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Cebu City News June 2015

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Cebu City Map Locator
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View of Cebu City from the bay
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Aerial View of Cebu City
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Aerial View of Metro Cebu
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How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
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Cebu City Cathedral
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Magellan's Cross in Cebu City
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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.
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Mormon Temple Lahug cebu city philippines

Contents

SM Prime-Ayala Land tandem bags P10-billion Cebu City dev’t project

By Krista A. M. Montealegre (Senior Reporter)

A CONSORTIUM of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) won the bid to develop a portion of the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City for P10 billion, marking the third partnership of the two real estate behemoths less than a year after burying the hatchet over a stake in the unlisted property holding firm of the Ortigas family.

The move of the Sy and Ayala families’ real estate companies to team up highlights the need for such cooperation to acquire prime land and boost operational efficiency as they target opportunities in the property market, analysts said.

In a joint statement attached to their disclosures yesterday, SM Prime and Ayala Land said SM-ALI Group consortium, which also includes the latter’s affiliate Cebu Holdings, Inc., will jointly develop the 26.34-hectare (ha) lot in the reclaimed 300-ha SRP area once a master plan is in place.

Yesterday, shares of SM Prime added 14 centavos or 0.71% to end P19.98 apiece, Cebu Holdings gained 10 centavos or 1.98% to P5.16 per share, while those of ALI dropped 35 centavos or 0.93% to P37.30 apiece.

JOINT MUSCLE

The consortium will combine the “financial muscle, technical expertise and the real estate experience” of the SM and the ALI group, the statement read.

“Ayala Land is pleased to have been awarded the 26-ha South Road Properties lot in Cebu, which we will jointly master-plan and develop with the SM group,” ALI President Bernard Vincent O. Dy said in a mobile phone message.

“We look forward to working with them on this project, which will be a mixed-use development in what we believe will be a major growth area in Cebu.”

SM Prime and ALI’s decision to work together can be viewed as a “strategic” decision to increase their operational efficiency at a time when prime lots are harder to come by, analysts said.

“Usually, we should see smaller developers partnering with big developers because one would need the expertise and scale of the other,” Julius Guevara, head of advisory services at Colliers Philippines, said in a mobile phone message.

“With these two major property developers joining together, this just shows that land is getting harder to acquire so we’ll probably see these kinds of transactions more and more.”

Claro dG. Cordero Jr., head of research and valuation at real estate advisory firm Jones Lang La Salle, said separately in a mobile phone message: “We can expect big property developers working together to raise the level of operational efficiency in order to create bigger value for the stakeholders of both companies, especially for the development of projects outside of the core business and investment areas.”

Fierce competitors in the areas of banking and real estate, the Sy and Ayala families decided work together following a decision to jointly manage and develop the Ortigas family’s OCLP Holdings, Inc. in November 2014 after a legal row that lasted two years.

Early this year, SM Prime and ALI teamed up with Megaworld Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. to form Trident Infrastructure and Development Corp. in vying for the P122.8-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project -- one of the biggest infrastructure projects the Aquino administration has rolled out to date.

“With the closure of the agreement with Ortigas and the opportunity in Lakeshore, they have more experience with each other and -- going into this project -- they may have reached a certain comfort level,” Mr. Guevara said.

Miguel A. Agarao, analyst at Wealth Securities, Inc., noted in a telephone interview: “It’s too much to expect these companies to ally with each other moving forward, but in cases where there’s too much to be lost in competing, it’s better to ally.”

This latest development boosts the presence of both property firms in the booming Cebu real estate market.

The ALI Group has partnered with the Aboitizes for a 15-ha city center in Mandaue City, as well as with the Gaisano group to develop the latter’s 12-hectare property on Mactan Island into a leisure-oriented project.

SM Prime, on the other hand, is building the 30-hectare SM Seaside City in SRP and was awarded last month a 1,500-hectare reclamation project in the town of Cordova.

“This is definitely a positive development for both companies and the property industry as a whole since this shows that major developers are still bullish on the prospects of real estate,” Lexter L. Azurin, head of research at Unicapital Securities, Inc., said in a phone interview.

Mayor on SOCA: It will be different

By Princess Dawn H. Felicitas

IT will be bigger and different.

This was how Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama described his upcoming State of the City Address (Soca).

It will be held in the afternoon of July 4, Saturday, at the Plaza Independencia.

“There are too many things that I will be bringing to the people of the City of Cebu and it is a different Soca, actually. I wish divinely all will be favorable that’s why the bigger Soca will have to be delivered historically on July 4,” he said.

Why on that date? Rama said it is because July 4 is the original day of the declaration of the Philippine Independence.

The Official Gazette, which is the official journal of the country, said July 4 is the Philippine Republic Day.

It was on July 4, 1946 that the United States formally recognized the independence of the Republic of the Philippines.

In his news conference yesterday, the mayor said his Soca will be huge and different since it will be his last Soca before his second term as a mayor ends. He is seeking reelection in 2016.

Rama refused to divulge details about his speech, though, saying he doesn’t want to preempt anything.

“Abangan lang ang susunod kay excited ang mayor (Let’s just wait). Excited ko,” he said.

Rama said the size of the crowd will depend on whether the public wants to come and hear him deliver his speech.

He said, though, that the estimated 5,000 employees of City Hall should be there as they are part of the City Government. He said he is also inviting all members of the City Council to attend.

Since it has been raining for the past days, Rama said contingency plans have been set in place.

The mayor’s Soca will be held after the third inaugural session of the 13th Sangguniang Panlungsod on July 1 at the Session Hall.

Rama said he will attend the inaugural session and deliver a message but it will be different from what he will be delivering on July 4.

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella said an invitation for the mayor to attend the inaugural session was sent last Thursday yet.

During the session, Labella said the council’s committee membership will again be presented. They will also be adopting new house rules.

For the committee membership, Labella said he doesn’t know yet if there will be changes.

As to the house rules, he said the council have decided to create an oversight committee which will monitor the implementation of the ordinances passed by the legislative body.

Estero Parian dredging to start

By Razel V. Cuizon

BY WEDNESDAY, the Cebu City Government and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 will start dredging a portion of Estero Parian along Colon St., to partially address flooding in the downtown area.

City Legal Officer Jerone Castillo revealed the development after he met with DPWH 7 officials last Friday for the project.

Castillo also heads the Colon Revitalization Project formed by Mayor Michael Rama, which seeks to improve the downtown area, particularly Colon St., that usually gets flooded during heavy rains.

For 20 years already, Estero Parian has not been cleaned. The group found the area one of the reasons the downtown easily gets flooded.

Castillo said accumulated silt in the waterway is estimated to have reached 1.5 m. to 2 m. deep.

Some stalls built along the portion of Estero Parian were also transferred to pave the way for the dredging.

“We have to start because the rainy season has started,” he said over a phone interview.

The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CCDRRMC) monitored flooded streets along the downtown area due to the whole day rain.

Councilor Dave Tumulak said the City’s Command and Control System (C3) also monitored ankle-deep flood along M.J Cuenco Ave., Junquera St., Sanciangko St, some areas in Barangay Tinago and Tagunol.

“Tungod kay mohunong-hunong man ang uwan, mo-subside ra dayon ang baha, nya balik na sab kung mo-bundak na ang uwan (Since the rain sometimes stop, the flood subsides, then rises again when the rain resumes),” said Tumulak, who presides over CCDRRMC.

The C3 has not received reports of landslide in the upland areas as well as overflowing rivers.

“We already informed the barangays to be alert and inform our command center in case of any incident in their area,” Tumulak said.

Korean firm now working on BRT’s engineering design

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

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City’s Cebu-Bus Rapid Transit project is now moving forward as a South Korea-based company has now started with its detailed engineering design.

Cebu-BRT project head Rafael Yap said staff of Kunhwa Engineering & Consultancy arrived in Cebu City last May 17 and have since then conducted several consultations with the involved stakeholders of the project.

“(They) are now in Cebu doing data collection and consultation activities, and the surveys in order to design the BRT project for us Cebuanos,” Yap said.

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

It also includes the social management study that deals with the impact on jeepney drivers, conductors, operators and commuters.

Yap said it will take eight months to finish the detailed engineering design of the project, while another two years for the implementation, which will be supervised by the Korean-based firm. Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

Yap said that in almost a month that the consultants have been in the city, the latter have already submitted a draft of the inception report, which states how they understood the project.

Yap did not show the draft to the media, saying this is yet to be presented to the Technical Working Group of the project, to the mayor, to the city council, and to the Department of Communications and Transportation in next week’s TWG meeting.

The project head said he has requested Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, the presiding officer of the council, for the prioritization of the approval of the reports that will be submitted to the legislative body for the quick implementation of the project.

The consultants, Yap said, will submit other reports like the designs concept report, updating and finalization of environmental management plan, resettlement action plan, contract documentations and drawings, final approved design, and capacity development report, among others.

“They (consultants) already surveyed the BRT route, collected data, inspected the potential station locations, conducted consultations with DPWH, DENR (Department of Engineering and Natural Resources), (Cebu City’s) parks and playgrounds, PWDs (persons with disabilities), senior citizens, MLC (Movement for Livable Cebu), youth sector,” Yap said.

He said Kunhwa will submit a report once a month.

For his part, Mayor Michael Rama wants to be updated on the developments of the project as this affects the city and to also avoid “misunderstanding and suspicion.”

BRT is seen to address the city’s worsening traffic conditions. Once in place, buses will traverse the city’s major thoroughfares such as N. Bacalso Avenue, Osmeña Boulevard, N. Escario Street and Governor Cuenco Avenue. There will be at least 14 designated stations from Bulacao to Talamban.

P20-million system for CCMC

By Razel V. Cuizon

AS SOON as the new building for the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) rises, it will be furnished with P20 million worth of medical equipment from a private company.

Dr. Edward Dampor Sr., owner of Brilliant Metal Craft (BMC) and Machine Design, committed to install a centralized medical gas pipeline system at the CCMC for free.

"Just finish building the new hospital and we will give them the machine," Dampor said yesterday as he introduced the system to the Cebu City Government and the media through a presentation at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

The new system will have an oxygen generator that will replace traditional oxygen cylinders and can fill up an equivalent of 50 cylinders of oxygen.

The produced oxygen is also described as safe with a 93-percent purity.

Dampor said BMC won't turn over the system to the CCMC just yet because transferring it will be costly.

CCMC operations are currently held at the Bureau of Fire Protection compound until its building will be completed.

He said he will donate the system to help indigent Cebuanos.

Though he approves, Mayor Michael Rama said that the donation needs to go through the Cebu City Council for approval.

"We are really hoping that all hospitals will use this new innovation in terms of technology because it is safer," Dampor also said.

The Visayas Community Medical Center (VCMC) is the lone hospital in Cebu with a centralized medical gas pipeline system.

CCMC Medical Director Eli Belarmino said that the oxygen generator will be advantageous to them since supply of oxygen is assured and its cost has been reduced to 50 percent.

Aside from oxygen generator, BMC also plans to give CCMC a shredding machine the company invented that will be used to dispose of hospital wastes like needles, syringes, blades and vials, among others.

Kid studying on Cebu sidewalk inspires netizens

By Mara Cepeda With a report from Voltaire Tupaz (Rappler.com)

Under the lights of a nearby fast food restaurant, the young boy diligently works on his homework

MANILA, Philippines – A photo of a child studying outside a fast food restaurant is currently making its rounds on social media.

Nine-year-old Daniel Cabrera was pictured while sitting on his legs, a look of concentration on his face as he writes on an open book. He was using a wooden bench as a makeshift table along the sidewalk beside a Mcdonald's branch in the North Reclamation area in Cebu City.

Joyce Torrefranca took Daniel's picture on Tuesday night, June 23, and posted it on her Facebook account.

Torrefranca is a student at Cebu Doctors' University. She said Daniel inspired her to study harder as she prepares for an exam.

"As a student, it gave me an inspiration to work harder. I'm fortunate my parents were able to send me to school. I seldom go to coffee shops to study, but this kid just hit me. You really don't need much, you just have to be determined and focused on the things that you want to achieve," Torrefranca told Rappler.

"I hope that this kid will inspire millions of people," she said.

“I was able to talk to this kid moments after Joyce took this snapshot,” commented Giomen Probert Ladra Alayon on Torrefranca’s post.

“Nagstudy siya ug English. More like a homework: identify the animal illustrated," according to Alayon, who was with Torrefranca when she took the picture. (He is studying English. It’s more of like a homework: identify the animal illustrated.)

In a telephone interview, Mcdonald's Cebu North Reclamation restaurant manager Iris Prak said that Daniel, his mother, and his 7-year-old brother Gabriel usually stay outside Mcdonald's to beg from passers-by.

The brothers do their homework there after school because they do not have electricity at home. Prak said that sometimes, the boys' mother works at a nearby food stall, where the family of 3 usually sleeps at night.

"Normally, nanghihingi sila ng water, so binibigyan po namin sila (Normally they ask for water, so we give them water)," shared Prak, adding that the Cabreras are free to hang around the restaurant.

She added: "Gusto kasi ni Daniel ng toys. Sabi ko sa kanya na if ever na makapagbigay siya ng paper na merong star, bibigyan namin siya ng toy, pati 'yung kapatid niya."

(Daniel wants to get a toy. I told him that if he will be able to show us a paper with a star, we'll give him and his brother toys.)

Mcdonald's Philippines public relations and communications manager Adi Timbol said she is happy with the branch staff's reception of the Cabreras.

"I felt happy and proud of the store [because] they do what they can to be of assistance to the child even in a little way," she told Rappler through a phone interview.

'Keep it up kid'

Alayon said that the kid’s perseverance in studying makes the photos a source of inspiration.

“Despite the lack of personal space or inadequate lighting, he still chose to study,” he said.

“Keep it up kid! Mabuhay!”

Another Facebook user, Norman Hams Hicban, posted Torrefranca’s photo on his Facebook account on Wednesday, June 24. It has since garnered more than 29,600 likes and 7,500 shares.

Several social media users praised the young boy.

"The kid will have a very bright future....with so much willing to help. He will be amazing for sure!! God bless him!" said Dotti Manalo Libiran.

"I see a good leader in progress. Keep it up kid!" commented Cecil Benavente.

"Warms my heart and breaks my heart at the same time! Mcdonald's should give this kid a Scholarship!" added Jose Miguel Rodriguez.

Some even shared similar stories, like Angie Palma: "I met two kids in Pedro Gil also who stay inside the Ministop just to do their homework because they don't have electricity at home. I admire the staff of that convenient store who let the kids stay on their place for that purpose."

Bayanihanproject.com even commented: “Does anybody know how to get in touch with this child? We are a crowdfunding platform for projects that help uplift the lives of Filipinos. We'd appreciate any information that we can get."

Cebu City renews sister ties after 18 years

By May B. Miasco / NSA (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - After years of dormant relationship, Cebu City and Parramatta City in Australia renewed their vows to sustain commercial and cultural ties.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama flew to Australia last week to celebrate with Filipinos in the state of New South Wales, where Parramatta City belongs, for a special commemoration of the 117th Philippine Independence Day.

Rama told reporters yesterday that his recent visit to the Parramatta, a sister city of Cebu for 18 years, was “successful, historical and meaningful.”

It was on 1997 when the sister city relation was established during the time of former mayor Alvin Garcia.

Rama said Parramatta City Council officials appealed for the reactivation of the ties under his administration.

Parramatta City Council Lord Mayor Scott Lloyd and the Filipino community Banag-Banag Inc. requested Rama to attend the Philippine flag-raising ceremony at the Centenary Square in Parramatta City on June 20.

In his June 17 invitation, Lloyd also asked Rama to deliver a five-minute speech to reinforce the relationship between their cities.

Rama, for his part, said they can assure Parramatta officials that Cebu City is a quality-driven community.

The city mayor described the sister-city ties as “very good”, considering it is a “much well-balanced city where architectural development and environmental protection are managed equally.”

Both cities agreed to a mutual relationship in business exchanges, cultural and youth initiatives, and best practices in governance, among others.

Parramatta City, Rama added, also shared the same problem on flooding, which it was able to address by adopting the use of water catchments.

Rama considers his experiences in the foreign city as a challenge and intends to include them in his yearly State of the City Address.

Parramatta officials are expected to visit Cebu either in December or in January next year in time for the Sinulog.

DOST awards ‘amphibious trisikad’

By Jeandie O. Galolo

AS THE rainy season officially starts, this trisikad may come in handy.

Three mechanical engineering graduates from the University of San Carlos invented an “amphibious” trisikad, a three-wheeled transport vehicle that is functional in both land and water, making it the first amphibious human-powered transportation of its kind.

Jesse Pastor Magno, Hembrick Palmitos, and Kenn Edward Mirasol, together with their advisor Ronald M. Galindo, received an award from the Department of Science and Technology last Saturday as the first runner-up of the third DOST- Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits (Rice) under the category college student creative research.

Close to home

A witness to the flooding Cebu City, particularly in the Talamban area where USC is also located, Galindo advised the group, who were then in their fifth year in college, to invent an amphibious trisikad for their thesis project, one of the requirements for graduation.

“We all know that flooding is really a concern now in Cebu City. Trisikads cannot keep up with the flood. So those whose main livelihood is in driving a trisikad cannot survive during rainy days. I suggested to them (Magno and the group) to come up with a trisikad than can operate in both land and water” Galindo told Sun.Star Cebu.

On December 2014, the group started to fabricate their invention and finished it in March. The research period and the fabrication took ten months, which is equivalent to two semesters. The project cost them P30,000.

“The amphibious trisikad was tested to be effective on both land and water and can carry about three to four passengers on board. Aside from being an amphibious transport vehicle, it can also be utilized as an emergency rescue vehicle during street flooding,” the researchers said.

However, Galindo cautioned that the amphibious trisikad be used only on still waters, like in the case of flooding, and not on rough seas.

Components

The design components consist of a frame, a driving mechanism, two paddle wheels, and a floater. Instead of adopting the typical trisikad frame, Magno said they made use of the tartanilla format since it is more stable on water.

The size of the trisikad is also taken consideration, saying its width does not go beyond the size of a multicab or small jeepneys since trisikads most likely pass by narrower streets.

The floater, meanwhile, can be detached from the main frame to make the vehicle lighter when using it purely on land.

Tourism potential

“I think what helped us (win in this competition) was the commercial aspect of our project,” Galindo said.

He said the amphibious trisikad can also help boost Cebu’ tourism. Some resort owners and the local government of Dalaguete, according to the professor, have expressed interest in the project.

However, he said the team will make some improvements in their invention by sourcing out possible materials, which can either cut down the cost or improve the durability of the trisikad.

Patent pending

Galido and his former students are also on the lookout for investors that can mass produce the vehicle.

At present, the team is in the process of having their invention patented with the assistance of DOST- Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI).

Galido said the patenting process may take a year.

TAPI earlier said that the creative research entries of this year’s contest and exhibit will be screened for intellectual property (IP) protection, free of charge.

“From livelihood, to rescue, to tourism, this amphibious trisikad that we have holds a big potential,” Galido said.

Brgys. to get P46M worth of gears

By Princess Dawn H. Felicitas

TO improve their response to fires, Cebu City Hall will give 22 barangays P46 million worth of firefighting equipment.

The 22 barangays are those that already have an established fire auxiliary brigade.

They are Barangays Luz, Hipodromo, Sta. Cruz, Apas, Ermita, Tejero, Mabolo, Sambag II and Sto. Niño in the north district; and Barangays Suba, Labangon, Guadalupe, Tisa, Inayawan, Quiot, Pasil, Basak San Nicolas, Punta Princesa, Poblacion Pardo, Sawang Calero and Cogon Pardo in the south district.

In an interview yesterday, Peace and Order Program head and Councilor Dave Tumulak said the City needs to assist the barangay fire auxiliary brigades as they are the ones who immediately respond to fire alarms.

“Kun naay alarma sa sunog, dako kaayo ni sila og ikatabang labi na sa pag-penetrate sa mga di passable nga lugar. It’s high time nga ato silang hatagan sa safety gears (During fires, they can penetrate areas that are difficult to access. They should be given gears),” he said.

The firefighting equipment to be bought will depend on the request of the 22 barangays.

Accessories

Based on their letter-request addressed to Mayor Michael Rama, the barangays are asking for 18 basic firefighting equipment and accessories.

These include full body harness, stretchers, portable fire pumps, delivery hoses, batteries, fire helmets, firefighting boots, firefighting gloves, thermal imaging cameras and video capturing machines.

“With the increasing number of households within our respective areas, fires are inevitable and we need basic firefighting equipment and accessories to respond to an alarm,” the barangays said.

Tumulak said the equipment will be bid out by the City soon.

The councilor met with some of the barangay captains yesterday morning at his office to make sure there are no more changes on the list of equipment they are asking.

Skycrapers

In a related development, Acting Mayor Edgardo Labella yesterday said he will meet with building administrators of all skyscrapers in the city to discuss their plans on how to address a fire and other emergencies.

“There is a mushrooming now of skyscrapers in the city. The question is do we have enough firefighting equipment? Are we prepared? Because we have to admit and realize the fact, without sounding alarmist, that we are a calamity-prone community,” he said.

Labella said the City wants to know if they have programs for emergency and disaster, considering that there is no equipment in the city that will address a fire or an emergency in the top floors of tall buildings.

The meeting will be held Tuesday next week.

4th Cebu Int’l Filmfest to launch on June 23

By Fayette C. Riñen (mbcn/fcr/PIA7/with reports from Bianca Genosa, Intern/PIT)

CEBU CITY, June 21 (PIA) -- The 4th Cebu International Documentary Film Festival (CIDFF) kicks off with a free screening of the French documentary film “Dreamers” on June 23 at Cinema One, SM City Cebu.

“Dreamers” is a unique documentary film that tickles the imagination about a poetic journey of authors and directors from all over the world. The film directed by Noelle Deschamps won the 3rd CIDFF Merit Award for Best in Content.

Deschamps will come to Cebu to attend the launching of the CIDFF which is also in collaboration with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) to highlight the Cebu Business Month 2015 this June.

The occasion will also serve as the launching of the Cebu International Film Festival 2015 (CEBU.IFF) where it will open both documentary and fiction film entries under different categories including animation.

Fiction films are more focused on the creativity, editing style, and animation while in contrast is the documentary films that are straightforward and factual.

“I want the youth to have a different avenue for creativity. I want more value in what they are doing. They can do more creative processes if they are directed to films that have more meaning,” said CIDFF President Fajatin- Pegarido.


Pegarido added the vision of this activity is to make Cebu a film hub in Southeast Asia. With the history of Philippine culture as an asset for the project, CEBU.IFF aims to push its limits to achieve its goal.

Give employees biometrics day

By Razel V. Cuizon

THE Cebu City Council wants business establishments in the city to grant one day off to their employees, allowing them to update their records before the Commission on Election (Comelec).

In his resolution carried unanimously by the body, Councilor Alvin Dizon wants business owners to grant their employees a biometrics day when employees can visit Comelec offices to update their voters' records.

Dizon said that based on Comelec's latest records, about 4.7 million voters in the country have yet to have their biometrics taken.

"This is the biggest problem the commission is facing," said Dizon.

Excuse

"The Comelec noted that the usual excuse that voters cannot go to their office to register is work," Dizon's resolution also read.

Dizon's resolution is in answer to Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez's earlier appeal to business owners for a biometrics day, for employees to update their Comelec records during a work day when the election offices are open.

Dizon cited Republic Act 10367 or An Act Providing for the Mandatory Biometrics Voter's Registration, which requires the establishment of a clean, complete, permanent and updated list of voters through a biometrics technology.

The law further states that voters who fail to have their records validated before the May 2016 elections will be deactivated from the voters' list and will not be allowed to vote.

Deadline

The deadline for the registration for the 2016 polls is on Oct. 31, 2015.

Dizon said granting a biometrics day will strengthen the employees' civic duty through the exercise of the right to vote and participation in the public affairs of the country.

People eligible to vote are those at least 18 years of age and who have resided in the country for at least a year and in the place where they will vote for at least 16 months immediately preceding the election.

First phase of CCMC construction: Manila firm submitted lowest bidding amount

By May Miasco / LPM (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - At least three firms were qualified yesterday for the second stage of the bidding for the construction of the first phase of the new Cebu City Medical Center.

The firms included the Manila-based C.E. Padilla Construction Incorporated, which submitted the lowest bidding amount.

The second bidding process could pave the way for the start of the first phase of the medical facility within this year. The project costs P600 million.

C.E. Padilla Construction Incorporated submitted an amount of P514,979,659.28. Other eligible firms include EM Cuerpo, Incorporated (P533,888,888.88) and Specified Contractors and Development Incorporated (530,000,000.00).

A.M. Oreta and Company, Incorporated and Dakay Construction and Development Corporation were disqualified from undertaking the project for failing to submit the blueprint of plans.

CCMC Bids and Awards Committee chairman Jose Marie Poblete said the two firms failed to include in their submission the copy of the plans.

“As ruled out by the Technical Working Group, wala man sila naka-submit. The rule states that the absence of the required eligibility requirement would result in declaration of the bid as failure,” he said.

Poblete said the lowest bidder is still subject to numerical calculation to verify the data provided in the firm’s document.

“It is still subject to arithmetical computation meaning tan-awon nato kun nitakdo ba ang iyang amount diri sa iyang mga details,” he said.

“There are instances that dili magtakdo ang details when checked or verified. If ever we found out that there is discrepancy, the lowest bidder that will arrive at the mathematical computation, mao to mo-prevail,” he said.

After the evaluation of bids, the process will then proceed to post-qualification, which entails the examination of submitted documents to verify the data and content.

“The law provides that if dili makacomply ang lowest bidder, ma-declare siya as uneligible after post qualification then mo-post qualify sa second lowest bidder and the same process will apply until we can get the eligible bidder,” Poblete said.

The bidder that complies with an accurate data on the drafted plans will be declared the “lowest complying responsive bid”

“The BAC will recommend it to the head of the procuring entity, which is the mayor, to recommend for award,” Poblete said.

He said the awarding of the contract would be held not later than 30 days if no problems are encountered during the process.

In December 2014, Rama declared a “failure of bidding” and ordered a rebidding to avoid “suspicion of favoritism and anomalies.”

Costing around P1.6 billion, the 10-storey hospital will rise on the 500-square meter property located at the corner of N. Bacalso Avenue and Panganiban Street.

It will be built by phases.

City plans traffic dry run

By Razel V. Cuizon

TO ensure a smooth traffic flow during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings in Cebu City two months from now, the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) will reroute the public utility jeepneys (PUJ) passing through the designated conference venues.

Citom Executive Director, Rafael Christopher Yap said copy of the proposed traffic management plan was already submitted to the security group of the national organizing committee for APEC.

"We already submitted the proposed traffic management plan to the organizing committee but it will still be subject to the approval of Mayor Michael Rama," he said.

Citom also furnished a copy of the proposed traffic management plan to the Capitol.

In their first official meeting in Cebu last month, Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., who heads the national organizing committee, said that traffic congestion in Metro Cebu is a major challenge that the Apec summit organizers need to face when Cebu hosts some of the meetings starting August.

Around 3,200 foreign delegates will be in Cebu for high-level meetings from Aug. 24 to Sept. 11, Oct. 8 to 10 and Oct. 12 and 13.

As proposed, PUJs will not be allowed to access portion of Juan Luna Avenue, from the corner of S. Osmeña Boulevard to Archbishop Reyes Ave.

PUJs traversing the north road, except those from Mandaue City, will be asked to turn left to Logarta St., Urot St., left turn to Cabahug St., right turn to S. Osmeña Blvd., right turn to Gen. Maxilom Ave., right turn to J. C. Veyra St., left turn to access road going to White Gold Terminal.

From the White Gold Terminal, vehicles will be asked to take a right at J. C. Veyra St., left turn to Gen. Maxilom Ave. left turn to S. Osmeña Blvd., proceed to Ouano Ave., left turn to the access road beside SM Hypermart, right turn to Logarta St., then back to the point of origin.

PUJ's with route no. 03Q from Lahug will access Luzon Ave. to Samar Loop, right turn to Mactan Road in Cebu Business Park then right turn to M. J. Cuenco Ave., left turn to Gen. Maxilom Ave., left turn to J. C. Veyra St., towards SM City Cebu.

Marco Polo Hotel in Lahug and Radisson Blu Hotel in the North Reclamation Area were named venues of the Apec meetings.

The City will organize a dry run on July 17 to determine if the rerouting scheme is effective.

Cebu City mulls bikes lanes in SRP, tourist destinations

(PNA), LAP/EB/RSM

CEBU CITY, June 16 (PNA) -- The Cebu City Government is drawing up plans to establish bicycle lanes at the 300-hectare South Road Properties (SRP) and around tourist spots in the city.

The Cebu City Sugbo Bike Lanes Board initially planned to have the tourist route available during off peak hours on weekends and weekdays.

The board also approved lanes for those who want to pedal to work or school every day and for those who pedal for recreation.

The board was created by City Ordinance 2408, the Sugbo Bike Lanes Ordinance authored by Cebu City Councilor Nida Cabrera.

The recreational route will be established on a 20-kilometer loop in the SRP.

Cebu City Councilor Gerardo Carillo, head of the Sugbo Bike Lanes Board, said the recreational route will be from the Mambaling Access Road to the SRP seaside area, the Duljo Fatima service road and back to Mambaling.

He said the recreational routes will also include trails to eco-tourism sites in the city’s mountain barangays.

Carillo said they will discuss when to implement the ordinance during the bike summit on June 20 and 21 in Dumanjug, Cebu, which is expected to be attended by 50 representatives of different bikers’ associations.

After the summit, Cabrera said city’s traffic agency will start marking the roads where bike lanes will be established.

Cebu’s wedding industry blooms

By Katlene O. Cacho

WEDDING suppliers in Cebu remain optimistic of the wedding industry, saying it has potential to grow substantially with the advent of social media and the growing sophistication of engaged couples.

Wedding planner Zenith Lim of Joyful Weddings said couples these days are more detail-oriented and want to be part of the wedding preparations from the start.

Preparations, she added, are done at least a year ahead, unlike in the past where these were done four to six months before the wedding day.

“Engaged couples these days are more hands-on. They really sit with us in the planning. They have plenty of inputs or ideas on how the wedding should be like,” said Lim.

Social media, according to Lim, has also helped the wedding industry bloom. Engaged couples turn to Instagram, Facebook and wedding websites for inspiration.

“Expectations are also high on the part of the wedding planners to deliver results,” she said.

A client spends about P250,000, although wedding planners can still help mount the event depending on the budget of their client. They can go as low as P50,000.

Joyful Weddings was one of the wedding suppliers that joined the Radisson Blu’s bridal fair dubbed “Weddings at the Blu” held over the weekend the the SM City Cebu North Wing.

With the increased competition in the wedding business, Lim said wedding organizers like them don’t just offer the concepts but have diversified their offerings to include attire, flowers, and photo and video coverage, among other services.

“We created all-in packages so our clients will no longer seek for other suppliers to take care of other wedding requirements,” said Lim.

Karen Mae Go, owner of Blush Flower Creations, reinforced Lim’s observations on the growing wedding industry here, saying the new generation of couples are now more interested in themed weddings.

She said couples are willing to spend much on flowers and decorations just to achieve the mood they want.

“Weddings these days are more intricate compared to the past. Before, we could organize it ourselves, decorate it ourselves. Now you need somebody to handle it for you and it really requires a substantial budget,” said Go.

For a hundred guests, Go said the minimum investment for flowers and decor is at least P25,000. More elaborate arrangements could go higher.

Designs for wedding invitations have also evolved.

Ginivive Tampepe, sales representative of CDI Designs, said they constantly introduce new designs to cater the changing preferences of the market. She noted that wedding invitations have transitioned from being simple to colorful. The latest trend is laser-cutting.

A laser-cut wedding invitation is priced P500 a piece for a minimum printing of 100 pieces.

“We have clients who spend high for wedding invitations, although there are some who allocate just enough. But what we observed is that engaged couples want their invitations with a personal touch and they are willing to spend for that,” said Tampepe.

Weddings in the past were simpler. Today’s generation of engaged couples want to incorporate mood lighting in their wedding reception.

Marites Oclarence-Caindec, owner of Pro AVM Solutions, said couples shell out at least P5,000 for lighting alone. She said couples now are very particular with audio, lighting and effects like confetti and smoke.

“With this growing sophistication, we are also challenged to upgrade our equipment from time to time,” said Caindec.

May and December are peak months for weddings in the Philippines. Caindec said they get an average of 35 bookings during peak months and at least 10 bookings during the lean months.

The Philippine Association of Wedding Planners (PWAP) noted that the wedding business has trickle-down effects on the economy. One wedding would need caterers, florists, musicians, photographers, and more.

City Hall, business sector make kids’ wishes come true

By Rebelander S. Basilan

AROUND 40 children living in slums made simple wishes, like getting materials they need for school.

Last Thursday, Mandaue City Hall officials and employees and entrepreneurs granted their wishes.

Through the “Adopt a Child: Make a Child’s Wish Come True” project, the children from Barangay Mantuyong received shoes, slippers, bags and other items.

Violeta Cavada, head of the City Social Welfare Services, said the children were made to write their wishes on a paper and the City looked for donors.

“The outpouring of support is overwhelming,” she said.

Seven-year-old Mark Justin got the bicycle he wished for from City Planning Officer Florentino Nimor Jr.

“Lipay kaayo ko (I’m very happy),” he said.

Other donors were Mayor Jonas Cortes, City councilors and department heads.

Establishments

The City also tapped the business sector. Business establishments that granted the children’s wishes included DIO Implant and Phils., Cermatex Manufacturing Corp., Three Sixty Pharmacy and M Talents.

Resources

“We assure that we are willing to share our resources to deserving children and families,” said Jerry Roa, president of the Mandaue City Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

City Interior and Local Government Director Jhoaden Lucero said the initiative is part of the program called the Medium Development Goals Family-Based Action for Children and their Environs in the Slums.

She said the program also grants livelihood skills trainings and financial assistance, parent-effectiveness seminars, among others.

Initiated by the Local Government Academy, the program also helps poor families get enrolled with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

“With every wish granted, we create moments of joy and bring hope to the children and their parents,” said Mayor Jonas Cortes in a message read by Councilor Demetrio Cortes Jr.

Cebu City pours P1.1M into wells

By Razel V. Cuizon

TO MAKE sure there will be enough water in the urban barangays, Cebu City’s disaster management office has given P1.1 million to fix or install artesian wells.

These funds were given to the Patubig Project of the Department of Public Services (DPS) and were part of efforts to address the effects of El Niño, said Councilor Dave Tumulak.

“The Patubig Project of DPS has funds for the artesian wells but the disaster office decided to augment it because we don’t want the urban barangays to suffer from water problems,” said Tumulak, who heads the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

DPS maintains 1,284 operational artesian wells in the city.

Technicians are fixing other artesian wells to allow residents to use these again, Tumulak said.

At present, 31 mountain barangays are experiencing a water supply shortage brought about by the dry spell. In the last three months, Cebu’s rainfall has fallen below its average rainfall for the period.

Yet even with artesian wells getting fixed, some urban barangays that get water from the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) have reported low water supply for weeks now.

Last week, MCWD confirmed low water supply in some areas of Cebu City and Talisay City after the Jaclupan Water Facility’s production dropped.

From its average normal production of 33,000 cubic meters per day, Jaclupan can only produce 10,000 cubic meters at present. Some areas in Cebu City have only six hours of water supply a day, as a result.

These areas include Bulacao, Inayawan, Cogon Pardo, Quiot, Kinasang-an, Basak Pardo, Basak San Nicolas, Mambaling, Punta Princesa, Tisa, Labangon, Banawa-Salvador, Calamba, Sambag 1, Sambag 2, Pahina Central, Sawang Calero, Pasil, Ermita, Taboan, Kalubihan, Carbon Market, Santa Cruz, Cogon Ramos, San Antonio, Day-as, T. Padilla, Tejero, Lorega, Carreta, part of M. J. Cuenco Ave., Osmeña Blvd., part of Guadalupe, M. Velez, Capitol Site and portions of Kamputhaw.

The P1.1 million, Tumulak said, will pay for pipes, brass cylinders, leather cups and jetmatic pumps that will be used to fix artesian wells.

After the funds were downloaded to DPS, the department started the repairs last January.

Tumulak asked the public to report any damaged wells in their area to the Command and Control Center.

700 join Cebu town triathlon on Sunday

(PNA), RMA/EB/MP/PJN

CEBU CITY, June 13 (PNA) -- Close to 700 participants will brave the waters of Tabuelan for the 2015 Tabuelan 111 triathlon in the northwestern cebu town of Tabuelan on Sunday.

This is the fourth edition of the race that started with only 300 participants in 2011.

Jun Barcenas, a member of the organizing committee, said they had to turn down other participants since they couldn't accommodate them already.

"We also have a lot of local participants from Tabuelan," said Barcenas.

The event covers a two-kilometetr swim, 88-kilometer bike and a 21-kilometer run and attracts a lot of participants since it is a perfect trial run for those who will join the Cobra Ironman 70.3 in August.

Among those who will be joining the race this Sunday is former standout footballer Voltaire Montenbon, who has shifted to triathlon in 2014.

"Since I started triathlon, the main goal has always been to join the Ironman. Those races and the Tabuelan race are all part of my preparation for the Ironman," said the former Hiroshi FC team captain.

Montebon had his first race in the San Remigio 8080 in November, 2014 and also joined the first Cebu City triathlon.

At 38, Montebon hopes to become a competitive triathlete despite the late start.

"My goal in Ironman is to finish it and if I win a place in my age group, then it would be a just a bonus and an icing on the cake. My long term goal for this sport is to be able to join international races and become a top contender," said Montebon.

On the other hand, women's champion Lorhiz Echavez-Lopez will defend her crown even if she is eight-weeks pregnant on race day.

Echavez, who is married to traithlete Mendel Lopez, said she'll stop competing after the Tabuelan event.

"This will be my last race, I will continue to exerecise but no more racing for me. When you race, your heart rate goes up and your body temperature increases," she said.

Lopez won the Dipolog Triathlon and hte 1st Rider Dip and Dash Aqualthon last month.

DPWH 7 to bid construction of 214 classrooms worth PHP350M in Cebu City

(PNA), LAP/EB/RSM

CEBU CITY, June 12 (PNA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways-Region 7 (DPWH-7) will bid out this month a PHP350-million contract for the construction of at least 214 additional classrooms for Cebu City.

The Department of Education (DepEd) central office granted about PHP600 million for the construction of classrooms for the senior high school (SHS) in relation to the implementation of the K to 12 system.

The amount will be sourced from DepEd’s Basic Education Facility Fund.

After the bidding for the PHP350 million contract, the DPWH will also bid out contracts for PHP200 million and PHP27 million for an additional 120 and 18 classrooms, respectively.

The construction of each classroom will cost at least PHP1.5 million.

The bidding will be done by phase.

DepEd has directed its district office and DPWH Cebu City Engineering District to finish the construction of senior high school buildings by March next year.

Cebu City Local School Board (LSB) chairman Rady Diola said the city is in need of more than 700 classrooms because at present, it lacks at least 350 classrooms for kindergarten to high school and about 400 for the SHS.

Danilo Gudelosao, DepEd Cebu City division education program supervisor, said 722 additional classrooms worth PHP577.6 million are still needed to accommodate over 200,000 senior high school students next year.

The city's north district needs 132 classrooms for SHS, 32 for kinder, 60 for elementary and five for secondary.

The south district needs 160 classrooms for SHS, 53 for kinder, 233 for elementary and 47 for secondary.

Over 16T vacancies up for grabs at jobs fair

By Jeandie O. Galolo

THERE will be 16,953 jobs available at the Kalayaan Job Fair today at the Cebu City Sports Center, the Department of Labor and Employment 7 said.

Luchel Taniza, DOLE 7 Public Information Officer, said 11,899 of the job vacancies are for overseas employment while the remaining 5,054 of these are local jobs.

There will be 64 companies that will participate in the upcoming job fair in time with the Independence Day.

Majority of the local positions available include technicians, associate professionals, service workers, shop and market sales workers, clerks, laborers, crafts and trade workers, plant and machine operators and assemblers.

The labor agency has also identified top positions needed overseas including factory workers; hotel and restaurant service crew, laborers, carpenters, nurses, pipefitters, electricians, welders, steel fabricators, construction workers, plumbers and engineers.

DOLE 7 has advised jobseekers to be ready with their bio-data, comprehensive resumès, transcript of records, and certificates of employment. Clearances, photos, and other necessary pre-employment requirements should to be on hand. OIC Director Exequiel Sarcauga said bringing these documents would allow the applicants to apply with multiple companies so they could have better chances of getting hired.

In addition, jobseekers are advised to pre-register at Cebu City Department of Manpower Development and Placement (DMDP) or at Phil-Jobnet.

In a memorandum dated April 22, Dole 7 ranked third among all regions in terms of job vacancy postings at Phil-Jobnet System. From April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, Dole 7 posted 80,389 job vacancies.

The Kalayaan Job Fair is a collaboration between Sun.Star, the Department of Manpower Development and Placement, and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

Cebu City roads closed for June 12 parade

(Sun.Star Cebu)

SOME roads in Cebu City will be closed in the afternoon of June 12, Friday, for a civic-military parade in celebration of the 117th Philippine Independence Day.

The City Traffic Operations Management, in an advisory posted on its Facebook page, said the roads will be closed starting at 2 p.m. until the parade is finished.

The following roads will be affected:

a) N. Escario St., from Don Gil Garcia St. to Juana Osmeña St. (total closure)
b) Osmeña Blvd., from Capitol to Sanciangko St. (right side will be closed)
c) Osmeña Blvd., from Sanciangko St. to M.J. Cuenco Ave. (total closure)
d) D. Jakosalem St., from Osmeña Blvd. to M.C. Briones St.
e) M.C. Briones St., from D. Jakosalem St. to M.J. Cuenco Ave.
f) M.J. Cuenco Ave., from M.C. Briones to Legaspi Extension
g) B. Rodriguez St., from Don Mariano Cui St. to Fuente Osmeña Circle

Motorists are advised to take note of these rerouting schemes to avoid inconvenience in getting to your destinations.

1. Public utility jeepneys (PUJs) from Mabolo (03B) passing along Gen. Maxilom Ave. to turn left to F. Ramos St., right turn to Junquera St., left turn to Colon St., right turn to Mabini St., left turn to Urdaneta St., left turn to M.J. Cuenco Ave., to their usual route, then to their point of origin. PUJs coming from Mabolo going to Carbon Area, passing along V. Gullas St., shall turn right to Pelaez St., right turn to Colon St., left turn to Mabini St., right turn to Zulueta St., left turn to M.J. Cuenco Ave., to their usual route, then back to their point of origin.

2. PUJs from Lahug and Apas via N. Escario St. shall follow Gorordo Ave., right turn to F. Ramos St., proceed to Junquera St., right turn to Sanciangko St., right turn to Osmeña Blvd., right turn to Ma. Cristina St. or Don Jose Avila St., left turn to Juana Osmeña St., right turn N. Escario St., to their usual route, then to their point of destination. origin.

3. PUJs coming from Guadalupe and Banawa shall take V. Rama Ave. then make a left turn at the junction of N. Bacalso Ave., right turn to Leon Kilat St., left turn to Magallanes St., left turn to Leon Kilat St., to Alcantara St. or at N. Bacalso Ave. right turn to V. Rama Ave., back to its usual route, then to their point of origin.

4. PUJs going to Ayala coming from Labangon (12L) and passing along N. Bacalso Ave. shall proceed to P. del Rosario St., left turn to Osmeña Blvd./D. Jakosalem St., proceed to F. Ramos St., right turn to Gen. Maxilom Ave., to their usual route, then to Ayala Loading/Unloading Area.

5. All vehicles going to the North Reclamation Area/SM passing the South Coastal Road/SRP shall use the tunnel then to their destinations.

6. PUJs going to Carbon passing along Colon St., shall turn right to Leon Kilat St., left turn to Magallanes St., left turn to Borromeo St., to their usual route, then to their point of origin.

New 300-bed hospital to rise in Cebu City

(PNA), LAP/EB/EDS

CEBU CITY, June 9 (PNA) -- A 300-bed hospital that is expected to complement the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) will be built and will be operational in 24 months.

The hospital, with advanced medical facilities, will cater to both rich and poor, officials said.

The eight-story Allied Care Medical Experts Medical Center-Cebu (ACEMC-Cebu) Inc. will soon rise in Basak-Pardo, Cebu City, where the Lorenzo Milling Corp., which is near the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJR) south campus, used to be.

ACEMC-Cebu president Dr. Amado C. Enriquez said the new hospital is a corporation organized by a group of doctors and non-medical professionals with the mission to establish a world-class tertiary hospital south of Metro Cebu with the core values of altruism, compassion and excellence.

The hospital will have state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, the proponents said.

It will employ highly competent medical specialists and personnel properly screened and trained for International Standard of Operations (ISO) and standard of care.

“Most doctors are enriching hospitals where they are connected, but they are not owners. That’s the difference with ACE where the doctors and other investors are owners. Their voice can be heard,” Enriquez said.

Enriquez said Cebu has insufficient health care services for its projected population of 4.15 million as of 2016.

Most health maintenance organizations (HMOs) in the country have no hospitals of their own.

“Every Cebuano deserves the best health care service. We are helping the government in delivering the best health care in the country,” Enriquez said.

ACEMC Medical Director Wyben R. Briones said this hospital will be the first medical center in Cebu owned, built and managed by the doctors themselves who are among the top practitioners in Cebu and Metro Manila.

ACMC-Cebu is a member of the nine ACE Group of Hospitals, four of which are operating in Metro Manila and the rest are under construction in Iloilo, Tacloban, Bohol and Dumaguete.

ACMC-Cebu Chairman Dr. Nicolas Molon said that with the traffic congestion in Cebu where it is difficult to reach the hospital in 10 to 15 minutes, this new hospital is the answer.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said that ACEMC will complement CCMC and the challenge now is on how these two hospitals will work together.

SM hikes investment in SM Seaside City complex in Cebu to PHP30B

(PNA), LAP/EB/EDS

CEBU CITY, June 8 (PNA) -- A key official of SM Prime Holdings said the company is increasing its investment for the development of SM Seaside City complex in Cebu City's South Road Properties (SRP) to PHP30 billion.

"For the whole complex, the original budget was P20 billion. At the rate we're going and everything is getting more exciting, we may have to raise our budget to P30 billion," SM Prime President Hans Sy said.

Sy said the company is increasing its investment for the project because "we felt the demand is really there."

Apart from the mall, the 30-hectare development will also include a five-star hotel with a convention center, high-rise office and residential buildings and an events center.

Sy said SM prime has already spent around P7.5 billion for the mall development which it is targeting to open in the latter part of this year.

The mall developer is in its fourth year in developing the five-level SM Seaside City mall at the SRP and according to Sy it would take six more years to complete the whole complex.

"It's a whole ten-year project," he said.

The mall, Sy said, is projected to employ some 5,000 workers excluding the employment expected to be generated by the tenants.

He said that after the mall's completion, SM would then proceed to building the convention center and the office buildings.

The 470,000-square meter SM Seaside mall would be the fourth mall to be opened this year by SM Prime after it opens a mall in Caloocan City this year, Sy said.

SM Prime recently opened its 52nd mall in San Mateo, Rizal and another one in Cabanatuan City earlier this year.

City cops give school supplies, food to elementary students

By Ma. Fatima R. Secuya /NSA (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - To show support to residents of Barangay Busay, which was one of the mountain barangays affected by the El Niño, Cebu City Police Office yesterday gave free school supplies to the grades one and two students of Busay Elementary School.

The activity was headed by Senior Superintendent Mariano Batiancela, the officer-in-charge of CCPO, together with the personnel of the Police Community Relations Branch and the City Intelligence Branch.

At least 82 students from Grade One and 73 students from Grade Two each received four notebooks, four paper pads, five pencils, two boxes of crayons and other necessary school requirements all placed inside a plastic envelope.

Since they brought 200 school supplies, the police offi-cers gave the remaining to the kinder students and some of the grade three students. After the distribution, the students were also given free food.

Chief Inspector Enrique Belciña, chief of the PCR, said they chose Busay Elementary School since the barangay residents, who mostly rely on agriculture specifically flower farming, were greatly affected by the dry season.

CCPO was thankful to couple Ramil Granada and Lovella Santander who coordinated with them in sponsoring the school supplies and the food. Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

“Lipay kaayo ang mga bata nga nakadawat sa mga school supplies. Apil na pud mga ginikanan ug mga magtutudlo,” said Belciña.

On their part, Belciña said they are doing such activity every year to let the students feel that policemen do care for them.

“Nalipay pud mi nga nakatabang mi bisan og ginagmay lang,” said Belciña.

Upland villages launch fair with produce, eco-tours

By Razel V. Cuizon

FROM the displays of green vegetables and vibrant fruits, it wouldn’t seem that Cebu City’s farmers have been suffering from a water shortage for months now.

Some farmers in Cebu City’s upland barangays continue to harvest high-quality fruits and vegetables, despite being in the midst of El Niño. They had a chance to showcase their harvest in an agro-fair in Barangay Malubog, organized as part of Pahugyaw sa Kabukiran 2015.

Barangay captains of 31 upland villages in Cebu City thought of the event to feature products and tourist attractions in their communities.

It turned out to be a testament of sorts to some farmers’ survival skills, too. Elji Marces, for one, said she had to dig a hole near a river to store water. She then connected a hose from that source to her crops.

But while she used to water her plants daily, she has limited this to thrice a week since the water shortage started.

“Seguraduhon lang gyud namo nga sakto ang pagpamubo namo sa tanom kay ka-tulo na man lang unya gibutangan sad gyod namo ug natural fertilizer (We just make sure the plants get enough water even if we do it only thrice a week, and we also use some natural fertilizer),” she said.

Marces said that fruits and vegetables cost much less in the agro-fair, which will last until June 14.

Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Philip Zafra said the Pahugyaw sa Kabukiran was organized to promote eco-tourism in the mountain barangays.

“There’s more to discover in Cebu City and through the cooperation of the 31 mountain barangays, residents in the lowland will know that we have tourist attractions in the area,” he said.

Some captains of urban barangays attended the opening to show their support.

Adlaon Barangay Captain Elvis Narra said he hoped that through the event, more local and foreign tourists will visit their place.

Barangays Tagbao, Tabunan and Sudlon, he said, can offer tours that will lead to waterfalls and caves. All that participants need to do is register in the ABC office in the South Road Properties for their schedule.

Since Barangay Adlaon is known for its sweet corn, Narra said, visitors may also get corn directly from the farms.

“Bayran lang nila kung pila ka kilo ang ilang nakuha (They just need to pay for what they pick),” he said.

Mayor Michael Rama, who visited the activity yesterday, said it showed barangay empowerment at its best, along with the values of “bayanihan and boluntarismo (cooperation and volunteerism).”

6 contractors vie for Php600-M first phase of new Php1.5-B Cebu City hospital

(PNA), FPV/EB/RSM

CEBU CITY, June 5 (PNA) -- At least six big construction companies have expressed interest to build the Php600-million first phase of the Php1.5-billion new Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).

The old CCMC building on Natalio Bacalso Avenue, Cebu City was heavily damaged by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shook Cebu and Bohol on Oct. 15, 2013.

It was subsequently torn down to make way for the new and modern 10-story hospital building.

Among the firms which entered their bid for the project are Dakay Construction and Development Corporation; a joint venture of Cebu’s WTG Construction and Development Corp. and Manila’s A.M. Oreta and company; C.E. Padilla; E.M. Cuerpo Inc; Specified Contractors and Development Inc. (SCDI) and Mecel Construction and Electrical, Inc. (MCEI) joint venture; and BF Corporation- PHILAB Industries Inc.

The Luzon-based joint venture of BF Corp and PHILAB is the newest bidder of the city hospital project, which has a budget contract of Php599,976,348.

BF Corp. was founded by then MMDA chief Bayani Fernando, a mechanical engineer.

The other bidders for the hospital project participated in last year’s bidding which was declared a failure.

The joint venture of WTG Construction and Development Corp. and A.M. Oreta was among the six contractors that participated in the first bidding for the first phase of the project on September 30 and emerged as the lowest bidder with Php274,975,904.

However, they were post-disqualified for allegedly being “non-responsive” after the bids and awards committee (BAC) found out that the documents submitted contained “discrepancies and false information.”

The second lowest bidder was the Manila-based joint venture of SCDI-MCEI with a bid price of Php281 million, followed by C.E. Padilla with P288 million and E.M. Cuerpo Inc. with Php313 million.

Dakay Construction and Development Corporation and Duros Development Corporation were disqualified from undertaking the project after they submitted their proposals late.

The special CCMC BAC conducted a pre-bid conference Thursday as mandated under Section 22 of the Republic Act 9184, the Philippine Procurement Law.

The opening of the bids will be held on June 18 at the City Hall’s legislative building social hall.

Cebu to host 4th SEACCN on June 25

(PNA), CTB/EB/EDS

CEBU CITY, June 4 (PNA) -- Cebu will host the fourth Southeast Asian Creative Cities Network (SEACCN) with an expected 200 participants on June 25 at the City Sports Club Cebu here.

The day-long forum is part of the celebration of the creative industries week during the Cebu Business Month.

It is anchored on the theme “Authenti-cities: Identity and Unity in Diversity,” a statement said.

The day-long forum hopes to increase public awareness on the value of creativity, culture and innovation as drivers of economic development and export growth.

It is expected to intensify education and appreciation of the market opportunities for Cebu’s creative goods and services while encouraging more business for creative enterprises.

It is also aimed to exchange best practices in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) creative network and support Cebu’s tourism as provider of creative goods and services to both foreign and local markets.

The previous SEACCN were held in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

SEACCN, a network for creative cities and clusters in Southeast Asia, is an open group with a focus on Southeast Asia and an emphasis on the second cities with representatives from the cities, agencies, specialists, experts, groups and communities.

The network’s initial members include George Town in Penang, Malaysia, Bandung in Indonesia, Cebu in the Philippines and Chiang Mai in Thailand.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Cebu Director Nelia Navarro said Cebu’s hosting is a welcome development, as it will help solidify the Philippines’ role within the Asean creative network, as well as open opportunities for possible cross-collaboration and expansion within Asean.

“Our improvement since we promoted Cebu as a creative city is that we are now beyond our borders and that the Cebu Creative Council is already linked with our counterparts in other countries,” she said.

Cebu prioritized for free WiFi

By Jeandie O. Galolo

MORE than 7,000 access points across the Philippines will benefit from the government’s P1.4 billion free WiFi project and Cebu has been identified as the top priority area in the Visayas.

“This July, Free Wi-Fi will actually be piloted in areas in Cebu, along with areas in Metro Manila and Davao City,” said Monchito Ibrahim, Deputy Executive Director of the Department of Science and Technology Information and Communications Technolocy Office, who was in Cebu yesterday for the Cebu ICT-BPM Conference held at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel.

The rollout of free Wi-Fi in Cebu is ahead of the rollout schedule which, according to the project’s timeline, is eyed to commence towards the end of the year.

“This (three-year) government initiative will prioritize class 3 to 6 municipalities…Through this project, Filipinos in rural areas who were once off-the-grid will have the opportunity to access the Internet and the endless possibilities that connectivity can offer,” Ibrahim said.

Access points

Areas in Cebu that will first have access to the free Wi-Fi, however, were not specified.

The average Internet speed is 256 kbps at 200,000 concurrent users. This will be accessed in public areas like plazas, parks, libraries, schools, seaports, and government offices among many others.

Ibrahim said that while the Philippines is “envied” by its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia in terms of the developments in its ICT-BPM industry, “the right ecosystem” needs to be developed and improved.

“Research shows that only about half of our population has access to the Internet,” the official said.

Ibrahim mentioned the country’s lack of infrastructure, referring to the state of Internet connectivity in the rural areas, which incapacitates some portions of the population from the benefits of the digital economy.

In 2014 alone, Ibrahim said the ICT-BPM industry in the Philippines recorded a revenue of $18.4 billion, as participated by more than one million Filipinos in the labor force working in the industry. Around 100,000 of them work in Cebu.

He said that if more Filipinos will have access to the Internet and are given a chance to participate in the digital economy, this will further spur the economic growth the country is experiencing.

“World Bank has reported that for every 10 percent surge in national broadband connectivity, the gross domestic product takes a 1.38 percent boost. By empowering Filipinos from Luzon to Mindanao through free and stable Internet connectivity, we are optimistic that this shall translate to a more robust and dynamic economy,” Ibrahim said.

The Free Wi-Fi project will also help cultivate the rural impact sourcing scheme, an initiative of the agency that promotes online jobs as a viable economic opportunity for rural communities.

Resources

In addition, free Wi-Fi is expected to improve government service, as this will provide ease of access to e-Government services.

At present, Ibrahim said DOST-ICTO is still bidding out the project to telco providers and cable TV operators. Instead of the government putting up its own towers as Wi-Fi sources, DOST-ICTO will tap the resources of the telco providers and other players.

In the next years, the government aims to get 99 percent national connectivity.

Vietnamese IT firm expands in Cebu, to employ 2,000 developers

(PNA), FPV/EB/EDS

CEBU CITY, June 2 (PNA) -- Vietnamese software firm FPT Software opened its first Philippine site in Cebu and targets to hire at least 2,000 technology developers in the next five years.

Ranked as the largest IT company in Vietnam and ranked 9th in Forbes top 50 listed companies in Vietnam, the company set up the FPT Software Philippines to capitalize on the rich software development talents in the country with the opening of the 120-seat office facility at the eBloc 3 Building, Cebu IT Park, in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.

"Placing an office in the Philippines is an important step of FPT Software's ASEAN expansion strategy. Cebu is the forerunner in this game. We aim to make FPT the leader in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in the global IT world cup," said FPT Software chairman Hoang Nam Tien.

Hoang said the company's strategy, of which the Philippines is seen to make critical contribution, is based on two important foundations, namely ASEAN human power and technology.

He said the Philippines, specifically Cebu, cornered the company's attention not only for the supply of good software developers, but also the people's warmth, service-oriented attitude, respect for authorities and their high fluency in the English language.

The company is currently manned with 62 people. It is constantly hiring people to fill in the company's growing requirement, Hoang said.

"With the right people, right place, right time, setting up our office in Cebu has been extremely fast and smooth. Everything is ready to welcome Filipino software engineers to join our pioneering team," he said.

FPT Software is present in 19 countries. Latest revenue stood at USD1.65 billion.

City dad pushes for free cinema access for seniors

By Jean Marvette A. Demecillo / ATO (The Freeman) | Updated June

CEBU, Philippines - Registered senior citizens in Cebu City may soon have free movie access, on top of their P12,000 cash assistance a year from the city government.

This, if the proposed ordinance penned by City Councilor Richard Osmeña will be approved by the City Council.

“Only residents in the City of Cebu with Senior Citizens Identification Card duly signed by the authorized signatories and issued by the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) shall be entitled to free admission (in any movie house or cinema establishments in the city),” read the proposed ordinance.

Osmeña proposed the ordinance known as “The Senior Citizens Free Movie Access to all theaters ordinance of the City of Cebu.”

He said that the city government recognizes the rights of the elderly in the community and their roles in community-building.

“Such rights and roles of senior citizens are important concerns of the city government. This ordinance provides an effective mechanism in addressing the said concerns, especially in showing utmost respect to senior citizens,” read the proposed ordinance. Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

Osmeña said that he authored the proposed measure to recognize the contributions of the elderly and to provide other privileges to them.

At present, there are 60,000 registered senior citizens in the city that enjoy the P12,000 cash assistance a year from the city government.

Under Section 6.2 of the proposed measure, “every senior citizen shall be allowed to avail the free movie access during Mondays and Tuesdays except during the first day of showing, holidays, and weekends. The availment by the said senior citizens during Mondays and Tuesdays shall be on the first screening hour.”

The proposed resolution states that the movie theater management has the right to stipulate policies and procedures on the issuance of the ticket or entry pass like ID validation or any requirement for the elderly to sign on the logbook in accordance with the proposed measure.

“Tickets and entry passes issued to senior citizens are honored only on the dates specified thereon. Senior citizen will transact personally with the movie theater personnel,” the proposed measure reads.

The measure aims to penalize any person who violates any provision under it; P500; P1,000; P1,500 for the first, second, and third offense, respectively.

The Cebu City Council referred the proposed measure to its Committee on Laws, Ordinances, Public Accountability and Good Government for comments and recommendations.

Then, it will be subject to public hearing before the final deliberation of the proposed ordinance.