaged by super typhoon Yolanda last year, including Cebu.

Of the P12.2 billion, over P6 billion is needed for the shelter and relocation of typhoon victims.

The amount covers site development, water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, costs of the shelters, acquisition and power.

Aside from that, around P700 million is intended for utilities, P874 million for social infrastructures, P1.7 billion for livelihood and emergency employment and social development, and P175 million for capacity building and trainings on disaster preparedness, among others.

Cebu’s recovery budget was earlier pegged at P10 billion.

But Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said additional data were submitted by affected local government units in northern Cebu which led to the increase of the amount to P12.2 billion.

MGB 7 assesses detailed geo-hazard maps for 208 north Cebu barangays

(PNA), LAP/EB/

CEBU CITY, July 28 (PNA) -- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 7 of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 has assessed in a detailed geo-hazard mapping in a scale of 1:10,000, a total of 208 barangays in eight towns and one city in northern Cebu which were hit by super typhoon Yolanda last November 8.

MGB 7 Director Loreto Alburo said this is a priority program under President Benigno Aquino III’s administration to ensure that lives and properties are protected against the possibility of landslides and flooding given the adverse and extreme weather conditions in the country

“Yolanda has taught us a ‘new normal’ when it comes to the intensity and magnitude of typhoons and storm surges that affect the coastal communities with overwhelming impacts,” Alburo said.

In a report released by the MGB-7’s geosciences division as of July 23, the towns which were covered included Madridejos with 14 barangays; Santa Fe, 10; Bantayan, 25; Daanbantayan, 20; Tabogon, 29, Borbon, 19; Tuburan, 54; Tabuelan, 12; and Bogo City with 29.

The assessment was conducted by the MGB 7 with the assistance from MGB region 3 to expedite the activity.

“The objective of the 1:10,000-scale is to indicate more details of the area covered by the map which may include the specific physical characteristics or environment of each sitio or “purok” in a barangay,” DENR 7 regional executive director Isabelo Montejo said.

Montejo said the 1:10,000-scale geo-hazard map is expected to be completed in 2014.

Alburo said the assessment team will re-issue the appropriate warnings and geo-hazard advisories to be received by the Office of the Mayor and a barangay official with information, education and communication campaign.

He said the assessment results which were given out to the local government units have mitigating measures to reduce possible impacts or effects of the geological hazards.

DENR 7 restores 24 has. of mangroves, 14 has. of beach forest in Yolanda-hit areas

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

CEBU CITY, July 27 (PNA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 has established and restored some 24 hectares of mangrove plantations and 14 hectares of beach forest plantations in the Yolanda-hit areas in Central Visayas, particularly in northern Cebu, an official said.

DENR-7 regional executive director Isabelo Montejo said some P3.6 million has been released with close to 500,000 seedlings of mangroves and various tree species planted in northern Cebu.

Of the amount, over P1.5 million was used to produce around 484,301 mangrove propagules and about P2,192,550 for the production of 40,950 saplings for the beach forest plantations.

Montejo said DENR will now focus on the re-establishment and restoration of mangrove plantations and beach forest plantations to highlight their importance to the environment and to the lives of the residents of coastal communities affected by the typhoon.

“During the immediate recovery phase, DENR 7 implemented the Cash for Work and Operation Gabas project to financially provide the affected residents and at the same time clear typhoon debris like fallen trees, coconut palms and damaged mangrove plantations, but now we are geared toward more sustainable programs,” Montejo said.

After Yolanda struck regions 7 and 8 in November last year, DENR 7 conducted an immediate assessment of the 185 hectares of identified plantation sites and had contracted 14 people’s organizations to reestablish about 83 hectares of mangrove plantations and 100 hectares of beach forest plantations in Camotes Island, Bantayan Island, Daanbantayan, Medellin, Bogo City and Borbon.

DENR 7 allocated a total of P8,170,000 for immediate relief assistance to the Yolanda-affected communities, including the restoration and establishment of mangrove and beach forest plantations.

About P4,420,000 has been allotted to produce 1,020,000 mangrove propagules and P3,750,000 for the production of 50,000 saplings for beach forests.

Navy eyes base in Mactan as home of Philippine fleet

(PNA), JBP/EB

CEBU CITY, July 26 (PNA) -- The Philippine Navy is planning to convert their naval base in Mactan, Cebu into the new home for its Philippine Fleet.

Vice Admiral Jesus Millan, the Philippine Navy's Flag Officer in Command, said Cebu is the ideal site to accommodate the Philippine Fleet because it is the hub of all the shipping companies, repair facilities and because of Cebu’s accessibility to air and sea ports.

"Considering the strength of the area, this will be the official place and home for all our support and current floating assets and those that will be acquired in the future,” Millan said.

Millan said he has asked Commodore Ronald Joseph Mercado, the new Naval Forces Central (Navforcen) chief, to make Cebu's Naval Base Rafael Ramos as a hub for all its ground and sea assets under the Philippine Fleet.

Mercado, who hails from Banawa, Cebu City, replaced former Navforcen commander Commodore Reynaldo Yoma who will be the new commander of the Western Mindanao Naval Forces.

Mercado was last assigned with the Offshore Combat Force of the Philippine Navy.

Mercado said he is willing to take the challenge as the new Navforcen chief.

He also vowed to continue and strengthen the humanitarian assistance and disaster response in the Visayas.

"We need to be more prepared after what we have experienced and we already learned our lesson," Mercado said.

Millan said Yoma did well particularly when he faced three major man-made and natural calamities -- a sea collision, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Cebu and Bohol and super typhoon Yolanda in most parts of the Visayas -- during his stint.

Cebu water firm commissions P10.6-M reservoir

(PNA), LAP/EB/

CEBU CITY, July 25 (PNA) -- The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) has commissioned its P10.6-million state-of-the-art reservoir in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City.

The reservoir can store 1,000 cubic meters of water and can supply about 3,800 households, including the homeowners of a real estate development, living within the Guadalupe area.

The water that will be stored in the reservoir, which was constructed within a 791-square-meter property near the entrance of Monterrazas de Cebu subdivision, will be sourced from five deep wells and from Abejo Water Corp., a private bulk water supplier.

The reservoir in Monterrazas de Cebu is the latest of eight MCWD reservoirs across Cebu.

The other seven reservoirs are located in the towns of Liloan, Consolacion and Compostela and in the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Talisay.

Eugene Singson, MCWD officer-in-charge, said installation of the reservoir at the subdivision will stabilize water pressure for areas in Guadalupe even during peak hours.

Genvi Development Corp., which developed the Monterrazas de Cebu, donated the property where the reservoir now stands in July last year.

The donation was made after Genvi learned about the plan of MCWD to put up a reservoir and was looking for a site for the project.

Singson said the reservoir uses state-of-the-art technology called glass fused to steel that prevents the accumulation of fungus or moss.

Singson said the technology is compliant with the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 61, which regulates standards for drinking water.

Cebu Customs collects P6.49B in first half of 2014

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

CEBU CITY, July 24 (PNA) -- The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Cebu has collected a total of P6.49 billion from January to June this year, officials said.

Cebu Customs District Collector Roberto Almadin said the total collection was P33 million higher than its P6.16 billion collection target for the first half of the year.

Almandin said BOC-Cebu posted a total collection of P1.02 billion in June against its monthly target of P1.01 billion.

Conrado Abarintos, chief of the cash division, credited the positive collection to the construction sector.

Abarintos said that bulk of its revenue collections came from the iron, steel, plastic and wood imports.

Abarintos, who is also the officer-in-charge of the assessment division, said coal importation as well as petroleum products also helped the BOC-Cebu in meeting and surpassing its target.

“In fact, 80 percent of our collection is from bulk cargoes and not so much on containerized cargoes,” Abarintos said.

BOC Cebu has a collection target of P12.5 billion this year.

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.

Cebu Province Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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