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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.
Cebu metro.jpg
Aerial View of Metro Cebu
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
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


Cebu Pacific to open Cebu-Busuanga route in October

(ABS-CBN News)

MANILA -- Cebu Pacific said Thursday it would start daily flights between its Cebu City hub and Busuanga in Palawan in October, with base fares as low as P299.

Starting Oct. 27, Cebgo will fly twice daily between Mactan Cebu International Airport and Francisco B. Reyes Airport, the gateway to the famous tourist island of Coron.

The first flight departs Cebu at 7:25 a.m., and arrives in Busuanga at 9 a.m., while its return flight leaves Busuanga at 9:20 a.m. and arrives in Cebu at 11 a.m., the country's largest airline said.

The second flight leaves Cebu at 10:25 a.m., and lands in Busuanga at 12:05 p.m. while its turnaround flight departs at 12:25 p.m. and arrives at 2:10 p.m.

“We believe that these twice daily flights will enable residents from Cebu and other parts of Visayas and Mindanao to explore Palawan, without having to make the trip to Metro Manila to catch their flights," said Cebgo President and CEO Alexander Lao.

The P299 base fare promo will be offered from Aug. 17 until seats last, for travel from Oct. 27 to March 28, 2020.

DOT 7 to publish island brochures, list of accredited bancas


TO PROTECT tourists from illegal boat operators, the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 plans to publish the names of pump boats accredited by the agency, the Maritime Industry Authority and the Philippine Coast Guard Cebu in social media.

In Central Visayas there are 1,500 to 2,000 tourist vessels like motor bancas that are used for island hopping.

However, according to DOT 7 there are only 30 tourist motor bancas accredited by the agency, while 30 other vessels are still undergoing the accreditation process.

Besides tapping the social media platforms, DOT 7 Director Shahlimar Tamano said the list of accredited motor bancas will also be published in the online and offline brochures that they are planning to create.

These marketing collaterals will feature different islands and islets in the region to guide both locals and tourists.

“Central Visayas can be marketed as a marine park. We are coordinating with the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority for the accurate maps. These islands have marine and bird sanctuaries that need to be highlighted,” he said.

“We cannot do this before because we cannot release an island hopping brochure if the transportation for the island hopping is not licensed,” he said.

For motor bancas to be accredited with the DOT 7, operators have to pay P1,500 for the DOT accreditation. The vessels must also have proper safety equipment and tools, like life jackets, among others.

The DOT targets to finish the pilot brochure featuring Mactan Island by the end of the year while the brochures for other islands, namely Pescador, Tres Marias, Panglao, Balicasag and Sumilon, among others will soon follow.

The brochure will also contain historical and cultural facts about explorer Ferdinand Magellan as part of the 500th year of Christianity celebration campaign.

Cebu welcomed 5.57 million tourist arrivals in 2018.

Central Visayas welcomed a total of eight million tourists, both local and foreign last year and contributed P44.2 billion in tourism revenues to the region’s economy.

Creative nook unites local artists, crafters


A NINE-MONTH old creative nook in Crossroads is helping Cebuano artists and crafters showcase their creative talent and gain market access.

Started by arts and crafts aficionados Kim Gillesania and Verne Ahyong, Craft Story Cebu has now become the go-to place of local and foreign tourists who want to bring with them a piece of Cebu in forms of postcards, handmade soaps and shampoos, fashion accessories, dream catchers and other arts and craft materials that are made and designed by Cebuanos.

The curated concept store houses about 50 crafters who pay space rental ranging from one month to one year.

“We opened Craft Story Cebu so we could feature independent Cebuano artists and crafters in one roof whose products are sold at an affordable price,” said Gillesania. “We are a store that gathers their creative works.”

Gillesania said she can’t find a store here in Cebu that sells such pieces or one that meets the needs of hobbyists and fellow crafters.

“In Manila and other countries, they really have craft stores dedicated to local craft makers. Sadly, we can’t find one in Cebu, so we grabbed the opportunity and opened one to serve this market,” she said.

Since its opening, Gillesania said the store is frequeny flocked by foreign and local tourists as well as yuppies, who are into arts and crafts.

She said many are surprised, especially foreign tourists, of the products’ affordable prices. She mentioned a story of a Japanese tourist who wanted to buy a lot as homecoming gifts.

Because of its unique market, the store is getting a lot of applications, the reason the owners are planning to expand the store to areas with high foot traffic.

“We are amazed by the strong interest from the crafters community. This just proves that they are ready to showcase what they have but what’s limiting them is the venue where they could bring all of their products,” said Gillesania.

She said arts and crafts stores have a place in Cebu’s retail market because aside from serving a niche market, selling the concept is easier as Cebu is selling it itself globally as the country’s creative hub.

In fact, Cebu has sent its application to be recognized as a “Creative City” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

Specifially, Cebu has sought the Unesco classification as a creative city under the design category, the highest designation among the seven categories.

Member-cities of Unesco’s Creative Cities Network represent seven creative fields, namely design, film, literature, media arts, gastronomy, crafts and folk art and music.

Veterans bank opens biz center in Cebu


TO BRING its products and services closer to its clients, the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) opened in Cebu its first business center in the country.

PVB chairman and chief executive officer Roberto De Ocampo said Cebu’s growing economy calls for a response from the sector, especially from veterans and its corporate clients.

“This is the only bank that is both a bank and a memorial to heroes. It is dedicated to the memory of those who fought in World War 2 (WW2) in order for us to be free,” said De Ocampo, who is a former finance secretary.

The bank is owned by more than 385,000 stockholders who are listed as WW2 veterans and survived by generations of their offspring and relatives.

PVB currently has 60 branches nationwide; two of them are located in Cebu.

As of July 2019, PVB’s total loan portfolio hit P22 billion, the highest portfolio level the bank has reached in just seven months compared to P18 billion in the same period in 2018.

“Five years ago, when we first came in, the portfolio level of pension loans was in the vicinity of P100 million. Now, it’s close to P3 billion. So, we have now been able to service many more veterans and therefore, have become a major player in the pension loans,” he said.

As they plan to expand to veterans of any wars or Armed Forces retirees, De Ocampo said they expect a significant expansion.

“We have expanded our lending to local government units (LGUs) so that we are making use of our capability by our charter to be able to assist and be a depository of local government,” he said.

Even in Cebu, PVB lends to various LGUs for the development of hospitals, roads, basketball gymnasiums and others.

The bank is also boosting its corporate sector lending, catering to big companies and small and medium enterprises.

“Now, beyond that, our private sector lending has experienced almost as dramatic growth as the pension loans. In order for our bank to be diverse, we’re not only dependent on one set of products. We try our best to have a widespread portfolio,” he said.

Renato Claravall, president and chief operating officer of PVB, said the function of the business center is to localize loan processing.

“In many cases of banks, loan processing is centralized in Manila. While it may serve certain purposes, it also creates delays in being able to approve and process credit. The function of the business center is to really be the loan center for Cebu businesses to avoid documents going to Manila,” he said.

PVB’s business center is located along Osmeña Boulevard, Cebu City. It was inaugurated Friday, Aug. 9, 2019.

The business center will have a team of two senior lenders and three account assistants. Claravall said the center is also open for LGUs to conduct meetings and gather clients.

South Korea trains Cordova students on robotics tech


THE Korean Robot Volunteer Team will now be holding a robot camp in Cebu every year as it aims to transfer robotics knowledge to Cebuano students.

The non-profit organization, through the Cebu Korean Organization Inc., brought the first International Robot Summer Camp to Cordova, Cebu recently from Aug. 6 to 8, 2019.

Cho Yong Man, chief executive officer of the volunteer group, said they wanted to bring robotics knowledge to Cebu as this is an important industry in South Korea.

“This is more of a transfer of knowledge by Korean students to Cebuano students,” he said at the culmination event on Aug. 8.

The camp involved 20 young Korean learners and 20 students from the Cordova Catholic Cooperative School.

According to Cho, the field of robotics is increasingly becoming a vital industry in Korea amid the massive technological advancements in their country.

Robotics has also emerged to be an important field nowadays amid the emergence of artificial intelligence and automation in various industries, he said.

In fact, he said Korean students learn robotics as early as 10 to 15 years old as it is already part of their curriculum.

The Korean robot group was established in 2012. It aims to stimulate international exchanges and boost the promotion of robot education to other countries.

The first camp held in Cordova was the organization’s first in the Philippines.

Cho said part of the plan is to hold the robot camp even twice a year in Cebu. The group has recently signed an agreement with the municipal government of Cordova.

Through this initiative, Cho noted they hope to perk up the interest of Filipino students in robotics and pursue this field in the future.

Earlier, Josette Biyo, director of Science Education Institute, an agency under the Department of Science and Technology, expressed optimism in the future of robotics in the country at the recently held 13th Philippine Robotics Olympiad (PRO).

“In the Philippines, there is a lot of interest and potential for robotics,” she said in a statement.

The PRO, she noted, is a testament of the bright prospects for Philippine robotics.

Livelihood program for Carcar inmates


TO HELP inmates learn how to market their handmade products by the time they are freed, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Visayas has established a Tech4Ed program inside the Carcar City Jail.

DICT Visayas Cluster 2 Director Leo Cipriano Urbiztondo Jr. said this is to prepare detainees for their reintegration to society as well as to help them maintain a livelihood of their own when they get out of prison.

“We provided logistic support because we wanted to give hope to all stakeholders, even those people deprived of liberty,” he told SunStar Cebu.

Tech4ED stands for Technology for Education to gain employment, train entrepreneurs towards economic development. It aims to “provide access points for individuals and communities to bridge the digital and education divide,” the DICT said in its website.

Through the program, “communities are given access to information, communication, technology, government services, non-formal education, skills training, tele-health, job markets and business portals.”

Urbiztondo said by giving opportunities to the inmates, they would be able to sustain their needs and earn income the right way to feed their families.

Carcar City jail warden chief inspector Dennis Aliño said they have two personnel who will undergo training and who will reecho and train the 369 inmates in alternative learning system, tarpaulin printing, autocad and online courses related to entrepreneurship.

“Of the 368 inmates, 17 are women who will be trained first on how to market our products. So far, we have chicharon, handmade wallets, customized steel plant boxes and even a bakery,” he said.

Aliño said they already have clients especially for their steelworks which are often used in resorts.

“We do have customers since we also post online. There’s even a foreigner who ordered from us,” he said.

Aries Zeta, Tech4Ed coordinator for Central Visayas, said by teaching the inmates how to take advantage of the given technology, they will obtain technical know-how that they can use in the future to earn money through proper means.

“If they will master the process, it will boost their confidence and that’s what we really wanted. The options are there just for them to grab,” he said.

DTI Cebu targets 59 barangays, 20 LGUs for Negosyo Serbisyo Barangay


THE Department of Trade and Industry will bring its Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (NSB) program to 20 more local government units (LGUs) in Cebu within the year.

DTI Provincial Director Esperanza Melgar said their target is to conduct the NSB in at least 59 barangays across the province.

“That is 20 percent of the total number of barangays in Cebu under the fourth and fifth class,” the official told SunStar Cebu.

The NSB program targets fourth, fifth and sixth class municipalities across the country in pushing an entrepreneurial culture at the barangay level, Melgar said.

The program was piloted in Moalboal, a town southwest of Cebu City, on Aug. 3. 2019, which initially involved three barangays.

“We will be conducting the NSB in 20 other LGUs in Cebu involving 59 barangays within the next three months,” the DTI official said.

The program aims to bring business development in the grassroots level. It sets sights on further developing the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector which accounts for about 99 percent of registered businesses in the country.

It also targets to capacitate more entrepreneurs to scale up their operations.

Through this initiative, DTI field offices will capacitate barangay development councils to be able to assist clients in the locality in availing themselves of the services provided by the DTI.

The program intends to develop 200,000 new enterprises expected to provide more than 500,000 new jobs by 2022 under the DTI’s MSME Development Plan 2017 to 2022. It also expands and complements the 1,701 Negosyo Centers as of June 2019 across the country.

Aside from trainings and seminars, the DTI also sees the possibility of creating NSB desks in barangay town halls where potential and existing entrepreneurs have a more convenient avenue to seek aid in doing business.

SFA, Japan envoy sign Metro Cebu project for water management


FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. and Ambassador of Japan Koji Haneda exchanged notes on key projects in the Philippines and Asean in simple rites on July 23 at the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The two officials exchanged notes on official development assistance (ODA)-supported projects, specifically on the Septage Management of Metro Cebu Water District, as well as the regime of Privileges and Immunities for the Asean-Japan Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

In his remarks during the event, Locsin pointed to a joint press event with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, where President Duterte paid high compliments to Japanese ODAs, as the Chief Executive called them the “gold standard” by which the Philippines reckons its development cooperation with other partners.

“None will dispute the tribute. Whether in terms of Japan’s reliability as a partner for bridging gaps in our infrastructure investment and financing needs, [concession] of terms, or the quality and impact of resulting projects, Japanese [ODAs are] unrivalled. Visible signs of the Philippines-Japan development partnership dot our cityscapes and the countryside,” the foreign affairs secretary underscored.

Benefiting from a Japanese grant with a provision of up to ¥2.052 billion, the project on the Septage Management of Metro Cebu Water District will address the widespread environmental pollution in the “Queen City of the South” caused by inadequate drainage treatment and illegal dumping of sludge into rivers, as the absence of septage treatment has also been a major public health concern because of groundwater contamination.

The project will reduce water pollution and waste, as well as improve waste disposal in Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, Mandaue City, Cebu City and Talisay City, with large-scale waste treatment technology such as septic tank sludge treatment facilities and procured vacuum trucks in place. It is in consonance with the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan’s Water Quality Management objective.

It is expected to contribute to stable economic development by promoting proper household sludge treatment and improving water and hygienic environmental pollution.

Meanwhile, the TCA sets out the legal framework for the provision by the Japan International Cooperation Agency of direct assistance to Asean as an international organization, as opposed to assistance extended to individual member-states of the region.

The exchange of notes on the privileges and immunities of the TCA between Locsin and Haneda confirms the agreement by the two governments to have the privileges and immunities provisions of the counterpart bilateral agreement—the Philippines-Japan Agreement of Technical Cooperation of 2006—apply to the Philippines’s implementation of the Asean-Japan TCA. These privileges and immunities will be in effect chiefly to technical experts dispatched in connection with assistance projects.

Officials of the Metro Cebu Water District, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Japanese Embassy witnessed the exchanges of notes. DFA, Embassy of Japan-Manila

HLURB 7 on track to hit P48M revenues


THE Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) 7 is eyeing to hit P48 million in revenues this year, as the economic atmosphere of the region for real estate projects remains favorable.

HLURB 7 Director Dunstan San Vicente told SunStar Cebu that the agency is now P6 million shy of hitting the target as they already managed to collect P42 million within the first seven months from fees on the issuances of development permits and License to Sell (LTS) from condominiums and subdivisions.

“The economic climate has been pretty robust and has become friendlier. Of course, it shows the trust to business enterprises, the trust of customers and buyers as well as clearer and more responsible government regulation in the industry,” San Vicente said.

The target revenue was set by the agency’s central office and the Department of Budget and Management.

“Every year, the target jumps to greater heights,” he said.

For the first and second quarters of 2019, HLURB 7 approved 45 applications composed of subdivisions, condominiums and memorial parks.

Of the total, the agency approved 22 subdivision projects, 21 condominium projects and two memorial park developments.

The subdivision projects were comprised of 813 house and lot units for the open market or the high-end with a price ceiling of P4 million and above; 1,072 house and lot units for the economic segment; and 2,137 house and lot units for socialized housing.

The price ceiling for an economic housing is at P450,000 and not more than P1.75 million while a socialized housing is at P600,000 to P650,000.

The approved condominium projects are comprised of 2,924 units for the open market and 1,841 units for the economic housing market.

The agency also approved a total of 1,831 available plots for the two memorial park projects.

Most of the approved projects are located in Cebu province while some are situated in Samar, Leyte and Negros Oriental.

San Vicente attributed the accelerated developments in real estate to the steady demand for housing.

“There is an increased investment in the real estate industry,” he said.

Cargo traffic in Cebu up 5.46% in first sem


CARGO traffic at the ports of Cebu, a key trading hub in Visayas, registered a 5.46 percent growth in the first half of 2019.

The Cebu International Port (CIP), the city’s main port, and all ports handled by Cebu Port Authority (CPA) in the province handled a total of 29.36 million metric tons (MMT) of cargoes in the first six months of 2019, up from 27.84 MMT in the same period in 2018, data furnished by CPA to SunStar Cebu showed.

CPA targets to handle 58.84 MMT of cargoes this year.

Cebu ports’ container volume also rose 8.76 percent to 492,560 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) during the six-month period, up from 452,900 TEUs in the same period last year.

The CPA noted an overall good performance of port activity from January to June this year.

Vessel and passenger traffic during the period posted growth due to the increase reliance on domestic transport of fast craft, bulk, bay, river and roll-on-roll-off vessels as modes of transportation for inter-island connectivity.

Meanwhile, passenger traffic jumped 2.15 percent to 12.34 million during the first six months of 2019 from 12.08 million recorded in the same period in 2018.

CPA and CIP cargo-handling operator Oriental Port and Allied Services Corp. had signed the permit to construct a finger pier in CIP to increase its berthing capacity.

These measures are being done while CPA awaits the construction of a new international terminal in Consolacion, Cebu, which is expected to address the growing volume at the main port.

The Philippines and South Korea had signed a US$172.64 million loan agreement for the construction of the Consolacion port that aims to free up the existing seaport in the province and provide a more efficient and reliable transport infrastructure for a seamless flow of goods and services in the Visayas.

The Cebu port project has a total estimated project cost of P10.1 billion (approximately $199.25 million). It will be built on a 25 hectare reclaimed land in the town of Consolacion.

The new port will have a berthing facility with a 500 meter quay wall length that can simultaneously accommodate two 2,000 TEUs vessels, operating facilities and structures for containers such as a freight station and inspection shed, an access road and bridge and a dredged waterway and turning basin.

Aside from the construction of physical structures, the loan also covers the procurement of cargo handling equipment and consulting services.

Capitol’s P1.38-B supplemental budget gets Provincial Board nod


THE construction and rehabilitation of roads and bridges, subsidy to local government units (LGUs) and aid to the barangays were among the items covered by the Cebu Provincial Government’s first supplemental budget (SB) for 2019.

Amounting to P1,385,156,900, the SB was approved on first, second and third reading by the Provincial Board (PB) on Monday, Aug. 5, without any discussion or revision of items.

The biggest slice of the pie goes to the construction, improvement and rehabilitation program for roads and bridges at P800 million.

Towns and component cities will also get a subsidy of P269,596,900 from the Capitol.

Aside from this, the SB also covers some P125 million worth of aid to the barangays, P50.8 million in subsidy for volunteer frontline workers and P50 million for the Provincial Government’s water supply program.

Other appropriations include P46.6 million for the peace and order program; P30 million for the construction, improvement, rehabilitation and furnishing of buildings and other structures program; P5.4 million for transactions in prior years; and P331,000 for local promotions, conferences and events, among others.

Based on the 2019 Supplemental Investment Plan under the General Fund, the extension of aid to barangays and subsidy to LGUs aim to help them provide “efficient, effective and economical” governance to their constituents.

On the other hand, the hosting, participation and sponsorship of local promotions such as the 1Cebu Expo will help promote the province.

The construction and rehabilitation of public structures are also expected to generate additional income, while the rehabilitation of roads and bridges will include the acquisition of right-of-way.

The water system project, for its part, aims to provide “abundant and clean” water supply in the community through the installation of Level III access to safe water, bulk water system, and water supply in government facilities.

The appropriation ordinance was authored by Sixth District PB Member Glenn Anthony Soco, chairman of the committee on budget and appropriations.

In 2018, the PB approved the P4.6-billion annual budget for 2019.

For this year, the biggest slice of the pie went to the Provincial Health Office, amounting to P1.48 billion.

Of the amount, P1.2 billion is for the improvement of the provincial and district hospitals, while the remaining P254 million is intended for public health programs.

BFAR to extend P500K assistance to fishermen in Cebu’s 2nd District

By Irene R. Sino Cruz (/bmjo)

CEBU CITY—The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Visayas (BFAR-7) has allocated over P500,000 for projects to benefit fishermen in Cebu’s 2nd congressional district.

BFAR-7 Director Alfeo Piloton and Representative Wilfredo Caminero of Cebu’s 2nd District signed on Friday, August 2, 2019, a memorandum of agreement for the implementation of the agency’s projects in the seven municipalities in the second congressional district, according to an emailed press statement from BFAR-7.

Piloton said BFAR-7 will be implementing the use the allocated amount in purchasing fishing boats and supplies as well as training for fishermen.

The projects will benefit the municipalities of Argao, Dalaguete, Alcoy, Boljoon, Oslob, Samboan and Santander.

He said the agency recognizes the need to promote food security by increasing fish production through the transfer of fisheries technology and training to fisher folks as direct participants in the proper management of the marine resources.

“In support to the National Fisheries Program of the government, BFAR-7 has assessed and identified the need to provide training and livelihood assistance to fisher folks in the Second District of Cebu,” the regional director explained.

Under the agreement, BFAR-7 will provide to these seven municipalities the fishing boats and equipment amounting to P585,262 to further uplift the socio-economic conditions of the fishermen.

Boljoon, Oslob, and Samboan will each receive two units of motorized fiberglass boats each costing P55,037.

Meanwhile, BFAR-7 will also turn over drift gillnets to Argao (two units), Samboan (three units) and Santander (three units). Each unit costs P22,070.

Dalaguete will also receive 2,700 kilograms of seaweed seedlings worth P40,500 while Alcoy will get six units of set longline costing P37,980.

These municipalities had asked BFAR-7 for livelihood support of the fishermen in their areas.

Aside from this assistance, BFAR-7 will also provide skills training and technical services on the construction and operation of these projects.

Likewise, BFAR-7 will supervise in the construction using recommended technology.

Moreover, BFAR-7 will coordinate with the local government units (LGU’s) and their respective Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Councils (FARMC) on the identification of sites as well as the selection and organization of fisher folks who will be the beneficiaries of the hands-on training.

To further improve the daily income of the fisher folk beneficiaries, BFAR-7 will provide technical support and develop marketing strategies to help the fishermen organizations sell their products.

DAR Cebu, CTU ink deal to extend livelihood support

(JOB with PR)

THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Cebu Technical University (CTU) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to provide livelihood assistance that will benefit the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

Under the MOA, CTU “undertakes to provide the assistance in terms of technology transfer, technical expertise and other assistance that fall within its mandate that would benefit ARBs and other small holder farmers.”

“DAR Cebu will coordinate with the CTU campuses and ARBs in the detailed implementation scheme of the projects, to include the supervision, shouldering the expenses in the conduct of technology transfer trainings and monitoring the implementation of the projects,” DAR said in a press release.

Government agencies pour in their resources to support the agricultural sector amid the global competition and new farming practices supported with the latest technologies.

The agriculture sector is one of the priorities of the administration as it focuses on helping farmers especially with the concerns regarding aging farmers and the opening of the rice industry to imports from neighboring countries.

CTU, which is mandated to perform four functions, namely: instruction, research, extension and production, aims to provide assistance to the small, marginalized communities in the province of Cebu.

“The institution provides the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills for sustained productivity, profitability and well being of the communities,” it said.

CTU’s 24 campuses across the province commits to collaborate with government agencies in providing the innovations that will benefit ARBs, aside from farming, where they can earn additional income under their research and extension program.

As part of the agreement, the university will also showcase farm-based technology transfer trainings with the identified farmer cooperators or organizations. The MOA signing was conducted during the 31st Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program anniversary celebration of DAR Cebu on July 17, 2019.

New farm tourism site to explore, enjoy


A VEGETABLE techno-demo farm will soon be one of the tourist attractions in the southern town of Dalaguete, as the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Cebu and the University of the Philippines-Diliman assessed its facilities.

In its official Facebook page, DOST Cebu, together with the UP Institute for Small-Scale Industries announced that they have assessed the Dalaguete Vegetables techno-demo farm on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 for its inclusion to the DOST- Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) supported program-Science for the Convergence of Agriculture and Tourism (SciCAT).

“The Dalaguete techno-demo farm is in the list of tourist attractions in Dalaguete and the local government unit (LGU) will package it as a tourism destination together with the Mt. Talongon Flower Garden. Both attractions aim for Department of Tourism (DOT) accreditation,” the DOST Cebu said.

The Dalaguete Vegetables techno-demo farm is LGU-owned but the enterprise is managed by Kapunungan sa Mag-uuma sa Sigpit, a Department of Labor and Employment-registered people’s organization of farm workers with 38 members who are beneficiaries of its farm operations.

DOST Cebu Provincial Director Tristan Abando said the Dalaguete farm is the agency’s pilot project that will soon showcase the latest farm technologies provided by the DOST to the farmers.

“We have an existing program on the development of farm tourism to promote agriculture and it’s also an alternative side of tourism. We want to incorporate or feature the DOST-supported technologies related to farming,” he said.

Abando said the agency’s PCAARRD supports the research and development programs for the improvement of productivity in farming and agriculture.

The techno-demo farm uses new farming technologies such as the use of greenhouse technology and organic farming.

Although the farm is still under the development stage, Abando said they are targeting to make it ready in the middle of 2020.

“The goal is to make it interactive. Meantime, we would just like to have a showcase like information about the farm,” said Abando.

Sugbo Mercado to open 4th food market


THE Sugbo Mercado Group is eyeing to open within this quarter its fourth food market in Cebu. It will be located in the Cebu Business Park (CBP).

The group’s proprietors announced their new concept will feature at least 15 entrepreneurs selling street food.

Charmaine de Leon, Sugbo Mercado’s finance director, said Wednesday, July 31, 2019, they will occupy a space beside Ayala Center Cebu’s Krispy Kreme store that used to be the location of the TienDa market.

She said they hope to launch the “street food” market by September 2019.

The group aims to showcase Cebu’s famous street foods through this new concept.


The food market operator is also planning to build in 2020 its fifth concept, which will be an indoor and air conditioned food hall set to be located still within the CBP, de Leon said.

Sugbo Mercado currently has three food parks. One is located in Cebu IT Park’s Garden Bloc. Another is located in Lapu-Lapu City. The third park, The Market in Mandaue City, has just completed its first year of operations. The Lapu-Lapu branch opened earlier this year.

John Paul Chiongbian, the group’s managing director, also said part of the group’s plan is to bring the food park concepts to Cebu’s food hotspots in the north and south, citing the cities of Carcar, Naga and Talisay.

Business incubation

Chiongbian pointed out that these food parks have become an incubating venue for budding Cebuano food entrepreneurs.

He said tenants undergo an acceleration program, where The Market serves as a “level-up” platform for those stores that have made great success in their stint at the IT Park branch.

He explained that more than just an incubation hub for entrepreneurs, these food bazaars, which have become go-to places among locals, have also pushed small food entrepreneurs to accelerate their operations.

The idea is to provide these food entrepreneurs the incubation ground where they can test the market, before they eventually decide to enter the mall market and further expand.

“We help these entrepreneurs incubate their food products,” Chiongbian said.

The Sugbo Mercado in Cebu IT Park has over 60 food stalls and enjoys a daily average foot traffic of 5,000. It is open from Thursday to Sunday. The Market, on the other hand, which has a daily average foot traffic of 2,000, operates from Tuesday to Sunday. It has at least 18 tenants.

Cebu airport upgrade completed this quarter

By Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines — GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) is set to complete within the quarter initial upgrades in its multi-awarded Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) that would further enhance passenger experience.

GMCAC president Louie Ferrer said the first phase of renovations to Terminal 1, MCIA’s domestic terminal, will be delivered within the third quarter.

With its own adapted resort-theme design, Terminal 1 will feature a brand new retail, food, and beverage area to be known as the Airport Village.

“We are continuing the transformation of MCIA this year with the renovations to Terminal 1 and the upcoming launch of our new Airport Village, which is scheduled to open in the coming months,” Ferrer said.

“It will feature world-class local and international brands in retail and F&B, and will provide a whole new level of dining and shopping experience for our passengers and their well-wishers,” he said.

With the domestic terminal poised for upgrades, MCIA’s international terminal continues to be recognized by international awards-giving bodies in architecture for its design.

GMCAC said MCIA Terminal 2 was one of the winners in the 2019 International Architecture Awards in the Airports and Transportation Centers category. Two international airports made this year’s cut, with MCIA Terminal 2 sharing the stage with Incheon International Airport Terminal 2 expansion.

Terminal 2 was also shortlisted for the upcoming World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam, one of the preeminent architecture events globally. MCIA Terminal 2 will compete with Jewel Changi Airport and the Istanbul Airport during the festival this December.

Last year, MCIA received three awards, one of which was Asia Pacific Medium Airport of the Year during the CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence ceremony, one of the most respected awards in the airport and aviation industry.

“MCIA continues to be recognized globally not only because it embodies our positioning as a Filipino resort airport, but also because its design and quality of engineering allows us to deliver world-class service and operations,” Ferrer said.

GMCAC is a joint venture between the GMR Group of India and Megawide Construction Corp. that manages the terminal operations and other related areas of the MCIA.

Cebu '7th Best Island in Asia'

By KAT O. CACHO (SunStar Cebu)

CEBU emerged as the 7th Best Island in Asia, according to the recent survey of Travel + Leisure. Two other island’s in the country also made it to the Top 10 list —Boracay Island (9th) and Palawan (2nd), which also ranked second in the Top 15 World’s Best Islands.

Every year the World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure said it asks its readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more.

Readers rated islands according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness and overall value.

Travel + Leisure described the islands of Cebu, Palawan and Boracay as “longtime favorites, thanks to top-notch reef and wreck diving, white-sand beaches, hiking trails with waterfalls, and welcoming locals.”

Cebu unveils integrated intermodal transport system

By Dale G. Israel (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

CEBU CITY — Free Wi-Fi on jeepneys and washrooms and karaoke on buses.

These were just among the major improvements rolled out in the wake of moves by the government to modernize the country’s mass transportation system.

The modern public utility vehicles (PUVs) will be part of the integrated intermodal transport system for Cebu province, which will include a bus rapid transit system, a monorail and a cable car, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino said here on Friday.

“The nationwide rollout may have been delayed because of several protests from existing operators and drivers who were, as expected, resistant to change,” Dino said.

“But because of political will, the [Duterte] administration has made it a point to consider all aspects that might be affected by this PUV modernization, and has been addressing the fears of operators and drivers,” he said.

According to Dino, the government is also addressing the concerns of possible displaced drivers in the modernization program.

MCIA Terminal 2 finalist for World Architecture Festival awards 2019

(KOC with PR)

AFTER reaping the 2019 International Architecture Awards (IAA) for Airports and Transportation Centers category, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) was also shortlisted for the upcoming World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam.

MCIA Terminal 2 will compete with Jewel Changi Airport and the Istanbul Airport during the festival in December 2019, said the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) in a statement Friday, July 12, 2019. GMCAC is the private operator of MCIA.

Specifically, Terminal 2 will compete in the Completed Buildings – Transport category.

The World Architecture Festival is an annual festival and awards ceremony dedicated to the architecture and development industry. Its mission is to serve as the international voice for industrial design, and to advocate, promote, and share knowledge of industrial design driven innovation to create a better world.

“MCIA continues to be recognized globally not only because it embodies our positioning as a Filipino resort airport, but also because its design and quality of engineering allow us to deliver world-class service and operations,” said GMCAC president Louie Ferrer.

Besides winning big at the IAA, GMCAC also announced that Terminal 2’s airport bar, The Cabin Bar by London-based travel food and beverage (F&B) operator SSP, was also recently named Asia Pacific Airport Bar of the Year in the Airport Food and Beverage Awards held in Dallas, Texas. The awards recognize the best in travel food and beverage worldwide. The Cabin Bar is the first-ever full bar operating inside an airport in the Philippines.

While these recognitions boost MCIA’s confidence, the GMCAC said it will continue to uplift the airport’s image in the international spotlight.

GMCAC said the first phase of renovations of Terminal 1 will be delivered by the third quarter of 2019. With its own adapted resort-theme design, Terminal 1 will feature the much-awaited Airport Village, a brand new retail and F&B area for passengers to enjoy.

“We are continuing the transformation of MCIA this year with the renovations to Terminal 1 and the upcoming launch of our new Airport Village, which is scheduled to open in the coming months,” said Ferrer.

“It will feature world-class local and international brands in retail and F&B, and will provide a whole new level of dining and shopping experience for our passengers and their well-wishers,” he added.

In 2018, MCIA received three awards, one of which was Asia Pacific Medium Airport of the Year during the CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence ceremony, one of the most respected awards in the airport and aviation industry.

Now in Cebu: Buses with washrooms, solar panel jeepneys with wi-fi

By Dale G. Israel (Inquirer Visayas)

CEBU CITY—Jeepneys with wi-fi and buses with washrooms and karaoke machines.

The modern public utility vehicles (PUV) would now be common sights in Cebu after the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issued certificates of public conveyance, or permits to operate, to 100 of these jeepneys, 110 buses with those amenities and 300 taxicabs on Thursday (July 11).

At least 25 of the 100 wi-fi fitted jeepneys have already been delivered and are now operating.

At least 23 out of 110 buses and 250 out of 300 taxis are also plying the streets of Cebu province.

Eduardo Montealto, LTFRB Central Visayas director, said operators of the PUVs could wait up to three months for all the modern vehicles to be delivered.

Michael Dino, presidential assistant for the Visayas, in a speech said the modern PUVs would be part of a new transport scheme that included a Bus Rapid Transit system, a monorail and a cable car.

Dino said the nationwide start of modernizing the Philippine transport network was delayed by protests from operators and drivers “who were, as expected, resistant to change.”

MCIA Terminal 2 wins International Architecture award

(JOB with KOC/FVQ)

THE Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2 (T2) bagged another global recognition after it won this year’s International Architecture Awards (IAA) for Airports and Transportation Centers category.

MCIA T2 was designed by renowned architectural firm, Hong Kong-based Integrated Design Associates and local designers Budji Layug, Royal Pineda and Kenneth Cobonpue.

“The IAA are the oldest and largest global awards in the industry, recognizing projects based on design vision, innovation, engagement, accessibility and sustainability,” the MCIA said in its official Facebook page.

Organized by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, IAA honors new skyscrapers, commercial buildings, urban plans, private residences and real estate projects that achieve a high standard of excellence to design.

This year’s winners hail from 41 nations around the world, recognized across a variety of categories from airports to private houses. The selection by a jury for IAA 2019 was held in the Department of Architecture Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Vilnius, Lithuania.

Dubbed as the “World’s Friendliest Resort Airport,” the MCIA is considered as the second busiest airport in the Philippines.

T2 is said to be the first airport in Asia to use glulam (glue-laminated) on its roof structure which form the roof curvature and define its geometry and modularity.

The arches span every 30 meters, which enables T2 to be column-free as possible.

T2 caters to Cebu’s international departures and arrivals. T2 is a product of the country’s first public-private partnership project, with commercial operations started in July 2018.

Aside from the T2, the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), MCIA’s private operator, is currently modernizing the Terminal 1 (T1) of MCIA that caters to domestic operations.

T1, according to GMCAC commercial advisor Ravishankar Saravu, will be completed this year. It will bring the capacity of MCIA to 16 million passengers per year.

Meanwhile, the departure road in front of T1 for domestic travel will be closed on Friday, July 12, until Saturday, July 13, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., for the installation of temporary covered walkways from the T1 departure drop-off to the road across the Waterfront Airport Hotel. The covered walkway will be for the convenience of the public. Road signs will be placed to direct the public.

MCIA is home to nine local and 19 foreign airline partners, and serves direct connections to 29 domestic and 22 international destinations.

PCOO brings open gov't dialogues to Cebu


CEBU CITY -- Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday led the second regional town hall meeting here, as part of the Duterte administration’s continuing efforts to bring government services closer to the people.

“You can confront the top officials of the line agencies in a constructively critical conversation for the public services that you, the people, expect to be delivered. The bureaucratic web of problems and glitches can expeditiously evaporate, with dialogue, and direct resolutions,” Andanar said during his speech held at the Cebu Provincial Capitol Social Hall here.

The Dagyaw 2019: Open Government and Participatory Governance Regional Dialogues encourage participation in dialogues between government agencies, the public, and other stakeholders. This initiative likewise aims to solicit ideas and stories that would help, not only in crafting new landmark reforms, but also in further strengthening existing measures.

"Dagyaw, or bayanihan, in the language of our origins, is the name we have chosen to underline the concerted cooperation of the major pillars of our reformed governance. These are: the people, the lead persons of the executive departments, and the president," Andanar said.

"This is the triumvirate convergence of the objective of dagyaw, which is simply, the participation of the people in governance," the PCOO chief added.

The word “dagyaw” is a Hiligaynon term for “bayanihan,” which exemplifies the concept of “togetherness.” It is envisioned to be one of the main government campaigns that will provide avenues for productive, valuable, sincere, and visible engagement between government and the people at the local level.

“This is participatory democracy in action, where the seated spectators are the people themselves, all of you,” Andanar told the town hall meeting participants.

In his speech, Andanar also highlighted the results of the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey. The survey showed President Duterte’s public satisfaction rating reaching a new record-high in the second quarter of 2019 in which 80 percent of Filipinos are satisfied.

Andanar emphasized the importance of freedom of information, which opens for the people the documents and data of the entire executive departments except those involving highly classified national security matters.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Department of National Defense Undersecretary Cesar Yano, Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary Roberto Alabado III, representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of Budget and Management attended the The Dagyaw 2019 Cebu City town hall meeting. DBM Assistant Secretary Rolando Toledo moderated the forum.

DTI 7 sees growing businesses in Cebu


AS THE registration of business names goes online, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 sees bright prospects in profiling the businesses in Cebu.

Marivic Aguilar, DTI-Cebu provincial office chief for small and medium enterprise development division, told SunStar Cebu that the roll-out of online business name (BN) registration is now serving a lot entrepreneurs.

“We now regularly serve 100 to 150 business owners regularly in our teller transactions,” she said.

However, she said there are still some business owners who choose to physically pay at the teller instead of paying through its third-party digital payment option, GCash.

“There are some who need to learn what GCash is and we guide them. They’re also unfamiliar but there are also those who are open and would even download the mobile app,” she said.

Aguilar added plans are underway to expand payment options, especially now that people are doing transactions through their mobile phones.

“Most of the people now have mobile phones so it’s easier to pay via GCash,” she said.

Aguilar said DTI is also adjusting to the new BN registration system since all processes will be coursed through there.

“We’re dependent on the combination of the internet speed and the system. Both have to work. The internet connectivity should be stable and the system should also be working properly,” she said.

Based on the records of the DTI 7, there were 12,592 business names that were recorded in Cebu from January to May 2019, up by 44 percent compared to 8,751 business names that were registered in the same period in 2018.

Aguilar said the numbers reflect Cebu’s thriving business landscape as entrepreneurs continue to expand or venture into new businesses.

“If you’re going to base it on the number of entities that registered, it’s a good indicator,” she said.

Since its implementation on May 20, DTI 7 has been pushing entrepreneurs to transact online, from registering their business name to printing their own certificate.

DOTr: Cebu’s BRT, cable cars, monorail system up and running in 2021

By Delta Dyrecka Letigio (/dbs)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — By 2021, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), cable cars and monorail that make up the Integrated Intermodal Transport System (IITS) for Metro Cebu will be up and running.

That is how the Department of Transportation (DOTr) sees the project come to ‘partial fruition.’

Read more: Neda-ICC okays BRT but as part of MCIITS

“We are all committed to make the IITS possible. We want partial operability on the BRT, on the monorail, and on the cable system by the last quarter of 2021,” said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, who was in Cebu on Saturday, July 6.

Tugade made an ocular inspection on the stations of the IITS in Metro Cebu, specifically on the three cities where the IITS would operate — Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu cities.

He also discussed with the international partners on the final designs of the IITS plans.

The DOTr is working with the World Bank and other private companies in the IITS projects, which pledged their commitment to realize the project that Tugade said would be needed by the Cebuanos.

He said he would want the Cebuanos to experience the comfort of the IITS since it had been long overdue, and President Rodrigo Duterte would want the system to be established by the end of his term.

Read more: DOTr begins plans for monorail project in Cebu

However, Tugade said the project might well go beyond the term of Duterte as the completion of the IITS would take more than 3 years.

As of now, the DOTr and its partner agencies are already finalizing the detailed engineering design so that they can begin procuring the budget for the project, which needs to be approved by National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

Tugade said the DOTr was targeting to have the budget for the project by late 2019 or early 2020.

For this reason, he gave a three-month deadline to the consultants to finish the engineering design.

Among the areas that Tugade visited was the site in IT Park, Barangay Apas in Cebu City, where the Common Station for the BRT, monorail, and cable cars will soon rise.

The DOTr secretary also visited the South Road Properties (SRP) where most of the depots of the IITS would be built, and where the BRT and monorail would most likely have a route.

He also checked the Osmeña Boulevard where two dedicated lanes at the center of the four-lane highway would be allotted for the BRT, while a bike lane would be established along the sidewalks.

The final stop for the ocular inspection was in in Lapu-lapu City as the monorail was expected to connect IITS from the mainland Cebu to the airport in Mactan Island.

After the ocular inspection, Tugade noticed that the passengers docking at the Cebu City ports had difficulty in finding public transport, and so he instructed Undersecretary Mark de Leon, the Visayas Representative to the DOTr, to coordinate with Cebu Port Authority (CPA) so that they could provide transportation inside the ports possibly point-to-point transports.

TESDA brings 'Tsuper Iskolar' to Visayas

By Ma. Cristina Arayata (PNA)

MANILA -- The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), together with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), officially launched the "Tsuper Iskolar" program in Cebu on Friday.

"Tsuper Iskolar” aims to provide scholarships and livelihood training to drivers, especially those affected by the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization. It also provides beneficiaries and their families with free skills training, skills assessment, and entrepreneurship training.

A total of 18 transport sector cooperatives in Cebu and nearby provinces participated in the launch, according to TESDA.

The program was previously launched in the National Capital Region, as well as in the Ilocos, Zamboanga, Northern Mindanao, and Davao regions, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña earlier told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the two agencies will bring "Tsuper Iskolar" nationwide.

He said everyone is welcome to apply for the program but priority will be given to drivers affected by the PUV modernization program, their families, indigenous people, and rebel returnees.

"Anyone interested to avail of this program can apply," he said, adding that trainees receive a daily allowance of PHP350.

Among the courses they can choose from are Heavy Equipment Operation (Forklift) NC II, Hilot (Wellness Massage) NC II, Food and Beverage Services NC II, Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) NC II, Housekeeping NC II, Caregiving NC II, Driving NC II, Bread and Pastry Production NC II, Beauty Care Services NC II, and Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II.

Lapeña said the DOTr has allotted a PHP300 million budget for "Tsuper Iskolar" for 2019. The program will continue as needed.

MCWD offers 500T free seedlings

By Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines — The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) announced on Wednesday that it has over half a million free seedlings available for environmental warriors, tree loving-individuals, schools, companies and group volunteers who want to contribute to Metro Cebu’s water security efforts. Newlyweds who wish to seal their marriage by planting a tree are also welcome.

In a statement, MCWD said that the rainy season marks the start of the tree-growing activities as the planting sites are rain-fed. Trees, especially those in Cebu’s watershed areas, help ensure the recharge of water sources amid a supply shortage in Metro Cebu. They also prevent erosion and provide cleaner air.

MCWD’s four seedling nursery sites in Jaclupan, Talisay City, Buot and Talamban in Cebu City and 10 barangays in Liloan have a combined yield of 562,603 seedlings.

“As a responsible water utility, the distribution of free seedlings has been part of MCWD’s programs to raise public awareness on the value of trees in water supply security for Metro Cebu,” the statement read.

It added that the water demand is now at about 400,000 cubic meters per day while the production of MCWD is only about 238,000 cubic meters per day, resulting in areas with water services of less than 24 hours and a water supply shortage during the dry spell.

Interested stakeholders in water supply security may call 254-8434 to reserve seedlings or to inquire about possible tree planting sites.

MCWD also holds free orientation and events promoting tree growing.

Aside from the free seedlings and providing the sites, MCWD also prepares the planting area by digging the holes ahead of schedule and brings the seedlings to the planting site, making the activities fun and easy even for young volunteers.

Youth organization to give 1,000 school kits to kids in Cebu

By Raul Constantine L. Tabanao (/celr)

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Cebuano Youth Ambassadors Inc. (CYA), a youth-led organization based here is eyeing to distribute 1,000 “Gugma Eskwela” kits to children in Cebu province.

Mark Lester Gerasta, ambassador of Gugma Eskwela, said the program is an online bayanihan initiative of CYA that aims to provide bag and school supplies to children residing in remote areas in Cebu.

The organization aims to distribute 100 school kits to every Gugma Eskwela community in the province.

The organization currently has five Gugma Eskwela” communities in Olango Island, Barili, Gilutungan Island, and Tipolo, Mandaue City

Gerasta said 100 kits are now ready to be distributed in Olango Island on July 20.

“We activated Gugma Eskwela in Barili as our next target community,” he said.

The program has raised 15 school kits for Gugma Eskwela Barili.

This will be distributed on July 27, 2019.

The program started in 2012 along with the movers of Barkada Campout after attending an outreach program and met children, who expressed interest in pursuing their education but cannot afford to buy the supplies needed for school.

“Gugma Eskwela is not just a distribution-of-school-supplies initiative. A workshop will be provided to inspire them to dream, believe in the power of dreaming and fight for that dream,” Gerasta said.

Gerasta added that the organization is knocking on the hearts of the Cebuanos to support their program by donating Gugma Eskwela kits which costs P400 each.

Inside the bag are notebooks, pencils, pad paper, sharpener and eraser.

People can donate by reaching the group in their official Facebook page, Cebuano Youth Ambassadors, or email them at

Pasigarbo sa Sugbo back in August


AFTER nearly seven years of hiatus, the "Festival of Festivals" is set to take center stage again next month.

Some 46 town and city mayors in Cebu Province have committed to join the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo, which will be reintroduced in August in time for the celebration of the province's 450th founding anniversary.

A flagship tourism and culture program of Governor Gwen Garcia during her earlier stint as governor, Pasigarbo sa Sugbo is an annual exhibition of festivals participated by towns and component cities in the province.

Before, the event was held at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) where the One Cebu Expo also took place. These, however, were not retained by the administration of former governor, now Vice Governor Hilario Davide III.

With her return to the Capitol, Garcia said she will revive the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo, One Cebu Expo and the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo.

Almost all of the 51 mayors from towns and component cities in the province have expressed their support for Garcia's tourism plans.

All the local chief executives from the first, second, sixth and seventh districts of Cebu have promised to participate during their first general assembly with Garcia Wednesday afternoon, July 3, at the Provincial Capitol social hall.

Aside from Toledo City, all the other local government units (LGU) in the third district will also join the event.

A representative of Toledo City Mayor Joie Perales said while they are interested in the event, they will still have to discuss the matter with their city officials.

The same sentiment was shared by a representative of Danao City Mayor Ramonito Durano III, adding they will also have to check the availability of funds since they are also preparing for their Karansa Festival in September.

The northern towns of Tudela and Tabuelan have declined due to budget constraints.

Except for Tabuelan, all the other LGUs in the fourth district will join the event.

In the fifth district, all the LGUs will participate except for Tudela, while Danao and Pilar have yet to confirm.

Given the dilapidated condition of the CICC, Balamban Mayor Alex Binghay suggested holding the event at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).

San Fernando Mayor Lakambini Reluya suggested staging Pasigarbo sa Sugbo in the City of Naga, while Daanbatayan Mayor Sun Shimura suggested the north reclamation area in Mandaue City.

Fifth district Provincial Board Member Andrei Duterte suggested holding the event in Carmen town, which was also the host of the 2018 Cebu Provincial Sports Meet.

Most of the mayors, though, prefer the CCSC since it is at the center and would not be too far for towns and cities coming from the north, south and midwest.

The Pasigarbo is expected to take stage between August 4 to 10.

To help towns prepare, Garcia has tapped award-winning choreographer and stage director Victor Cuenco to coordinate with the mayors and their choreographers.

A final meeting with the mayors has been set by Garcia on Friday, July 5.

During the meeting Wednesday, July 3, Garcia also thanked the mayors for setting aside political differences and heeding her call.

"We hope to work together for the next three years. There is much to be done and catch up to. This should be a signal wherein almost everyone will participate to our activities. I believe that the next three years should be productive and fruitful," she said.

1,800 health workers ready for barangay deployment in Central Visayas

(From HBL of SuperBalita Cebu/JKV)

THE Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas is deploying more nurses, dentists and midwives to various barangay health centers in the region.

Around 1,800 health personnel took their oath of office before DOH Assistant Secretary Abdullah Dumama Jr. in a formal ceremony held Tuesday, July 2, 2019.

Dumama, in an interview, said the deployment of additional health personnel to barangays around the region was one of their measures in the implementation of the Universal Health Care Law.

“This is the answer to the promise of the President na dapat merong isang health personnel sa isang barangay. We may not be achieving all of that pero somehow we can now be managing more than we expected,” Dumama told reporters.

Dumama said they plan to deploy health personnel to barangays situated in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (Gida) in the region and to provide quality health services to residents living there.

“This is a clear manifestation that the Department of Health is really bent on implementing fully the Universal Health Care Law,” Dumama added.

Aside from Central Visayas, deployment of health personnel in barangays is also being implemented in different parts of the country.

Initially, the DOH 7 targetted having 2,200 health workers to be deployed to barangay and rural health centers in the region.

Meanwhile, Dumama said a public hearing will be held in Cebu next week to discuss the implementation of the Universal Health Care Law, especially as the implementing rules and regulations are still being drafted.

DSWD’S Pantawid beneficiaries earn from gardening


THE Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program partner-beneficiaries have benefited from their communal and backyard gardening projects in Central Visayas.

The Balilihan Farmers Marketing Cooperative (BFMC) in Bohol has been growing vegetables in a communal garden for almost four years now.

BFMC is composed of five Pantawid beneficiaries and 19 non-Pantawid beneficiaries.

According to Julita Batac, the income from the communal garden helps her meet the school needs of her children. She is a BFMC member and a Pantawid beneficiary.

“Our communal vegetable garden has augmented our income because we harvest twice a week, every Monday and Friday. We also display our produce in our public market every Tuesday because that is the market day of our town,” Batac said in Cebuano.

She encouraged other Pantawid partner-beneficiaries to plant vegetables in their own backyards because it would help them save money.

“They could eat fresh vegetables that can boost their immune system and protect them from any illness,” she said.

To help augment her carpenter-husband Ruel’s income, Teresita Amas from Bindoy, Negros Oriental decided to plant vegetables in her garden.

“I am glad that planting vegetables helps lessen our expenses because I would not necessarily buy in the market anymore. Every lunch and dinner, I make sure that I cook vegetables,” she said.

Her family owns a small rice field. Scarcity of water forced Amas to plant string beans, instead of rice.

Amas said the yield was more than what she expected and she was able to sell some string beans to her neighbors. She was also able to deliver string beans to the market.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to strengthen the implementation of communal and backyard gardening projects among Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries to empower them and promote good health among poor Filipino families.

Gardening aims to help address the nutrition concerns of the beneficiaries by encouraging families to use indigenous seeds and organic fertilizer to grow vegetables within their own communities or households.

The DSWD has incorporated knowledge and skills enhancement training in the family development sessions of the Pantawid beneficiaries to enable them to become productive members of society and to provide them support for self-sufficiency.

The beach for a day keeps the stress away

By Immae Lachica (/celr)

CEBU CITY, Philippines— Blessed with coastal communities and white sand beaches, a trip to Cebu is never complete without a day by the sea.

They say even a day trip to the beach can heal the soul. Seawater has its wonders and the sound of the waves has a way of recharging the weary spirit.

Let CDN Digital take you on a quick tour of the best and affordable beach destinations in Cebu that you can visit for a day trip or an overnight delight.

Tingko Beach

Hop on a bus at the Cebu South Bus Terminal and head on to the town of Alcoy. Pay P165 for a two- to three-hour bus ride that will take you to a public beach of fine white sand.

An entrance fee of P10is required, which is really no biggie considering the beauty that you are about to experience. You can rent cottages with tables and chairs which are priced between P300 to P500 depending on the number of people.

Basdaku Beach

Sure this part of Moalboal is wonderful to just lounge around. But the beauty of Basdaku is not just found on the surface. When you find yourself here, spend time in exploring what’s underneath the blue water. You’ll be surprised about what you will find.

The town of Moalboal is located two to three hours from the city. Bus fare is P145/person for airconditioned bus or P125/person for non-airconditioned bus. Ask the driver to drop you off at the town proper. Hire a tricycle to take you to Basdaku for a one-way fare of P100.

Lambug Beach

Lambug Beach is not easily accessible from the main town of Badian. But once you get there, you will never want to leave. This destination is perfect for those who want to experience beach camping. Gather your friends and spend an overnight trip filled with stories and jamming sessions. Just remember to go easy on the booze and do not swim when you’re tipsy.

When you’re in a bus heading to Badian, tell the driver or the fare collector that you are going to Lambug Beach and you will be dropped off at the highway just across a convenience store. Bus fare is P130 per person.

In Badian, tell the drivers of motorcycles-for-hire to take you to Lambug Beach. It will cost you P30 per person for a motorcycle ride.

Maravilla Beach

Say “no” to city noise as you spend the weekend at Maravilla Beach in the northern Cebu town of Tabuelan.

For P20 as entrance fee per person, experience a day at the beach that many people can only wish to experience. Several cottages are available to be rented.

Bus fare from the Cebu North Bus Terminal to Tabuelan is P120 per person. Alight at the Tabuelan Public Market and take a motorcycle going to the beach proper for P30 each.

Mactan Newtown Beach

Cross the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge to get to Mactan Newtown Beach for an entrance fee of P100 per person.

Tents are for rent for 1, 500 to P3, 000. Tables and chairs are available for rental too at P500.

Fancy an adernalish rush? You can try the following: jet ski (P3, 500/hour), banana boat ride (P3, 000) or paddle boarding (P600/hour).

Take your pick among these beach destinations or tell us which one have you been to.

Happy swimming!

Rise of historic Mactan

By Kathleen de Villa (Inquirer Research, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Since chieftain Lapu-Lapu killed explorer Ferdinand Magellan and defeated the Spaniards in a battle in 1521, Mactan Island, some 13 kilometers from Cebu City, has risen to become one of the country’s success stories.

With a total land area of about 7,000 hectares, the island is a gateway to the Visayas and is home to economic zones, five-star hotels and resorts, and exotic restaurants. Lapu-Lapu’s heroism, meanwhile, is commemorated in a shrine on the island.

Sleepy fishing village

According to the ancient Cebuano epic “Aginid,” the original name of the island was Opong. As the islanders turned to piracy, however, it was referred to as Mangatang (“to wait in ambush”), which evolved into Matan, then Mactan.

Mactan was a sleepy fishing village when Americans came to the island during the Vietnam War. In 1956, the United States Air Force built an airfield on the island as an alternative staging area for its air offensives. In 1978, international air routes of Mactan-Cebu International Airport commenced as a charter service.

By then, a bridge was built to connect populous Cebu to the island. In 1979, the Mactan Export Processing Zone was opened. This divided Mactan into industrial west and tourism east.

The coral island used to have stony beaches, not conducive for swimming, until businessmen covered them with fine white sand and developed the coastline that would eventually spur a resort boom.

Aside from the white sand beaches, Mactan Island has also attracted local and foreign divers, mostly from South Korea and Japan, for its lush marine ecology, exotic tropical fish and abundant rich corals.

Booming tourism

One of the pioneers in Mactan’s tourism industry is private membership resort Tambuli Beach Club, which was owned by the Fonaciers. Boom Fonacier, son of hotelier Anos Fonacier, took over Tambuli in 1979 and converted the development into an upscale resort.

Also an early developer in Mactan is Bluewater Maribago, which opened in 1989. The resort, which sits on a 7-ha expanse, has a wide shoreline.

In 1993, the luxurious 530-room Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa, was opened. The hotel boasts of sustainability measures, which include a sewage-treatment plant that processes waste water, then treats and cleans it to the point of providing recycled water for irrigation and landscape maintenance.

Among the relatively newer resorts would be the Filinvest-owned Crimson Resort & Spa. The Balinese-inspired 6-ha resort boasts of 250 casita suites, 40 private villas (with 38 plunge pools), infinity pool, and a spa haven called “Aum.”

A P4-billion mixed-use hotel and residential development on a 5-ha property in Barangay Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City, is set to be completed in the next two years. Set to be opened this year is the Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort, while The Residences at Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

Infrastructure upgrade

As more tourists and investors started to flock to Cebu, its airport became a natural hub for air and sea traffic.

In 1996, under a P2.78 billion modernization project funded by Japan’s Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport upgraded its terminal with facilities at par with world standards and regulations.

In 2018, the Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 was inaugurated. The terminal was one of the projects under the government’s public-private partnership program and was only 16 percent complete when it was chosen as one of the projects under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure initiative.

It was built to increase the airport’s capacity to 12.5 million passengers from the previous 4.5 million passengers. The new terminal spans 65,500 sqm and was designed by Hong Kong-based Integrated Design Associates together with local designers Budji Layug, Royal Pineda and Cebu’s own Kenneth Cobonpue.

From January to April, Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority recorded international and domestic passenger traffic at 4.11 million. In April alone, passenger movements were pegged at 1.1 million.


The first tourism economic zone in Cebu was launched in January 2009 to host more tourism traffic and investments on Mactan Island. The ecozone, which sits in an 8-ha property in Brgy. Maribago in Mactan, features a P4.5-billion condominium-hotel and water park by Korean-owned Philippine-BXT Corp. and a five-star international hotel chain under the Imperial Palace franchise.

Another tourism ecozone is the Mactan Newtown, a commercial mixed-use complex on a 16-ha property. It is one of the biggest projects in the Visayas of property giant Megaworld Corp. It houses luxury residential condominiums, offices, retail shops, entertainment and leisure establishments, a wellness facility, and a boutique hotel.

In March this year, consultants from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) proposed a new bridge that will connect Mactan Island to Mandaue City in Cebu “to meet the expanding traffic capacity between the two islands generated by the booming Cebu’s industry and tourism.” The proposed 7-km bridge will be the fourth bridge connecting Mactan to mainland Cebu.

The first Mactan bridge was finished in 1972, while the Marcelo Fernan Bridge was opened to traffic in 1999. The third bridge project called the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway is under construction. Spanning Cordova and Cebu City, it is a PPP project undertaken by Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corp.

Cebu can benefit from film exposure

(JOB with KOC)

IF CEBU will become the location of more international films and series, there is a possibility of a spike in the tourism industry.

Gin Kai Chan, a Singaporean-based film producer of Silver Media Group, during the Tourism Innovation Forum, said films open opportunities for the global market to witness the beauty of a place.

“A lot of times when we see locations on films or on television, we see an amazing increase in tourism,” he said.

He cited the famous HBO series “Game of Thrones” for which (some) scenes where filmed in Croatia and “The Beach” that starred actor Leonardo DiCaprio in Phuket, Thailand as some of the films whose locations have become tourist hotspots.

Even those involved in the film production like actors, stuntmen, cameramen among others, which could be hundreds of people, can already be counted as foreign arrivals.

Cebu’s tourism, he said, stands to benefit in filmmaking as locations are promoted longer in the big screen.

“If it’s in the film, we don’t skip advertisements, and it lasts longer than the average air time which is around a minute. It’s longer memory retention,” he said.

Having venues and locations in film, he said, is more effective than in newspapers and television.

Chan said what attracts film production companies are government incentives.

“Countries should realize that if they spent money supporting film productions, their tourism receipts will be much more than what they have given in incentives,” he said.

Aside from that, other countries also provide support in the application of permits and visas for persons and equipment that are needed for the film production.

Moreover, Chan said creating a database of all potential film locations in the Visayas could also be of big help.

“It would make it easier for our people to know where to shoot our films,” he said.

Arrangements for restaurants and hotels will also be beneficial like partner discounts so that the products and services in a particular location gets featured in the film, Chan added.

Film Act

In 2015, Sen. Sonny Angara called for the passage of a bill which seeks to promote film tourism in the country following the recent tourism boom in select provinces that local movies have promoted in their setting.

“We should encourage more filmmakers to feature different parts of the country and showcase their beauty and culture to effectively promote Philippine tourism. The influx of tourists in Sagada in Mountain Province due to the movie ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’ should extend to other tourist destinations in the Philippines,” said Angara.

The senator filed Senate Bill 2160 or the Fostering Investment through Local and International Movies (Film) Act which aims to attract filmmakers by providing tax incentives, and to empower the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) to provide additional benefits.

Under the proposed measure, eligible local and international productions may be granted 20 percent tax credits if the final product is set completely or largely within the Philippines, or if at least half of filming occurs in a community here in the country that is still recovering from a significant natural disaster.

The Department of Tourism is tasked to provide the FDCP with a list of locations it is promoting while the National Commission for Culture and the Arts shall be the resource for filmmakers for Filipino culture, traditions and values.

The FDCP will also be responsible for ensuring that environmental regulations are properly adhered to by production companies in the process of filming.

Aside from tax credits, SB 2160 also provides additional incentives such as exemptions from all fees for or associated with filming permits, free access to public lands, free police protection, free and expedited work visas, and a designated liaison.

Resort wins ‘Loved by Guests’ award


KNOWN for its fresh, fun and friendly approach to hospitality, Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu has been recognized with another award that highlights excellent service and customer satisfaction.’s “Loved by Guests” Awards is an annual recognition program where guests stand as real judges. It celebrates and recognizes all properties that have achieved the best average review rating, determined by over 20 million genuine and trusted reviews from hotel guests. Each guest is given the platform to share their stay experience by giving a rating and reviewing the property.

This year, Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu made it again to the premium list, with a high rating that’s supported by a number of positive reviews from guests from different parts of the world.

“I am honored to receive the ‘Loved by Guests’ award from our trusted partner,,” said its general manager, Max Huber.

“This is a testament of the dedication given by each member of my team, to ensure satisfaction on all aspects that make for a great stay. Likewise, this award sheds light on our performance, from the point of view of a guest. Their positive response inspires us to continue to do our best at all times.”

Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu is a Mediterranean-inspired beachfront hotel in the Philippines located about six kilometers from Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

The 245-room property offers a myriad of choices from accommodation to dining, wellness, leisure activities and venues for meetings and events.

Aside from comfort and ambiance, the resort houses four food and beverage outlets that serve diners with its selection of savory and classic dishes. It also features Ibiza Beach Club, which is one of Cebu’s premier dining and entertainment spaces that offers an authentic Balearic-inspired, signature 15-course grill and Mediterranean tapas.

Cebu airport opens new China route

By Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines — A new Chinese destination is set to open from Cebu’s main international gateway, according to the private company managing the terminal operations and other related areas of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) said Xiamen Air is set to commence operation of its direct service to Chengdu from the MCIA beginning June 27.

This is the first time that Cebu will have regular scheduled flights to Chengdu. Previously, Chengdu to Cebu is operated during the Chinese peak travel season only.

“We are glad to welcome Xiamen Air’s newest direct service to Chengdu, one of China’s busiest and economically-robust cities. Through this partnership with Xiamen Air, we aim to achieve a common goal which is to increase connectivity between Cebu to international destinations,” GMCAC president Louie Ferrer said.

Xiamen Air will service the Cebu-Chengdu route thrice weekly every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday using a Boeing 737-800 with 22 business class seats and 161 economy class seats.

“The launch of the Chengdu service is in line with Xiamen Air’s plan to open more routes between the Philippines and China, specially in Cebu and Chengdu as these two major cities have huge tourist markets and are internationally known for its tourism destinations and upbeat economic activities,” Xiamen Air Cebu station manager Bruce Gong said.

Xiamen Air also operates regular thrice weekly flights to Xiamen and Fuzhou.

“With the opening of this new service, Filipinos will have more reasons to visit and will slowly discover the diverse culture and interesting destinations in China,” GMCAC chief commercial adviser Ravishankar Saravu said.

Last January, GMCAC welcomed two new Chinese carriers that launched direct flights to Guangzhou and Shanghai.

Aside from Chengdu, MCIA is connected to other key destinations in China namely, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Kunming, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xiamen.

The MCIA was named Asia Pacific Medium Airport of the Year last year by the CAPA-Center for Aviation.

MCIA was selected among airports with over 10 million annual passengers for “having been the biggest standout strategically, has established itself as a leader and done the most to advance the progress of the aviation industry.”

In 2016, MCIA was named Asia Pacific Small Airport of the Year, just two years after GMCAC assumed landside operations under a 25-year public-private partnership agreement.

Domestic traffic at the MCIA rose by 13 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to close to two million passengers, while international traffic grew almost 10 percent to around one million passengers.

DOT 7 trains spotlight on northern Cebu Towns


SOUTHERN Cebu’s falls, beaches and whale sharks are known to tourists all over the world and for the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7’s director, it’s now time for northern Cebu’s tourist attractions to shine.

DOT 7 Director Shahlimar Tamano said his office will intensify efforts to promote northern Cebu towns and cities as tourist destinations.

He said that too many tourists flock to the south—from Carcar City’s heritage sites to Oslob’s whale shark watching, Ginatilan’s falls and Aloguinsan’s river cruise—while some areas in the north are overlooked.

He said all of Cebu’s 53 towns and cities boast of nice beaches, verdant hills and falls but many of these are not known to local and foreign tourists.

Tamano said among Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat’s priorities is to promote tourism in northern Cebu, including the Cebu Safari and Adventure Park in Carmen town and the white sand beach in Malapascua, Daanbantayan, Sta. Fe, San Remigio and Medellin towns.

“We think the product is here already. It’s just that we need more marketing (activities to promote it),” the regional director said at the sidelights of the Regional Development Council (RDC) 7 meeting Friday, June 21, 2019, in San Juan, Siquijor.

Tamano said that during his visit to the safari on Saturday, June 22, Benito Bengzon Jr., DOT undersecretary for tourism development planning, was impressed by the facility and said he would make sure it got enough promotion.

Promoting tourism in the north, however, would require infrastructure development and improvements in the transportation sector, according to Tamano.

He said there should be more transportation options for tourists from Metro Cebu to northern Cebu towns.

Tamano suggested operating water taxis and constructing more ports in northern Cebu.

“What we need is faster and more efficient intra-Cebu transportation. Like from Lapu-Lapu City to Bantayan Island takes five hours. How do we cut that to two hours?” he said.

Developing sea transportation in the region is among the items in the tourism master plan that the DOT, the National Economic and Development Authority and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority are currently working on.

The master plan, which will cost P50 to P100 million to make, will identify the areas in the region that offer adventure, sports, faith and culture tourism.

It will also tackle maritime infrastructure, power supply needs, communication facilities and carrying capacity of tourist destinations, among others.

“We’ll make sure the designs of the resorts and facilities will blend with the environment so that they don’t become an eyesore,” Tamano said.

The crafting of the 10-year master plan, which will be implemented from 2020 to 2030, was approved during the RDC 7 meeting.

DSWD 7 To award model pantawid pamilya beneficiaries


THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 has picked 12 Pantawid-beneficiary families from Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental to receive its award for serving as role models to other families.

Officials of the DSWD 7 will honor the families during the provincial awarding ceremonies this month of June.

“These families exemplified strong family ties, demonstrated positive Filipino values and they created a positive impact in their respective communities,” said DSWD 7 Director Rebecca P. Geamala.

All the provincial first placers will compete in the regional level search in July 2019.

The Bohol provincial winner is the Batac family in Balilihan town, while the second and third placers are the Busalanan family in Dagohoy and Palingcod family in Batuan, respectively.

In Cebu, the provincial winner is the Elardo family in Badian. The second placer is the Vaflor family in Cordova, while the third placer is the Ejes family in Bantayan.

The Negros Oriental provincial winners are the Bohol family in Mabinay, first place; Villego family in Basay, second place; and Esteral family in Siaton, third place.

Siquijor’s provincial winners include the Taroc family in Maria, first place; Astillero family in San Juan, second place; and Ponce family in Lazi, third place.

Geamala said the stories of the model families are inspirational and worthy of emulation by other Pantawid Pamilya family-beneficiaries.

“Through this Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya search, we can disprove the misconception that the program’s beneficiaries have become too dependent on government aid. The program underscores the value of working together to achieve success,” Geamala said.

She said the model familes were chosen based on the following criteria: strong family ties and harmonious relationship while upholding Filipino values despite the challenges of poverty (25 percent); family practices and promotion of healthy living and environment care (20 percent); family involvement in community activities (20 percent); family as inspiration to others in the community (20 percent); and the family strives to improve living conditions amid the difficult situation (15 percent).

The provincial winners will receive cash prizes and certificates of recognition.

The judges during the provincial search were from partner civil society organizations, national government agencies the Department of Health, the Department of Education, the Philippine Information Agency, and provincial governments of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.

3 MSMES get tech Assistance


WITH Industry 4.0 affecting trends in the business industry, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 7 is helping micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) upgrade their technology to remain competitive in the market.

DOST Cebu Director Tristan Abando told SunStar Cebu that they are helping MSMEs scale up their businesses through the agency’s small enterprise technology upgrading program (Setup).

“We are providing technology upgrade assistance to companies to improve their productivity and for our MSMEs to transform from manual production to semi-mechanized and also to those who have existing equipment to upgrade to high capacity ones,” he said.

DOST Cebu entered into a memorandum of agreement with three MSMEs on June 19, 2019, Wednesday.

These are for the upgrading of the lathe machining technology for enhanced metal processing capability of Jevken’s Machine Shop in Minglanilla, Cebu; introduction of mechanical drying and spray painting technologies for process and product quality improvement of Giant Q Exports in Tayud, Liloan, Cebu; and edge banding technology upgrading for improved quality and increased productivity of the production of cabinets and furniture by Vicarte Interior Concepts in Mandaue City.

As of June 2019, DOST Cebu has provided technology upgrading assistance valued at P20 million to seven firms in Cebu.

Abando said they have an annual budget of P60 million for Central Visayas.

The Setup program provides MSMEs with equipment and technical assistance to enable them to increase sales and production, streamline and improve overall operations, upgrade the quality of products and services and conform to national and international standards of excellence.

“We are promoting technology adoption, now that we are in the Industry 4.0 and the status of our manufacturing and processing industries are still way behind,” Abando said.

For micro enterprises to avail themselves of the Setup program, Abando said their business needs to be at least one year in operation, while small and medium enterprises need to be at least three years in business operation.

P10-M compensation released to 1,300 farmers, fishermen


AT LEAST 1,300 farmers and fishermen from 35 local government units (LGUs) in Cebu Province affected by the weather phenomenon El Niño have received P10.91 million worth of indemnity.

The Cebu Provincial Government, through its partnership with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp., contributed P4.23 million to the compensation fund.

For its part, the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture program of the Department of Budget and Management gave P4.37 million.

A report presented during the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council meeting on Thursday, June 20, 2019 showed that around 458.75 hectares of corn fields, 88 livestock and eight fishing boats were affected by the dry spell.

The report further stated that 490 farmers, 143 stock raisers and eight fishermen have received their indemnities.

As of Thursday, damage to agriculture, fishery and livelihood in 35 LGUs has reached P121,704,303.84.

Some 7,622 farmers and 928 fisherfolks were affected by the dry spell.

Affected areas include the cities of Bogo, Carcar, Danao, Mandaue, Naga and Toledo, and the towns of Alcantara, Alegria, Aloguinsan, Asturias, Badian, Balamban, Bantayan, Carmen, Compostela, Consolacion, Daanbantayan, Dalaguete, Ginatilan, Malabuyoc, Medellin, Moalboal, Pilar, Pinamungajan, Poro, San Fernando, San Francisco, San Remigio, Sta. Fe, Santander, Sibonga, Sogod, Tabuelan, Tuburan and Tudela.

At least 16 of the affected LGUs have placed their areas under a state of calamity, which would allow them to use their calamity funds.

The Capitol had already spent around P32,598,080 of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management’s P59 million quick response fund for this year.

Of the amount, around P10 million was used to purchase food items such as sacks of rice and canned goods. The Capitol spent P17.19 million to buy water containers, hoses and a generator set.

Around P1.2 million was also used to purchase vitamins for livestock and poultry, while another P3.61 million was spent for the rental of water tanks and hauling of rice from the National Food Authority.

Senior HS grads score job offers in June 12 fair


SENIOR high school graduates were among those who gained financial freedom when they were hired on the spot during the Kalayaan Jobs Fairs held on June 12, 2019, Philippine Independence Day.

The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) 7 said at least six senior high school graduates landed jobs as electricians, production or manufacturing workers or machine operators.

The senior high school system added Grades 11 and 12, the last two years, to the K-12 program where students begin to study subjects that will introduce them to their preferred career path. Graduates become employable and start looking for jobs should they want to join the workforce.

Dole 7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton said, “Last Labor Day job fair and now after the conduct of the Independence Day Jobs Fairs, we are seeing senior high school graduates getting jobs. This could be a demonstration that indeed they are ready to be employed and that their skills match with what the employers require.”

One of the graduates, Kristine Vil Bendoy, 18, was hired at the job fair conducted in Lapu-Lapu City. Within the week, Bendoy started work as a production operator in one of the industrial production companies in the city.

Bendoy, who graduated last April from the Babag National High School under the Accountancy, Business, and Management K-12 Strand, said she is thankful to Dole and the participating employers at the jobs fair for giving her and the rest of the senior high school graduates the opportunity to be employed.

“I really wanted to work right after graduating from senior high school to help support and provide for the daily needs of my family. I have five siblings and we are being raised alone by my father who is a tricycle driver,” she said.

Siaton said the number of senior high school graduates employed could still increase. So far, her office recorded 446 such graduates about to be hired. There are 297 for local employment and 149 for overseas employment. With these figures, she said she hoped for an increase in the employment rate in the region, as well.

The Dole 7 will monitor those employed and those processing their requirements after they were tagged as for hiring by companies in the jobs fair.

Sea and Terrestrial Environment Protectors PH holds Raising Ocean Heroes Camp in Cebu

By Immae Lachica (/bmjo)

Cebu City, Philippines—Everyone wants to become a hero.

The Sea and Terrestrial Environment Protectors (STEP) Philippines is giving the youth a chance to be one.

Just last weekend, 25 young participants from around Cebu took on the challenge to become heroes themselves when STEP organized the Raising Ocean Heroes Camp, a two-day camp at the Mactan Newtown Beach in Lapu-Lapu City.

The camp was held last June 15-16, 2019.

The camp was centered on not just raising awareness about the environment but also empowering and inspiring future leaders and changemakers to do something different for the environment through group activities, lectures, and games.

STEP, a member organization of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN-SDSN), was officially established in May 2018.

Kisha Rodriguez Muaña, 23, the founder of STEP, told CDN Digital that this was the first Raising Oceans Heroes camp in Cebu.

“Our primary focus is for youth empowerment, development, and mobilization,” said Muaña.

This youth-led nonprofit organization is composed of young leaders. advocates, divers, volunteers, researchers, aspiring environmentalist, and conservationists.

As of now, the Cebu-based organization has 50 active members who organize seminars, trainings, forums, press conferences, and other activities.

During the recent camp, participants were from all over Cebu, such as Mandaue City, Camotes (Pilar, Tudela, and Poro), Bantayan, Lapu-Lapu, Sogod, Oslob, Boljoon, Minglanilla, Talisay, Cordova, and Olango.

Muaña is encouraging more to take part in their mission, especially since registration is for free.

“The only requirement is passion, dedication, and commitment to help serve and save the environment. They can visit our page, STEP PHILIPPINES or message us and we will send the registration link to them,” she shared.

Muaña, meanwhile, thanked their partners who helped them with the camp like Mactan Newtown Beach, Cebu Eco-Fix, Save Philippine Seas, Cebuanos Against Wildlife Captivity, Allson’s Inn, and USGAA Cebu.

Cebu-based shipbuilder plans $20 M expansion

By Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines — Shipbuilder Austal Philippines is spending $20 million to expand its facility in Cebu which would allow the firm to build more ships and other large vessels.

Austal marketing manager Paul Sparke said on the sidelines of the 6th Philippines Marine event yesterday the $20 million expansion would allow the firm to construct larger ships and make the Cebu facility the second biggest in the shipbuilder’s network, next to the US.

“We would be able to construct vessels up to 120 meters long,” he said.

Austal decided to expand the facility in Cebu due to demand for commercial ships based on orders being placed with the company.

“We have demand globally to build high-quality, cost-effective ships and the Philippines has shown they can build for high Austal standards cost effectively,” Sparke said.

Construction works for the expansion of the Cebu facility which started last year are expected to be completed by next month.

Austal’s expansion is timely as it is vying to build vessels for the Philippine Navy which invited companies to provide bids earlier this year.

The company has expressed interest to build six offshore patrol vessels (OPV) for the Philippine Navy as part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ modernization program.

“Now, with a license to construct naval vessels recently issued, the shipyard is ready to deliver major naval projects such as the OPV for the Philippine Navy,” Austal Philippines president Wayne Murray said.

Sparke said it would take about 18 months to two years to build the first ship, while the rest could be completed in a shorter period of time.

He said the Cebu shipyard gives Austal an advantage over other firms looking to provide vessels for the Philippine Navy such as German shipyard Lurssen and Dutch company Damen, which would be constructing most of the vessels overseas.

“It is better for the Philippines and the Philippine Navy to be getting your ships here, servicing them here. Another point to make is we will be able to service in the Philippines. We don’t need to send them off to other countries to be able to service,” he said.

Should Austal win the contract to supply to the Philippine Navy, he said the company would increase its workforce to more than 1,000 from around 900 at present.

Prior to the expansion, Austal’s facility in Cebu employed around 500 to 600 workers.

To date, Austal Philippines has delivered 17 ships, with 15 exported to the United Kingdom, French Polynesia, United Arab Emirates, Germany, South Korea, Spain and Norway.

Locally, Austal Philippines has constructed two 30-meter catamarans for the 2GO Group Inc.

Austal started its operations in Cebu in February 2012.

Aside from the Philippines and the US, Austal has shipyard facilities in Australia and Vietnam, as well as service centers in Australia, Singapore and the Middle East.

Capitol opens disaster-resilient warehouse for relief supplies


FOOD items, supplies and equipment for calamities owned by the Provincial Government will now be stored in a more disaster-resilient facility in Cebu City.

On Friday, June 14, 2019, Capitol officials led by vice governor-elect and outgoing Gov. Hilario Davide III inaugurated the P37.8-million Cebu Provincial Central Warehouse.

Located inside the old Department of Agriculture compound in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City, the 2,564-square-meter facility is considered the biggest warehouse owned by a local government unit in Cebu.

It is approximately the size of 10 basketball courts.

In a June 14 report published on the Provincial Government’s website, Provincial General Services Office (PGSO) Head Jone Siegfred Sepe said the facility has two chambers.

It has a small two-story office at the center, a 513-square-meter storage area on the left side and a 2,049-square-meter storage area on the right wing.

The central warehouse will be used for the prepositioning of stocks and food items in preparation for calamities and disasters.

It will also serve as storage for Capitol’s supplies and equipment.

“It is designed to endure high-intensity earthquake and high-level typhoon. So, this will be the last building standing after a disaster,” Sepe said.

All Capitol relief goods and items are currently kept in the stockrooms of the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City, the Hope Center in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City and the Capitol PGSO warehouse.

With the inauguration of the new facility, Sepe said items and goods stored in these stockrooms will be transferred to the new warehouse.

The contractor of the project, Zumyrphil Construction Inc., had 180 calendar days to build the warehouse.

DOST 7 awards inventors, innovators


EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD Arlan Vincent German, a Grade 11 student of the Science and Technology Education Center in Lapu-Lapu City, does programming as a hobby.

This led him to win the Sibol Award for Outstanding Student Creative Research for high school.

German, the lone researcher for his brainchild “Project MeTus (Medical Tumor Scanner): Mask CT-CNN as AI-Powered Low-Cost Pre-Diagnostic Virtual Assist Machine Module for Skin Cancer Screening Technology” will represent Central Visayas in the National Invention Contest.

“It is an initiative and basically my life advocacy because people with personal relationships with me died of the disease. And according to a recent study, statistics from the World Health Organization in 2018, cancer ranks second in the world’s deadliest disease so it’s a prevailing problem not just in our country but also in the world,” he told SunStar Cebu.

German created an algorithm that will allow medical devices to detect cancer cells at its most vulnerable state.

“To address this problem, why not use modern advancement in technology to actually detect the disease at its weakest state. Early detection is a potential solution to cancer,” he said.

“Being an algorithm, the deep learning model could be integrated within the X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging machines as a virtual-assist module. It can help cancer screening facilities and hospitals of the country to detect and pre-diagnose the disease at great accuracy. Hence, saving more lives in the process by promoting early detection and cheapening it,” the award-winning research stated.

German was one of the champions hailed during the 2019 Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits (Rice) initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (Dost) 7.

Other winners

For 2019, Dost 7 received 90 entries for five out of the six categories of the contest, which were later trimmed to 82 regional finalists.

Award-winning sustainable manufacturers Pedro and Cathy Delantar, founders of Nature’s Legacy Eximport Inc., emerged as winners in two categories as Outstanding Utility Model for their colored simulated stonecast and earthenware product and under the Industrial Design for their creation, armchair.

A research entitled “The development of Ecobangku from Upcycled Plastic Sheets” by researchers Angeline Baldapan and Jefferson Elegio from Bohol Island State University in Tagbilaran City bagged the Likha Award for Outstanding Creative Research for high school.

The Sibol Award for Student Creative Research for college was given to researchers Samantha Reyes, Cristina Malicay, Agnes Sabijon from the Velez College for their research entitled “Eco-based Fiberglass from Alternative Materials: Implications to Solid Waste Management in Cebu City.”

Rice is a nationwide biennial activity conducted in different regions to highlight the creative innovations of inventors, researchers and students in the country.

P638-M Cebu underpass project opens to traffic

By John Rey Saavedra (PNA)

CEBU CITY -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 (Central Visayas) on Saturday morning opened the PHP638-million Mambaling, Cebu underpass project to traffic with a simple prayer and blessing ceremony.

DPWH-7 Director Edgard Tabacon said the structure was opened to traffic at exactly 10 a.m., aiming to ease the traffic flow along the N. Bacalso Ave. - F. Llamas St. junction, in time for the opening of classes.

The underpass project, which began in 2017, became controversial when parents ranted on social media about the terrible traffic that had affected their children’s travel time to school.

However, the DPWH-7 and the Cebu City Traffic Office (CTTO) maintained that the project is the solution to the traffic congestion in the area, which has two supermarkets, a fast food restaurant, and other business establishments, as well as the city’s oldest main thoroughfare before the Cebu South Coastal Road.

Joselito Sayson, chief of the DPWH-7 construction division, said they opted to have the structure opened through a simple blessing by a priest while waiting for word from their central office for the formal inauguration.

“The decision to open it to traffic was reached by stakeholders. We intend to ease traffic along that junction,” Sayson told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a phone interview.

He said a team from DPWH-7 will inspect the structure on Monday, after which the contractor will set its formal turnover to the DPWH.

On Saturday morning, CCTO chief Francisco Ouano conducted a run-through inspection before it was actually opened to motorists.

The CCTO and the DPWH-7 have installed traffic lights in the underpass.

On June 11, officials of DPWH-7 and CCTO, along with representatives of the underpass contractor, WT Construction, held a meeting for the final preparations before its opening.

Ouano suggested that passenger buses and mini-buses should not be allowed to use the underpass. These vehicles would continue to ply the Cebu South Coastal Road - South Road Properties route in ferrying passengers to and from southern Cebu to the south bus terminal.

The ban could be temporary, depending on the decision of incoming Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, he said. The underpass was temporarily opened to traffic during the mid-term elections last May 13.

Dino eyes monorail system for Metro Cebu

By John Rey Saavedra (PNA)

CEBU CITY -- The top presidential aide for the Visayas on Thursday said he welcomes the proposal of a Davao-based firm to construct a monorail system, instead of a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, for Metro Cebu.

Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, chief of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV), said that monorail “is the right track in solving the traffic gridlock that we have been suffering for years now.”

“Monorail is faster to build, consumes less footprint and it has the carrying capacity for Cebu’s needs,” Dino said in a statement sent to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Last Tuesday, Udenna Infrastructure Corp. announced that it is considering a monorail system for Metro Cebu.

Manuel Jamonir, assistant vice president for operations and business development manager of Udenna Infrastructure, was quoted in a newspaper report as saying that using the monorail technology, the project cost will be brought down to about PHP80 billion, half of the estimated cost of an LRT system.

The firm and its foreign partner were granted original proponent status (OPS) for its proposed Cebu Rail Project under an unsolicited proposal submitted to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) last year.

Under the OPS, the national government gives Udenna the right to match any competing offer in a Swiss challenge when the procurement process starts that entails inviting other companies to bid for the same project as mandated under the Build-Operate-Transfer Law (Republic Act 7718).

According to Dino, Cebu has been clamoring for a modern mass transport system for almost 30 years now.

The presidential assistant for the Visayas expressed his confidence that Cebu will “finally have our mass transit system,” with Udenna’s dedication to spearhead the rail technology here.

Dino said he is positive that Udenna and its foreign partners’ OPS on the project will soon be endorsed to the NEDA ICC for technical review.

“My goal is not just to reduce the burden of Cebuano commuters but to solve the horrendous traffic that we are experiencing today,” he said.

“I am glad that the private sector is bullish in investing in a massive infrastructure project that aims to solve Metro Cebu's traffic problem,” he noted.

DepEd Cebu launches integrated, gender-sensitive curriculum

By Rosalie Abatayo (/bmjo)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) in Cebu Province has launched a wholistic and gender-sensitive approach for learners.

Dubbed the Integrated Curriculum for Cebuano Learners to Engage for Better Understanding or iC-Cebu, the new learning approach looks at a more participative way in teaching basic education learners.

The iC-Cebu will make use of multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches in teaching.

During its launching on Thursday, May 30, 2019, Cebu Provincial Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Rhea Mar Angtud said they will be training master teachers in the province to implement the iC-Cebu in teaching subject areas in basic education.

“In teaching the subject areas [through multidisciplinary approach], there is a theme and the discussions will revolve on a theme; then [for the interdisciplinary], there are skills that will be taught that can be applied in all the subject areas so that learning will be facilitated,” Angtud said.

The transdisciplinary approach in iC-Cebu will focus on a project-based learning approach, where students will be given more explorative and participative opportunities.

Being gender-sensitive, Angtud said iC-Cebu also looks at giving equal opportunities for male and female students in all learning areas as well as erasing stereotypes among students.

“Tanan opportunities, ma-babayi o ma-lalaki, matagaan. Wagtangon pod nato ang hunahuna nga Math gani lalaki ra ang maayo ana unya English, babayi ra ang maayo,” Angtud added. /bmjo

(All will be given opportunities, weather to a girl or to a boy. We want to remove the impression like boys are good in math and girls are good in english.)

MCIAA to finish improvement by June 6


THE Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) expects work to improve the taxiway to be completed next week.

For an hour and a half before dawn, the MCIAA has been closing the runway since March 25, 2019 for the taxiway rehabilitation. No international flights are affected.

MCIAA assistant general manager Glenn Napuli said they want to finish the work by June 6, and general manager Steve Dicdican is personally overseeing progress.

He said that while they want to speed up the project, they also do not want to compromise quality. Dicdican meets the contractors before the start of work every evening and again in an assessment meeting in the morning.

“We have to close the airport from 1 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. because of this P340-million project. But no international flights are affected because the closure is by segment,” Napuli said.

Duros Construction is doing overlaying work on Segment 1. Succour Construction is overlaying Segment 2. Evercon Construction is working on the lighting of both sides and the middle portion of the taxiway.

“If the overlaying is on Segment 1, then Segments 2 and 3 are open,” said MCIAA public affairs manager Mary Ann Dimabayao.

The lighting of the taxiway is to guide the aircraft during night time and rainy days when visibility is an issue.

They use LED lights to reduce power consumption and make it an environment-friendly airport.

Cebu gov't, private entities mark start of National Flag Days

By John Rey Saavedra (PNA)

CEBU CITY -- Government offices and private establishments in Cebu started Tuesday the 15-day National Flag Days with the simultaneous raising of the Philippine flag and singing of the national anthem.

At the Central Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, military officers and enlisted men, led by their chief of the unified command staff, Col. Vincent Iringan, honored the flag with an early morning military ceremony in front of the Lapu-Lapu monument in Camp Lapu-Lapu here.

Lt. Gen. Noel S. Clement, Centcom commander, in his message read by Iringan, reminded the importance of displaying the flag from May 28 up to Independence Day on June 12.

This year’s celebration is dubbed as “Stop and Salute,” a message sent by Centcom information officer, Maj. Abel Potutan said.

“Ipagdiriwang natin ang national flag day sa pagtataas ng ating watawat, at ang permanenteng paglalantad ng pambansang simbolo na ito simula sa Mayo 28 hanggang sa Hunyo 12 sa lahat ng tanggapan at ahensiya nga gobyerno (Let us celebrate the National Flag Days by raising our flag and permanently displaying it as our nation’s symbol, starting May 28 until June 12 in all offices and agencies of government),” Clement said in a message.

“Let us salute and honor our flag as a sign of patriotism and love of our country,” he added.

The members of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), headed by acting chief Lt. Col. Lorenzo Batuan, have joined city officials and employees in the flag-raising ceremony in Plaza Sugbu, in front of the Cebu City Hall.

City Councilor Margot Osmeña, wife of Mayor Tomas Osmeña, led the officials, employees in the ceremony.

“As I said earlier, hinaot lang unta makahibalo ta nga kining heritage (area) sa atong siyudad, di na kinahanglan mangita ta og mga site for heritage ug culture kay dire lang sa (I wish that the people would know that we have heritage area in the city that we don’t need to look for another site for heritage and culture as they can be found in Plaza Independencia, Fort San Pedro, and Malacañang sa Sugbu, these are all heritage area,” Osmeña said in a radio interview.

Also on Tuesday, the city government opened its first Cebu City Heritage Week, showcasing Cebuano culture and heritage which can be found at this city’s downtown district.

The Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) of the city government here has prepared a line-up of activities from May 28 to May 31, which includes native games, stories of myths and fables, tartanilla rides, museum visits and heritage talks, said its officer, Bryner Diaz.

Under City Ordinance 2327 declared the last Friday of May as “Gabii sa Kabilin” or Night of Heritage. Ordinance 2474 amended the said ordinance and declared the last week of May as Cebu City Heritage Week.

As private establishments here openly displayed the Philippine flag in various sizes, the Oakridge Business Park in Mandaue had a unique celebration of the opening of the National Flag Days.

Edmun Liu, chief executive officer of Oakride Realty Development Corp. was quoted in a radio report as saying that more than 300 employees, partners, and tenants of Oakridge gathered at the park yard to wave national flags, to mark the observance of the 15-day period of honoring the country's heraldic symbol.

Capt. Joselito Marquez, chief of the CCPO’s Tourist Police, said their office has prepared a deployment plan to secure local and foreign tourists who are visiting the heritage area in this city’s downtown district.

Biggest tapioca dessert served in first Cebu Mangoes Festival

By Immae Lachica (/celr)

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — Cebu has outdone itself one more time as it showcased the making of the “biggest mango sago (tapioca) dessert in the world” on Sunday, May 26, at the Mactan Newtown.

The country’s biggest serving of mango sago was unveiled during the first Cebu Mangoes Festival.

It was made by Chef Richard Hao along with culinary students of the University of San Jose Recoletos.

Chef Hao said almost 300 kilos of mangoes, 50 liters of milk with sugar and 30 kilos of sago to make the mango sago.

The mango sago mixture has a combined weight of 200 kilos.

It took Chef Hao and the students five hours to finish making the mango sago, which was shared to everyone who participated in the festival.

Noli D. Hernandez, president of Megaworld Cebu Inc., said that all the mangoes used during the event, especially the ones used in making the mango sago, were freshly picked from the mango trees in Mactan Newtown.

Hernandez said mango sago was a hit to the festival participants and showcases one of the best products that Cebu can offer.

Cebu’s heritage churches


FIVE heritage churches in southern Cebu have been introduced to cultural heritage practitioners from around the country as examples of church cultural preservation.

These are the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Catherine of Alexandria in Carcar City, Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in Sibonga, San Guillermo Parish in Dalaguete, Patrocinio de Maria Parish in Boljoon and the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel in Argao.

A one-day tour of these centuries-old churches, all located in the southeastern towns of Cebu, was made part of the 11th Biennial National Convention of Church Cultural Heritage Practitioners held in Cebu City on May 6-9, 2019.

About 150-200 members of the clergy and the laity, tourism officers, architects, engineers and other cultural heritage practitioners from different dioceses in the country joined the convention held at Cebu Parklane International Hotel.

Discussions focused on the use of technology to preserve heritage churches and on the right people to handle the preservation or rehabilitation work.


The thick foundations and walls of heritage churches have helped preserved them. Roofs, floorings, doors and altars have been replaced and extensions have been built over the years.

This is why their current architecture style can best be described as hybrid, not pure baroque or pure neo-classical.

The earthquake in October 2013 damaged parts of the heritage churches. The damaged parts have since been fixed.

Preservation handling

Established architects and heritage conservationists Omar Maxwell Espina and Melva Java, speakers at the convention, pointed out the importance of documentation in repairs and hiring the right people to do the repair work.

Espina, speaking during the tour at the Carcar church, said it’s good to take pictures of the church because the “before” photos can guide the restorer on how to fix the damaged part by knowing how the original looked.

Java, speaking at Parklane Hotel, said the contractor and his crew that have been commissioned to repair heritage churches should be trained on conservation and even appreciation of cultural heritage.

Common to almost all the five heritage churches mentioned are the presence of wooden choir lofts, side pulpits, ceiling murals, high ceilings and pipe organs.

New technology

On the use of modern technology in restoration of heritage churches, the use of 3D laser scanning and digital heritage recording was presented by Manila-based Digiscript Philippines Inc.

3D laser scanning for heritage conservation is accurate and objective. It provides a large volume of measuremement data, Conrad Alampay of Digiscript said during the Sibonga church tour.

The technology is expensive, but it makes work faster and easier, Alampay said.

During the May 8 tour, the five heritage churches received quick response (QR) markers from Smart Communications and InnoPub.

Using its mobile app, the QR code allows the user instant information about the church such as its history and some trivia of it.

Swim, dive, party in Moalboal

By Immae Lachica (/celr)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — It’s the weekend and you’re yearning to go out of the house for a well-deserved break.

The first thing that comes to mind when you leave in often-sunny Cebu?

The beach!

And when it comes to beach fun, one destination comes to mind — Moalboal!

The town of Moalboal, located 89 kilometers from Cebu City or a three-hour drive from the city center, is home and haven for divers, adventure seekers and beachgoers.

From good food that will put you in good mood to the best water activities consisting of free diving, scuba diving, and snorkelling… Moalboal never runs out of fun and exciting things to do for the ones who just want a simple and laidback lifestyle in the company of the sand, sea and sun.

In fact, Jackson Grooves, an Australian travel blogger, fell involve with Moalboal that he decided to live in the southern Cebu town and has since called Moalboal his home for two years now.

Grooves, who maintains, even wrote a full entry in his blog entitled “The Digital Nomad Guide to Moalboal, Cebu in the Philippines.”

In this entry, he wrote about the basics on what a digital nomad needs to know when in Moalboal; from accommodation and transport to Wi-Fi connection and night life.

In an interview with CDN Digital, Grooves says he chose Moalboal because he wanted a place where “there’s good adventure and beach nearby so he can have good lifestyle and good life quality.”

Grooves said he can just visit waterfalls and climb peaks by motorbikes, which is an added thrill and excitement to island life.

Of course, as a digital nomad, internet connection is a requirement which Moalboal provides.

“I wanted access to an international airport but I didn’t wanna live in a city because it is too crazy for me. Moalboal has a LTE connection and some places with Wi-Fi. I wanted somewhere where there’s good adventure and beach nearby so I can have good lifestyle and life quality,” says Grooves.

If a foreigner like Grooves has called Moalboal home, then there’s no reason why you should not visit the town even for just a day.

So what can you REALLY do in Moalboal? Here are some suggestions:

Island hopping

Pescador and Turtle islands are the two most famous islands in Moalboal because of their rich marine biodiversity that enthrals even the most experienced divers. Do not forget to bring your gears or at rent some equipment. It’s a mortal sin to miss the chance to see the beautiful world down there.

Good food

Food shacks and restaurants are everywhere in Moalboal! Fruit bowls and fruit shakes; grilled meat and seafood; hearty soup and refreshing ships… there is no shortage of good food and drinks in Moalboal. Just find your spot and eat and drink to your heart’s content.

Night life

Moalboal is also a place to enjoy the night life with good music and positive vibes best celebrated with cold bottles of beer. Dance to reggae music and enjoy the night away from the crazy, busy streets of the city. Check out the party places on Panagsama Beach and you’ll be glad you took the break!

White sand beach

You will be committing a big mistake if you don’t swim when you’re in town! Basdaku is the perfect destination for those who would just want to bask under the heat of the sun and listen to the crashing sound of the waves. This beach area is also the venue for sporting activities like beach volleyball, beach soccer and frisbee so do check out social media posts for any before heading to Moalboal.

Diving spots

We’re not done yet with the beauty of Moalboal because it’s diving spots are truly worth the visit. The sardine run is the most talked about sign among divers who visit Moalboal. It can be witnessed all year round so it’s a definite must-do when you visit Cebu. Of course, Cebu was not dubbed as the center of the center of marine biodiversity without its rich underwater world so go ahead and take the plunge.

Truly, Moalboal is the one-stop town for all your de-stressing needs so on the next weeked, pack your day bag and head down to the Cebu South Bus Terminal and hop on that bus that will take you to the not-so-hidden paradise called Moalboal.

‘Cebu Mangoes Festival’ – a celebration of Cebu’s pride


If there’s one thing that will forever endear anyone who has visited Cebu — besides the warm, genuine smiles of the Cebuanos, of course — it’s got to be the abundance of sweet, juicy mangoes.

A hands-down worldwide favorite, mangoes have easily become a proud trademark of Cebu, long before the recent mango craze caught on in various parts of the country.

Such has been the inspiration behind the upcoming “Cebu Mangoes Festival,” a two-day festivity that celebrates the legacy and the success of mangoes as the top produce of the Queen City of the South.

The event takes place at The Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City on May 25 and 26, be spearheaded by Megaworld Corporation, in partnership with the Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Office.

“We are very happy to get this cele­bration underway here in Lapu-Lapu City as we pay tribute to the mangoes of Cebu that the world has come to love. The Mactan Newtown is a very special township that plays host to more than 200 mango trees lined up along the main avenue, and it is the vision of our chairman, Dr. Andrew Tan, to showcase this vibrant aspect of the Cebu lifestyle,” shared Noli Hernandez, president of Megaworld Cebu Properties, Inc.

Tourists and visitors will literally have their hands full of everything and anything mangoes the moment the festival begins.

Guests are invited to take part as the celebration kicks off with the Mango Street Dancing led by the Kadaugan Dancers on May 25, followed by the official start of the all-day mango picking activity along Newtown Boulevard inside The Mactan Newtown.

There’s also the Mango Bazaar featuring the so-called “mangopreneurs” of Cebu that will showcase a wide variety of mango-related products. Those who will take part in the festival can also look forward to enjoying a dining feast at the 500-seater Mactan Alfresco.

Moreover, the festival will host the unveiling of the world’s biggest mango sago — poised a historic first in the island

Both days will be capped off by the “MANGAmazing Concert,” which will feature live performances from Cebu’s most sought-after talent as well as a grand fireworks display.

“The Cebu Mangoes Festival is a one-of-a-kind celebration here at the Historic Resort City of Lapu-Lapu and this side of Cebu. Although the economic progress of the city has gone up by leaps and bounds, agriculture products like mangoes still thrive, and that proves how rich and diverse Cebu’s economic sector really is,” Hembler Mendoza, Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Head, noted.

The 30-hectare The Mactan Newtown of Megaworld is the country’s first “Live-Work-Play-Learn” lifestyle township with its own beachfront located in Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan Island, Cebu. It is currently home to almost 10,000 BPO and office workers, as well as to Megaworld’s first school in Visayas and Mindanao, the Lasallian-supervised Newtown School of Excellence.

Trade fair, other activities to cap Farmers and Fisherfolks Month celebration

By Irene R. Sino Cruz (/dcb)

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Central Visayas ends the Farmers and Fisherfolks Month celebration by holding a trade fair and exhibit, along with other activities.

Cherry Dela Victoria, DA-7 information officer, said the trade fair dubbed as “Tabo sa DA and TienDa” will be held on May 29-31, 2019 at the regional office in Barangay Maguikay, Mandaue City.

The event will enable farmers and fisherfolks to promote locally produced agricultural products and sell these direct to the consumers without going through middlemen.

It also serves as recognition to their contribution to the economy, according to DA-7 post on its Facebook page.

Around 20 farmer associations in Central Visayas have confirmed participation in the event. These include the Rice Processing Center (RBC) in Pilar, Bohol and the Carmen Samahangnayon Multipurpose Cooperative in Carmen, Bohol.

Also, several farmers’ groups from the upland areas in Cebu City and Dalaguete, Cebu will display their vegetable produce while the Barangay Food Terminal (BFT) in Sogod, Cebu will be selling fruits, fresh milk, and organic products.

Aside from the trade fair and exhibit, DA also scheduled other activities such as technical advice from agriculture experts and a seminar on urban agriculture and mushroom production.

Farmers who encounter problems in their farm such as pest and diseases of their crops and farm animals could seek advice from agriculture experts. On May 29, DA-7 will be holding a free seminar on Urban Agriculture ug Mushroom Production.

Those who are interested can call (032) 8888-022 for pre-registration since they could only accommodate 50 participants. The next day, the Cebu Provincial Veterinary Office and the Mandaue Veterinary Office will provide spay and neuter services, vaccination and deworming.

Meanwhile, DA-7 has two national winners for the following categories – the Communal Irrigation System (CIS) won by Bayawan United Farmers Irrigators Association Inc. from Bayawan City, Negros Oriental and the Small Water Impounding System Association in San Roque Irrigators Association in Talibon, Bohol.

The awarding will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Cebu BPO sector records 19% hiring growth in Jan-May

(Business World)

THE BUSINESS process outsourcing (BPO) industry in Cebu registered a 19% hiring growth from January to May this year, according to Cebu jobs site

The BPO sector, one of Cebu’s major employment generators, is among the top industries that posted significant hiring.

Other main job generators were maritime, tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, medical, media and administration.

Mynimo President Wesley Chiongbian said most of the companies that are hiring are located in Cebu City, the provincial capital and where most regional headquarters of big companies are located.

It is followed by Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Talisay City, and Consolacion. For the entire Cebu province, hiring growth was at 16% during the five-month period.

In an earlier interview, Cebu IT BPM Organization (CIB.O) Managing Director Wilfredo Sa-a Jr. said automation and artificial intelligence (AI) had tempered the employment growth in Cebu’s BPO sector.

“The direction of the industry now is towards the non-voice sector,” Mr. Sa-a said.

As of end 2018, the Cebu BPO sector posted an employment of around 160,000. Mr. Sa-as said the industry is eyeing to grow to as much as 200,000 workers this year, but that could be lower with developments in AI and automation.

DepEd, RAFI to pilot ICT track for senior high in Cebu

By Irene R. Sino Cruz (/dcb)

CEBU CITY, Philippines -A group of incoming senior high students will be the first to join a pilot program offering information communication technology (ICT) track in the municipality of Liloan, Cebu.

Regional Director Juliet Jeruta of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Central Visayas said they will be starting the new ICT track in the school year 2019-2020 at the Don Bosco campus in Liloan, in partnership with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI).

DepEd-7 entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) extending its Adopt-A-School program with Don Bosco Liloan in September last year.

This MOA also included a partnership with RAFI for the construction of a school building within the Don Bosco Liloan campus for the additional Senior High School ICT track. The school offers two tracks – the General Academic Strand (GAS) and the Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL) strand.

According to Jeruta, the new school building will have 12 classrooms. The new ICT track will be open to Grade 10 students from Liloan town. Those who would like to enroll in the track would have to undergo screening since the school could only accommodate 80 students.

She disclosed that the new school building funded by RAFI would have state-of-the-art facility. The total project cost is P100 million, but the initial funding was estimated at P20 million, Jeruta told CDN Digital. DepEd would evaluate the quality of graduates produced by the school in 2021, she said.

“Our future aspiration is to bring the same track to other areas in the region,” Jeruta said.

She explained that they decided to initiate the pilot project in response to the clamor of the ICT industry for improvement in the senior high graduates’ ICT skill so they could match the skills required by the call center and business process outsourcing companies.

In a forum organized by RAFI and attended by ICT industry stakeholders, Jeruta said, they learned that the basic ICT track taught in senior high schools did not meet the industry requirement.

Meanwhile, DepED has been in collaboration and coordination with BPO companies in Cebu, through the work immersion program as part of the senior high track. Some senior high students have started earning during the work immersion phase.

Jeruta disclosed that some students of the Mabolo National High School received P12,500 in allowance from Qualfon.

She also noted that in the recent job fair held in Cebu City, 40 percent of the senior high school graduates applying for jobs have been hired on the spot.

Cebu power firm upgrades substation to meet growing demand

By John Rey Saavedra (PNA)

CEBU CITY -- The second largest electric utility in the country serving eight cities and municipalities in Metro Cebu has upgraded its northern town substation to meet the growing demand for electricity in the northern part of its franchise area.

In a statement, Visayan Electric Co., Inc. (VECO) Reputation Enhancement Department manager, Quennie Sanchez-Bronce, said its Consolacion substation that was inaugurated last May 10, is expected to meet the demand for electricity brought about by growing residential developments and the vigorous economy in the northern corridors of the metro.

The Consolacion substation was built in 1995 with an original 33 mega-volts ampere (MVA) capacity.

Assistant vice president for engineering operations of VECO, engineer Noel Modesto, said the largest utility firm in the Visayas sees “the need to improve, rehabilitate and upgrade the substation to a capacity of 66 MVA to improve reliability and flexibility to better serve its customers in the municipalities of Consolacion and Lilo-an.”

Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado, in her speech during the inauguration, thanked VECO for keeping up with the demands of the municipality’s growing economy.

“We in Consolacion consider VECO as a partner in growth and development and we are very thankful that VECO readily answers the call of the times,” Alegado said.

“In fact, VECO is several steps ahead. Seeing that Consolacion is growing rapidly, you are also preparing your facilities to meet the demands,” she said, noting that the townsfolk “look forward to working with you more and we assure you that we will always be hand in hand in the development of Consolacion.”

A substation is a set of equipment, which transforms voltage from high to low so it would become suitable for supply to the consumers, the statement read, adding that VECO has 19 substations.

The company started the rehabilitation works at the Consolacion substation in October 2017 and upgraded its capacity in August 2018.

The upgrading of the Consolacion substation is also in preparation for the upcoming rehabilitation of the nearby Paknaan (Mandaue) substation, in June with commissioning targeted by 2020.

Rehabilitation and upgrading works for the Calamba substation in this city into 66 MVA is ongoing and is expected to be completed this year.

VECO, owned and managed by the publicly-listed Aboitiz Power Corp. and Vivant Corp., serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, and Naga, and four municipalities of the greater part of Metro Cebu --Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla, and San Fernando.

Royal Air Philippines launches Cebu hub, boosts Central Visayas operations

By Jessica Fenol (ABS-CBN News)

MANILA - One of the country's youngest carrier Royal Air Philippines on Friday launched its Cebu hub along with 5 new routes to and from Central Visayas.

Starting May 20, passengers can book flights from Cebu to Manila, Davao, Puerto Princesa, Caticlan, and Cagayan De Oro and vice versa with tickets ranging from P1,000 to P6,000.

Royal Air, which started as a chartered carrier in 2002, forayed into commercial operations in December 2018 and is currently offering flights to Caticlan and Puerto Princesa from Clark.

It currently has 3 97-seater British Aerospace (BAe) AVRO 146 RJ-100 with at least 3 subleased Airbus A319 arriving in the next few months, CEO Ed Novillas said.

"Royal Air is serious in expanding our market reach across the Southern region," he said.

Novillas said the expansion would double its manpower to 140 from the current 77 by the end of July.

Royal Air also positioned itself as a boutique airline by selling "the best experience" with reasonable prices.

A quick search on their website showed one-way tickets to Caticlan from Clark for the month of July at just P1,500.

Passengers get 10 kilograms free check-in allowance on top of the 7kg hand carry items. It won't be selling "cup noodles" and cheap items on board, said Novillas.

"The challenge is we have to let people know who we are. We are not a legacy airline. We are also not a low cost carrier," he said.

It partnered with Singapore-based firm Sapphire for inflight entertainment platform containing premium contents such as movies, music and games for free.

The airline is owned by former travel agents who are expert in chartering Chinese tourists in the region, Novillas said, declining to disclose more information. Its chartered flights currently sustains the business, he said.

"We know in the commercial operations it takes a while to be noticed by people. In the airline business its hard to make money in a year. So we're banking in the charters in the evening or red-eye flights to fuel the operations," Novillas said.

The company currently charters Chinese tourists for the Lallo, Cagayan-Macau, Kalibo-Macau and Taipei-Kalibo routes, among others, Novillas said.

Royal Air is planning to operate flights to San Vincente, Palawan potentially by the end of the year, Novillas said. It currently operates daily Clark-Caticlan and Clark-Puerto Princesa flights.

Celebrating Cebu’s mangoes


TO ATTRACT both local and foreign tourists to celebrate the famous mangoes of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu City will be holding the first Cebu Mangoes Festival on May 25 and 26.

“We will showcase it with other favorites like sikwate, puto and budbod,” said Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Officer Hembler Mendoza.

Mendoza said the festival is also strategic because of the location’s proximity to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, which is a 10-minute drive from the venue.

The festival will be held at the Mactan Newtown, where 10,000 kilos of mangoes are expected to be harvested for the event from 248 mango trees inside the 30-hectare township.

Noli Hernandez, president of Megaworld Cebu Properties Inc., said the planting of mango trees was included and a priority in their masterplan.

“The Mactan Newtown is a very special township that plays host to more than 200 mango trees lined up along the main avenue, and it is the vision of our chairman, Dr. Andrew Tan, to showcase this vibrant aspect of Cebu. That is the reason why we find it fitting to celebrate Cebu mangoes here,” he said.

The trees will also be preserved as part of the township’s identity and celebration of the community’s own product that symbolizes the diversity of Cebu’s booming economy, he said.

Hernandez said mangoes will be sold at P80 to P100 per kilo.

Tefel Pesigan-Valentino, vice president and head of marketing of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, said the festival will also highlight another side of Lapu-Lapu City, aside from its booming commercial and industrial industries.

“Different entrepreneurs will be selling mangoes, which also includes different varieties. And also products that have mangoes. Not only edible ones but also those that you can put on your skin, and others,” she said.

This will be showcased at the Mango Bazaar where a variety of mango-related products will be displayed.

DTI-Cebu launches Kapatid Mentor ME Batch 6

By Irene R. Sino Cruz (/dcb)

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Another group of budding entrepreneurs in Cebu will undergo a series of training under the “Kapatid Mentor Micro-Enterprise” (KMME) program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The DTI Cebu provincial office launched on Thursday the sixth batch for KMME, which has 25 mentees. The mentees have to commit that they will participate in 10 weekly training sessions on different modules.

The KMME aims to produce confident entrepreneurs with the right mindset and basic management skills which will enable them to sustain and scale up their enterprises.

The program has two major objectives. First, it aims to help micro and small enterprises (MSMEs) develop a good business sense by capacitating them through the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.

Second, it provides assistance to the MSMEs in scaling up and sustaining their operations by equipping them with the needed skill sets in the course of theoretical and conceptual discussions and lectures as well as mentoring and coaching sessions.

The training started Thursday with two modules.

Module 1 focused on entrepreneurial mind-setting and values deepening discussed by GT Cosmetics Manufacturing Inc. chief operating officer Leonora Salvane and Kevio Skinceuticals chief executive officer Mark Philip Geniston.

Module 2 on marketing was tackled by Eduardo Roberto, co-founder of Salt and Light Ventures Inc.

The other modules are Product Development and Innovation/market growth and expansion; business model canvas; operations management; supply and value chain; human resource and organization management; entrepreneurial accounting and financial management; taxation/ business laws; tapping government programs and services to grow your business and business improvement plan presentation.

The KMME program is organized by DTI and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship-GoNegosyo and taps top caliber, highly respected entrepreneurship mentors/coaches certified by PCE-Go Negosyo.

PADS eyes Sports and Social Center in Cebu

By Immae Lachica (/END)

Cebu City, Philippines—A home for the athletes of the Philippine Accessible Disability Service, Inc (PADS) will soon rise in Cebu in December 2020.

The soon to be PADS Adaptive Sports and Social Center will be situated in Barangay Umapad, Mandaue City.

Jp Ecarma Maunes, PADS Executive Director, said that the construction of the facility will start as soon as they have the enough funds.

“We encourage our stake holders, the LGU and donors to help us make this dream a reality for the persons with disabilities in our community,” he said. “We want to activate the community to take full ownership of the advocacy and share the vision of PADS towards a disability-inclusive Filipino society.”

Maunes told Cebu Daily News Digital the Sports and Social Center will not just serve as their home, but also a training ground for persons with disabilities.

“We want to provide an avenue for persons with disabilities to engage in sports and recreational rehabilitation activities and for the public to get to know more about community based rehabilitation” said Maunes.

The sports and social center is a two-storey building with a huge space for outdoor training. There will also be a space for all their sports equipment, a gym, a canteen, a lecture room and a meeting area.

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