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Cebu Province News April 2014

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Province of Cebu - Archived News

Barangay anim 4500.gif
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


DTI shared facility project improves productivity, jobs

By Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The shared service facilities in the production industry has brought notable results such as enterprise and job creation, high productivity and quality products that are helping the local economy rise, the Department of Trade and Industry-7 said.

The need to respond to the gaps in production is the department’s main reason of implementing the SSF projects to help local producers in their businesses, said Dr. Elias Tecson, DTI Cebu’s chief on business development division.

In fact, the DTI has turned over yesterday 10 Abaca Stripping Machines worth more than P5.7 million to a cooperative in Barangay Magsaysay in the municipality of Balamban.

The Barangay Unity Key to Integrated Development Multipurpose Cooperative (BUKID-MPC), one of the biggest abaca fiber suppliers in Cebu, is the first beneficiary of the government’s SSF program in the province, the chief said.

The association has 240 hectares of land planted with abaca and additional 150 hectares to be planted this year.

It also spends and takes care for the maintainance of the equipment, personal services, land improvement and other tools needed in the process. Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

Its members, other abaca farmers in nearby barangays of Magsaysay and abaca weavers and processors are the beneficiaries of the project which is also joined by the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority.

The machines that are made by Mandaue have been distributed to eight sitios of the barangay: Cambagokbok, Kalubihan, Liki, Manunggal, Potol, Sunog, Maoyog and Mount Mangga.

“In this project, we’re looking for a cooperative that has to be duly registered and it will be the beneficiary,” he told The FREEMAN, adding that the new 2014 SSF guidelines has said other non-government organizations, the academe and the local government unit can also now be an operator for the project.

Faster production

The machines, he further said, will help the members and workers of the BUKID-MPC increase their production and improve the abaca industry. It will also make employment and bigger revenues for the industry, he added.

The stripping machines will make the extraction of abaca fibers faster and more convenient, thus increasing also the making of fiber-made products such as “sinamay,” ropes, gift toys, woven fibers, christmas decors and housewares.

He said the task of the workers can become easy with the help of the machine instead of doing the manual process which is “more tedious and crude.”

“The demand of these products is really for export,” the trade official noted. “Only few is for domestic demand.”

The rise in demand and market for a product, abaca for instance, should also push for the improvement of the production and quality, he added.

In the next months, the trade department will also distribute SFFs to other areas in Cebu such as Carmen, Carcar, Sibonga, Minglanilla, Alegria, Aloguinsan and Toledo and identify the potential industry in the place.

Tecson said the machines to be granted are intended for the production of charcoal briquettes, virgin coconut oil, footwear, dessicated coconut, dried mangoes and other processed foods.

Choosing the beneficiary

The need of a group of local entrepreneurs is one of the bases to become a probabale beneficiary of the SSF. The department also sees the stability of the association whether it is duly registered.

“We also have to check the strength of the officers,” he said.

And the most important, Tecson stressed, is making sure the potential market for the industry to be helped: “Kung dying ang sector there’s no need kay there would be no market for that.”

The SSF project started just last year and in the past months the regional DTI first focused in the province of Bohol because of its small industry clusters, he chief explained.

This time, it will do more on giving the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Cebu a better and reliable technology and upgrading the skills of the members to become more competitive.

Locally-made products vital to Mandaue growth

By Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman)

THE Kadaugan sa Mactan which commemorates the first anti-colonial struggle in recorded Philippine history is still not considered a national holiday.

In her Kadaugan sa Mactan speech, Mayor Radaza expressed regret that the first anti-colonial event is not recognized nationwide.

“It was on this hallowed ground that the famous Battle of Mactan took place 493 years ago,” Radaza said.

She stressed it was on this very shore where Datu Lapu-Lapu together with his tribesmen successfully defended their land from Spanish conquistador Ferdinand Magellan. The battle that happened here was also a victory for the Filipino people.

Unfortunately, April 27 has yet to be declared a national holiday, “unlike every 9th of April when the entire country commemorates the Fall of Bataan. Every December 30th the entire country commemorates the death of Jose Rizal at the hands of Spaniards.

“It is but fitting that we commemorate here every April 27 the death of a Spanish conquistador at the hands of Datu Lapu-Lapu, the only battle that our beloved country won against foreigners,” Radaza said.

She was happy to note that a bill was filed in the Senate to declare April 27 as “Adlaw ni Lapu-Lapu or Lapu-Lapu Day”.

Lapu-Lapu City Rep. Aileen Radaza has also filed a bill in the House of Representatives to declare April 27 as a city holiday.

This is the first step in their bid to have April 27 declared a national holiday.

“Niini nga paagi, ang tibuok nasud na unya ang magsadya sa Kadaugan sa Mactan,” Radaza said. (This way, the whole country will also celebrate the Kadaugan sa Mactan.)

Yesterday’s commemoration had another first — a TV crew from Spain’s TVE (TV Español) was in town to cover the event.

Tania Garralda, reporter of TVE said, that they are going to feature the reenactment in TVE’s program “Spanish People Around the World.”

She said, they were sent here in the country after learning through social media and other sources from the Philippines that Lapu-Lapu City is celebrating the heroism and the triumph of the man who defeated one of the world’s first circumnavigators, Ferdinand Magellan.

Interestingly, this year, the role of Datu Lapu-Lapu is played by Brazilian-Japanese Daniel Matsunaga, Carlos Agassi whose father is of Persian origin. Reyna Bulakna, Lapu-Lapu’s wife was portrayed this time by beauty titlist Venus Raj.

Lapu-Lapu City government publicist Jonjie Gonzales said the choice of celebrities who are either foreigners or foreignoys (half-Filipinos) was just a coincidence. “It has been a tradition of the Kadaugan sa Mactan to enlist celebrities to draw the crowds,” Gonzales said.

“I’m so happy, so honored, so proud and thankful that I had an opportunity to portray Lapu- Lapu’s role. I always wanted to be part of a show as a warrior,” Matsunaga said.

For Raj: “Iba pala ‘yong feeling kapag ikaw ‘yong nando’n.” (It feels so difference if you’re in the act.)

Sten Dahl, 70, a first-time spectator from Sweden was eager to witness the reenactment. “The play was really good. It’s nice to know local history.”

The DOT is expecting more tourists to visit Lapu-Lapu City because of Kadaugan sa Mactan. Montecillo said that Lapu-Lapu City gets the lion’s share of tourists coming to Central Visayas. Of the 2.6 million tourists arrivals in the region each year, the city on Mactan Island gets more than a million tourists a year.

Kadaugan as national holiday pushed

By Irish Maika R. Lam and Rosemarie Cananea (Interns)

THE Kadaugan sa Mactan which commemorates the first anti-colonial struggle in recorded Philippine history is still not considered a national holiday.

In her Kadaugan sa Mactan speech, Mayor Radaza expressed regret that the first anti-colonial event is not recognized nationwide.

“It was on this hallowed ground that the famous Battle of Mactan took place 493 years ago,” Radaza said.

She stressed it was on this very shore where Datu Lapu-Lapu together with his tribesmen successfully defended their land from Spanish conquistador Ferdinand Magellan. The battle that happened here was also a victory for the Filipino people.

Unfortunately, April 27 has yet to be declared a national holiday, “unlike every 9th of April when the entire country commemorates the Fall of Bataan. Every December 30th the entire country commemorates the death of Jose Rizal at the hands of Spaniards.

“It is but fitting that we commemorate here every April 27 the death of a Spanish conquistador at the hands of Datu Lapu-Lapu, the only battle that our beloved country won against foreigners,” Radaza said.

She was happy to note that a bill was filed in the Senate to declare April 27 as “Adlaw ni Lapu-Lapu or Lapu-Lapu Day”.

Lapu-Lapu City Rep. Aileen Radaza has also filed a bill in the House of Representatives to declare April 27 as a city holiday.

This is the first step in their bid to have April 27 declared a national holiday.

“Niini nga paagi, ang tibuok nasud na unya ang magsadya sa Kadaugan sa Mactan,” Radaza said. (This way, the whole country will also celebrate the Kadaugan sa Mactan.)

Yesterday’s commemoration had another first — a TV crew from Spain’s TVE (TV Español) was in town to cover the event.

Tania Garralda, reporter of TVE said, that they are going to feature the reenactment in TVE’s program “Spanish People Around the World.”

She said, they were sent here in the country after learning through social media and other sources from the Philippines that Lapu-Lapu City is celebrating the heroism and the triumph of the man who defeated one of the world’s first circumnavigators, Ferdinand Magellan.

Interestingly, this year, the role of Datu Lapu-Lapu is played by Brazilian-Japanese Daniel Matsunaga, Carlos Agassi whose father is of Persian origin. Reyna Bulakna, Lapu-Lapu’s wife was portrayed this time by beauty titlist Venus Raj.

Lapu-Lapu City government publicist Jonjie Gonzales said the choice of celebrities who are either foreigners or foreignoys (half-Filipinos) was just a coincidence. “It has been a tradition of the Kadaugan sa Mactan to enlist celebrities to draw the crowds,” Gonzales said.

“I’m so happy, so honored, so proud and thankful that I had an opportunity to portray Lapu- Lapu’s role. I always wanted to be part of a show as a warrior,” Matsunaga said.

For Raj: “Iba pala ‘yong feeling kapag ikaw ‘yong nando’n.” (It feels so difference if you’re in the act.)

Sten Dahl, 70, a first-time spectator from Sweden was eager to witness the reenactment. “The play was really good. It’s nice to know local history.”

The DOT is expecting more tourists to visit Lapu-Lapu City because of Kadaugan sa Mactan. Montecillo said that Lapu-Lapu City gets the lion’s share of tourists coming to Central Visayas. Of the 2.6 million tourists arrivals in the region each year, the city on Mactan Island gets more than a million tourists a year.

First Mandaue boat race on May 4

By Flor Z. Perolina (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Around 200 fishermen in Mandaue City will participate in the first-ever boat racing in the city on May 4.

Engineer Ricardo Mendoza, head of the City Sports Commission, said he took the initiative to include the boat racing as one of the activities in city's fiesta celebration in order to let the public know that fishermen still have a place in the city despite its status as an industrial hub.

Mendoza said the boat race is open to all registered fishermen in the city.

Participants may choose any of the two categories, namely individual boat racing and boat relay, which will be composed by five fishermen per group.

Prizes for each category are P3,000 for the first prize, P2,000 for the second prize and P1,000 for the first prize. The winner for the best in banca decoration will also receive P1,000.

The competition venue will be 400 meters long located near the Mandaue Bridge Park. Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

Other highlights of the fiesta activities are the Panagtabo Festival street dancing on May 3, coronation of Miss Mandaue on May 7, Symphony of Fire grand fireworks display on May 8, Balikbayan Night on May 10 and a mass wedding on May 29.

There will also be nightly cultural activities that will be held at the City Hall Plaza square spearheaded by the Mandaue City College with the participation of the city's different public schools.

Mandaue City has allotted P9.5 million in budget for this year's fiesta celebration with more cultural activities on hand.

The city celebrates the feast day of St. Joseph, its patron saint, every May 8 of the year.

Teach to earn this summer

By Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - A lot of people consider the summer holiday as a great time for traveling and enjoying whatever the season has to offer.

However, enterprising people also see the occasion as an opportunity to earn some good cash by establishing a personal business to make them busy. Creative individuals and groups prove that starting an income-generating endeavor does not necessarily require a hefty startup capital.

In fact, they have shown that having an extra revenue flow on the side is actually possible by just being confident in using God-given talents to teach and share these to other people—and earn at the same time.

Generally, the summer months are the best time for these people to do their initiative as some are on the lookout for something they can be productive with while taking the pleasure of the vacation break.

They do summer workshops and lessons independently or with a company in arts, music, academics and personality development. For the most part, sports clinics are the most popular activities this summer among children and teenagers—and sometimes adults.

While there are summer camp centers in Cebu that offer short-term summer courses on sports activites and specialized trainings, some ordinary people with extraordinary talents and skills are gaining good benefits from helping develop the abilities of others as well. Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

The love for music is what led 18-year-old Shem Dominique Abay, a resident of Barangay Poblacion Talisay City, to succeed in his long time passion: Playing the violin.

Abay, who is an event violinist, learned to play the instrument for years until an incident came, “I stopped for two years because of the hardships of learning the violin but then relearned it all by self study.”

Later on, he discovered that he was capable of teaching his talent, which prompted him to start his own enterprise when he was in first year college.

He wanted to be independent because he believed most companies have limited sessions which he thought are not very really productive, effective and rates are mostly expensive.

The young mentor find his musical passion as a good investment and, in fact it is his motivation to realize his dream of having his own training center.

“The talent that God has given should be invested and should somehow return to you,” the teenager told The FREEMAN. “But everything has limits. Having talent or skill should not mean that you can leech on people.”

Abay teaches basics and techniques of violin playing on one-on-one basis or sometimes in groups not just during summer but also anytime of the year and his rate is P300 for a two- hour session.

Although this time he only has three students, he believes summer is still the best time for learning: “Because some of my mentees also have summer classes.”

“Most of my sessions happen in my mentee's homes,” he said. “Sometimes at school just meet ups at parks or plazas.”

When he started his venture, his talent and instrument—not money—were only his biggest assets to pursue his passion, adding that helping people who have passion for music was his motivation and that earning was his last priority.

“I dont actually ask for really big amount from my students and sometimes even extend our sessions without pay,” he shared. “Hearing them play is rewarding enough.”

He said: “My students just come, I really don't know why. Maybe my contacts and by word of mouth through my gigs around the city and some outside… Sometimes people see me play and they ask me if I teach.”

While Abay desire to have a stable job in the future, for now he’s thinking of investing in his musical passion and dream to be part of a big time music business.

The violinist said the money that he earns somehow helps him and his family get through although it is not that much.

“Keep up the passion… that is where you start,” Abay advises people who have talents but are frustrated on how to use these for fun and earning. “Just love what you do and do what you love and that will lead you to success and ultimately, to happines.”

Here is The FREEMAN’s compilation of other summer clinics/trainings that creative and enterprising people take advantage of to have fun and earn some extra cash during the summer holiday:

1. Dancesport workshop. There are dance organizations in Cebu that are committed at developing the talents and skills of its members and improving their confidence level through dancing. Like the famous DanceSport Team Cebu City which one of its members has committed to teach dancesport to children in their subdivision.

Recel Niña Mondejar, 18-year-old and a resident of Barangay Tungkil, Minglanilla, Cebu, said a barangay councilor, who is also a dancer, has encouraged her to have an affordable dance workshop for children in their neigborhood.

“Every summer naa gyud dancesport workshop sa amo barangay naay naka-assign nga dance teacher to teach children,” she shared. “The nice thing is that wa pa toy bayad.”

However, she said, the subdivision (Minglanilla Homes) president wanted the parents to pay her even just a little amount of money in exchange for the learning of their kids.

That’s why this May, most probably, she and her friend, the councilor, will again teach the children for P10 - P20 per session, she added.

“I’m really teaching not just because of money,” she noted, “but also because I want to share my talent to those children.”

The officials in their community decided to do the workshop every summer season so the children there would have a recreational activity at the same the opportunity to learn.

2. Swimming lessons. The Cebu City Sports Center is active again with a lot of workshops and educational summer activities it offers to children and teenagers. For coach Matheus Ceasar, 24, swimming has become his main livelihood and a source of contentment. Since 16, he already started to train kids and teenagers on how to swim, saying “I find joy in this job.”

After all, a person’s skill is key in starting a money making service like swimming training, he said. Trainers like him are paid well, a reason why he believes this is a better work than other jobs around.

Summer is also the peak earning season for coaches and trainers because of the increase in enrolment in summer camps.

3. Sports clinics. A veteran basketball trainer, Giovanni Romarate, also believes that a person can actually turn sports coaching as a source of money as he has been benefiting from such endeavor.

Aside from it, can help you earn a quick buck, coaching also provides life-long skills and abilities to the trainees.

“Puhonan nimo talent ra gyud ug willingness nga motudlo makakwarta gyud ka,” he noted.

Although he stressed earning should not be the top most priority in this case, but rather the persistence to do more on molding the learner to become a skillful athlete.

“Devoted gyud ka aron mahinumdoman ka nila, kay kung magkakita mo og balik proud na sila nimo,” he concluded.

Lapu-Lapu City to push sisterhood ties with Magellan’s hometown


LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu, April 24 (PNA) -- The Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Commission will push through with the earlier plan of former city mayor and congressman Arturo Radaza to establish a sister city agreement with Sabrosa town in Portugal, the hometown of Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan.

Former city councilor Damian Gomez, chairman of the Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Commission, along with Councilor Harry Don Radaza, chairman of the City Council's committee on tourism, issued the statement as the city prepares for the celebration of the Kadaugan sa Mactan (Victory in Mactan) on April 27.

Gomez described the sisterhood agreement with officials of Magellan's hometown as a good idea, as the city government of Lapu-Lapu is eyeing the yearly celebration to be a global event to attract more visitors, especially foreign tourists.

Councilor Radaza shared the observation of Gomez, saying they are now working on making the annual celebration more impactful.

The idea to establish sisterhood ties with Sabrosa town in Portugal was initially discussed when Sabrosa Mayor Jose Manuel de Carvalho Marques visited former city mayor Arturo Radaza 10 years ago.

Mayor Marques was then attending meetings with mayors from different countries at the Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.

Marques personally visited then mayor Radaza at his office at the City Hall and also the Mactan Shrine in Barangay Mactan where the historic battle between Magellan and local chieftain Datu Lapu-Lapu took place on April 27, 1521.

Councilor Radaza said the sisterhood agreement will strengthen the city’s tourism promotions.

Marques, during his visit in Lapu-Lapu City, said Sabrosa wanted Lapu-Lapu to be part of its worldwide network of cities that were part of Magellan's expedition.

Born sometime in 1480 in Sabrosa, a town located some 380 kilometers north of Portugal's capital city of Lisbon, the ancestral house of Magellan still stands in its original location and has become a tourist attraction.

Magellan, also known as Fernao de Magallanes, was the leader of the first sea expedition that circumnavigated the world.

Although he was born in Potugal, Magellan went to Spain because the Portuguese king at that time refused to finance his proposed trip westward to reach the coveted "Spice Islands" in the Moluccas, now part of the Indonesian archipelago.

Magellan was not able to complete the full expedition that was financed by the Spanish King Charles 1 after he was killed in a historic battle against Datu Lapu-Lapu.

The city government of Lapu-Lapu celebrates this "victory" against colonizers every year through reenactment plays at the shores of Barangay Mactan.

DOH upgrades eight Cebu provincial hospitals to Level 1


CEBU CITY, April 24 (PNA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) has upgraded to Level 1 eight hospitals in Cebu which are run by the provincial government.

The DOH 7 licensing office confirmed the accreditation status of the provincial hospitals in the cities of Bogo, Danao and Carcar and the district hospitals in Tuburan, Argao, Barili, Badian and San Francisco in Camotes Island.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said these hospitals will offer caesarian operations and appendectomies, among others, and laboratory examinations like ultrasound and ECG.

This will benefit patients, especially indigents, who cannot afford to go to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City, he said.

Davide said he has also signed 20 consultancy contracts of medical specialists, including medical technicians and nurses.

Earlier, the Cebu Provincial Board (PB) approved a resolution allowing Davide to sign consultancy contracts of specialists in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, internal medicine and general surgeons.

Under Republic Act 4226, also known as the Hospital License Act, and DOH Administrative Order 2012-0012, Level 1 hospitals are required to have medical specialists.

Davide said the upgraded district hospitals have X-ray machines and other equipment, while all eight hospitals already have operating rooms and operating tables.

But, he said the provincial government still has to acquire more equipment like dialysis machines for these facilities.

Cebu Provincial Health Officer Cynthia Genosolango said the upgrade of the eight provincial hospitals to Level 1 will decongest the VSMMC.

“We can deliver more services. We can accept and treat a good number of patients because we now have technical capability with our consultants in place. The rest of the needed equipment will follow,” Genosolango said.

P14.4B upfront premium paid for airport project

By Gregg M. Rubio, JMO (The Freeman)

The signed concession agreement for the Mactan Cebu International Airport is presented by GMR Group Airports Sector Chairman Srinivas Bommidala, Department of Transportation and Communications Undersecretary for Legal and Procurement Jose Perpertuo Lotilla and Megawide Construction Corporation chairman and CEO Michael Cosiquien. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CEBU, Philippines - The GMR-Megawide Consortium yesterday paid P14.4 billion to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority as upfront premium for the airport expansion project, which has been awarded to the consortium.

The Department of Transportation and Communications and the MCIAA signed the Concession Agreement with GMR-Megawide following receipt of the payment.

Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, DOTC’s Bids and Awards Committee chairman and undersecretary for legal affairs, led government officials in signing the agreement.

“The 25-year Concession Agreement was signed following the consortium’s fulfillment of all post-award requirements, including payment to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority of the P14.4-billion premium it offered as its financial bid,” DOTC said in a statement.

The consortium claimed it fulfilled its first major obligation ahead of schedule and reinforces its commitment towards the project.

“By making the upfront payment of P14.4 billion within the stipulated time we have clearly demonstrated our credentials and capabilities to take up this prestigious project. This is just the first step in our endeavor to transform the Mactan Cebu International Airport into a world class airport destination,” said Michael Cosiquien, chairman and chief executive officer of Megawide Construction Corporation, and Srinivas Bommidala, chairman, Airports Sector of GMR Infrastructure, in a joint statement.

“We will channel our efforts to making MCIA an efficient passenger-oriented and commercially sustainable airport that will truly reflect the culture and heritage of Cebuanos and will make a significant contribution to the economy of Cebu. We wish to place on record our appreciation for DOTC on concluding a fair and transparent bid process, conducted in a highly professional manner,” the statement reads.

MCIAA is set to turn over airport operations and maintenance to GMR-Megawide in the next six months or by October this year.

The consortium is expected to begin construction of the new passenger terminal building by January 2015. Construction is scheduled to be completed in three years or by January 2018.

The new MCIA terminal will be for international flights and will be connected to the existing passenger terminal building, which will also be fully renovated by January 2019. Once renovated, the existing passenger terminal will cater exclusively to domestic passengers.

The signing of the agreement followed the expiration of the 15-day period to file any motion for reconsideration contesting the award.

In the international bidding process, which culminated in December 2013, GMR-Megawide emerged as the highest bidder for the MCIA project after submitting a bid of P14.4 billion. DOTC formally issued the Letter of Award to the Consortium on April 4, 2014.

The Consortium’s proposed design for the new terminal at MCIA is a modern expression of traditional Filipino architecture and imbibes the cultural ethos of Cebu without sacrificing efficiency.

Magsaysay awardee introduces fish condos to Bantayan fisherfolk


CEBU CITY, April 22 (PNA) -- Fish condominiums copied from high-rise residences mushrooming all over Metro Cebu could reverse the damage on marine resources in the Visayan Sea caused by super typhoon Yolanda and illegal fishing.

Lawyer Antonio Oposa, a Ramon Magsaysay awardee and Visayan Sea Squadron chairman, introduced the fish condominiums to Bantayan fisherfolk on Monday during the 6th Visayan Sea Summit held in Sta. Fe town in Bantayan Island off the northernmost tip of Cebu mainland.

Most fishermen in northern Cebu and the Visayan sea reported fewer catch after Yolanda hit the area.

The Visayan sea covers the territorial waters of northern Cebu, northeastern Iloilo, northern Negros and southern Masbate.

The Visayan sea is a sanctuary that has 488 of the 500 endangered coral species and 12,000 seashells in the Philippines.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III, who attended the event for the first time, said the coral reefs where the fishes stay are now damaged due to illegal fishing.

It worsened when typhoon Yolanda hit the island last November 8, he said.

Oposa said restorative fishing methods like putting fish condominiums in the seas of Bantayan Island will serve as alternative shelter for fish now that coral reefs are damaged.

It will also serve as breeding and nursery areas for marine life.

Oposa, Davide and Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon showed 200 fisherfolks how to make a fish condo.

Oposa said this will only cost P800 to P1,000 including labor.

The three-storey fish condo was made of bamboo and used fish nets.

Davide and Marañon showed the final step in doing the fish condo by covering it with limestone and cement mixture.

Oposa and the officials brought a fish condo to the sea on board a glass-bottomed boat and placed the fish condo in an area where they saw more damaged corals.

Oposa said the glass-bottomed boat will make the fishermen and the people aware of the situation under the sea and why their catch has been small lately.

Oposa said Bantayan Island has the largest biological mass in the Visayan Sea.

But after Yolanda and years of marine abuses, the situation is now different, Oposa said.

The fish condos may be able to reverse the situation as they provide alternative shelter for the fish, he said.

Generally peaceful in Cebu during Holy Week

By Ria Mae Y. Booc with Juffer Denn C. Bornales and Lara Praz C. Mayol /GMR (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Holy Week celebration in the Province of Cebu was generally peaceful, said Cebu Provincial Police Office Director, Sr. Supt. Noel Gillamac.

Gillamac said the shooting of a British dive shop operator in Malapascua Island in Daanbantayan was an isolated case and the arrest of two suspected pickpockets in Minglanilla town did not create chaos in the Sugat-Kabanhawan celebration yesterday morning.

“I know vigilant na ang publiko aning mga ingon ani maong na-prevent nato ang mga kagubot,” Gillamac told The FREEMAN.

There was also no major vehicular accident reported as a result of the drive safely campaign.

Gillamac said the Hagnaya wharf was also well-secured for passengers going to Bantayan Island.

Supt. Anthony Bagarinao, Northern Cebu area supervisor, said they were also assisting the riding public at the wharfs and ports back to their destinations before he advised his personnel to go back to their respective offices.

“Full blast ang security namo karon ilabi na kay mamauli na kasagaran basin ugma pwede na sila mubalik sa stations ang mga gi-deploy,” Bagarinao said.

For his part, Insp. Welther Grapa, assistant area supervisor in Southern Cebu, estimated around 70,000 people witnesses the Sugat-Kabanhawan in Minglanilla.

Right after the event, the audience mobbed two suspected thieves identified as Bobby Alcanzado, 32, of Bao, City of Naga, and Al Tantay, 27, Tabunoc, Talisay City.

After a man shouted, “Kawatan na!” pointing to Alcanzado and Tantay, the crowd immediately held the suspects who were mauled by some until the arrival of the barangay tanods and the policemen.

There were reports of lost items such as cellular phones and wallets at the Minglanilla Police Station but nothing was recovered from the suspects.

According to police station chief, Senior Insp. Richard Dinopol Gadingan, Alcanzado and Tantay could possibly be working in group and the stolen objects may have been carted away in possession with the other members.

Both suspects have denied any involvement in the incident and insisted they were just in Minglanilla to witness the Sugat-Kabanhawan Festival.

Alcanzado and Tantay are placed under the custody of the Minglanilla police for further investigation and proper disposition.

Reflection park draws thousands of pilgrims

By Jose P. Sollano (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Thousands of pilgrims from different towns and cities flocked to the 200-hectare Q Park in Compostela town last Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Nestled atop the hills of the Compostela, Q Park is gaining recognition among adventure seekers, family trippers and pilgrims alike.

It is situated some 35 kilometers north from Cebu City and fully owned by the Quisumbing family and the Norkis Group of Companies led by its chairman Dr. Norberto Quisumbing Jr.

The park covers the barangays of Buluang, Canamocan and Tubigan. Its attractions include Stations of the Cross, a Nativity cave and the saints, retreat house and cottages, heroes' hill, as well as camps for girls and boys.

Quisumbing said he was happy upon seeing thousands of pilgrims visiting Q Park since Wednesday morning.

A one-legged man from Bulacan was one of the visitors over the weekend. The man said he was informed by a neighbor about this meditation park in Compostela and this prompted him to visit the place.

Quisumbing, on the other hand, said he decided to develop Q Park not for himself, but for other people - to show them the importance of faith.

Quisumbing recalled that during the Lenten season in 2005, when Q Park opened, some 30,000 visitors walked and prayed the Stations.

In 2006, the number of visitors more than tripled, growing to P100,000. The number, he said, is increasing every year.

According to Quisumbing, a regular visitor of Q Park was the Filipino visionary named Ma. Emma de Guzman. It was during De Guzman's very first visit to Q Park on Holy Thursday in 2007 that she reportedly experienced the sacred "stigmata" there.

The incident was accordingly witnessed by pilgrims present at the time, some of them employees of Norkis Group.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma earlier said Q Park is an ideal place for meditation, soul-searching and reflection.

"Those who lost their way are welcome and the faithful can strengthen their faith in God by meditating at Q Park. Let this Q Park be an inspiration to all people," Quisumbing said.

DENR allocates P35.4M for mangrove rehab

By Phoebe Jen Indino

DAANBANTAYAN, Cebu- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 is set to allocate P35.4 million for the rehabilitation and recovery program of disaster stricken areas in Central Visayas.

The 2014 Work and Financial Plan for the rehabilitation programs, subject for the approval of the DENR Secretary Ramon JP Paje, include mangrove rehabilitation, plantation establishment, and beach type forest plantation in Central Visayas areas hit by the worst natural calamities last year.

“Region 7, next to region 8, was most affected by the typhoon Yolanda and Bohol province experienced the 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Through these proposed programs, we hope to restore our devastated mangrove plantations and put up new plantations to areas identified as vulnerable to landslide, flooding and most importantly storm surges,” Montejo stressed.

Of the P35, 459, 000 allocated amount for the region, around P10, 504, 000 will be intended for Cebu province, P16, 972, 000 for Bohol, another P 6, 164, 000 for Negros Oriental and an amount of 1, 819, 000 for Siquijor Province.

Earlier, the DENR 7 has released an initial amount of P20 million to the affected areas in Northern Cebu used for the Cash for Work Program including the assessment and establishment of the 85-hectares of mangrove plantations in Camotes Island, Bantayan Island and Northern Cebu mainland (Daanbantayan, Medellin, Bogo City and Borbon).

Domestic ports record 47,209 departures on Good Friday -- Coast Guard


MANILA, April 18 (PNA) -- The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) announced that 47,209 seagoing passengers have departed from the country's various domestic ports Good Friday morning.

Cmdr. Armand Balilo, Coast Guard spokesperson, said that this tally is as of 6 a.m. Good Friday.

Coast Guard District National Capital Region-Central Luzon recorded 2,100 departures and all of this are from Manila.

While Coast Guard District Central Visayas reported 20,648 seagoing passengers leaving from its areas of jurisdiction:

-Cebu -- 19,809

-Tagbilaran -- 372

-Dumaguete -- 467

Coast Guard District Southwestern Mindanao recorded 3,559 departures and these are from:

-Zamboanga -- 1,998

-Jolo -- 931

-Bongao -- 630

While Coast Guard District Southern Tagalog posted 6,051 passenger departures and these can be divided from:

-Batangas -- 3,819

-Calapan -- 1,610

-Lucena -- 608

-Mamburao -- 14

Coast Guard District Western Visayas recorded 8,516 and these can be broken down into:

-Iloilo -- 4,774

-Bacolod -- 252

-Caticlan -- 3,490

Coast Guard District Southeastern Mindanao reported 1,942 departures and all of these are from Davao.

While Coast Guard District Bicol recorded 361 and all of these from Sorsogon.

Coast Guard District Northern Mindanao reported 3,012 departures and these can be broken down into:

-Cagayan De Oro -- 1,178

-Surigao -- 121

-Iligan -- 565

-Butuan -- 136

-Ozamiz -- 1,012

While Coast Guard District Eastern Visayas recorded 1,020 and these are from:

-Catbalogan -- 424

-Ormoc -- 390

-Maasin -- 206.

Cebu's second oldest church gets makeover

By Garry B. Lao (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu's second oldest church, the St. Catherine of Alexandria Church in Carcar City, is undergoing repair in order to preserve its historical, cultural and religious value.

Fr. Brian Chavez Brigoli, the parish priest who is leading the retablo restoration, said the purpose of renovation is "to bring back the original fabric elements of the old church and to stop the retardation that may cause further deterioration of the elements."

The church's retablo, admired for its Greco-Roman design, consists of three elements. These include the niches, the tabernacle and the iconographies.

The niches refer to the semi-arch places where the statues of the saints are enshrined. The tabernacle is the repository of the blessed sacrament after the mass while the iconographies refer to the signs and symbols of faith.

Some examples of iconographies are the sun and the moon "which portray the sovereignty of the power almighty of God," and the figures placed side by side of the sun and the moon symbolize the authority of the Church.

"It is the altar piece, a backdrop behind the altar table. We are not making new elements of the church but we are restoring the original elements of it," Brigoli said.

Brigoli said they are expecting to finish the restoration by the end of June. The work started early this year with estimated cost pegged at P1.2 million.

City Information Officer Candice Acuña said the project is being supported by Carcaranon families, including those who are not even living in Carcar. Support comes in the form of monetary donations and pledges.

However, Acuña said the primary source of funds is parishioners' donations, as well as donations from the chapel base, with each chapel giving their weekly contribution to the church.

"Wala ta mangayo og funding sa laing mga lugar nga dili sakop sa Carcar kay tungod makaya ra nato diri sa Carcar nga suportaan ang maong proyekto," she said.

The church was built by the Augustinians between 1860 to 1875. The architecture of the church features various influences, particularly of Greco-Roman and Islamic cultures.

The ceilings were painted by local artists in the early 1900s. The structures are likewise admired for its Byzantine architecture, Greco-Roman altar and twin-bell towers having a minaret shape.

Its columns are accentuated by life-sized statues of the twelve apostles.

Carcar City celebrates its annual fiesta celebration in honor of St. Catherine every November 25.

Buses asked to prioritize PWDs, elderly and pregnant women

By Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon with Juliet C. Cardente, CNU Intern, GMR (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Provincial Board has urged the Land Transportation Office and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to enforce seat preference to senior citizens, persons with disabilities and pregnant women during Lenten trips.

Contained in an approved resolution sponsored by PB Member Miguel Antonio Magpale, the request came out in anticipation of the influx of passengers going to provinces starting today.

Magpale’s resolution also reminded bus public utility drivers to put the safety of the passengers as their main priority.

The PB also urged LTO and LTFRB to strictly enforce regulations in relation to the over speeding and overloading as some drivers would take the chance to have a bigger income and have more trips.

The LTFRB-7 and LTO-7 have jointly conducted yesterday a joint inspection of buses at the Cebu south and north bus terminals.

LTFRB-7 regional director Ahmed Cuizon said that during their inspection, one bus was found to be dilapidated and no longer allowed to travel.

Cuizon said other minor violations were noted such as non-posting of signages.

“Kay minor violations ra man, they are still allowed to travel. But the operators were given summons to appear at our office after the Holy Week, to see if these minor violations were already corrected,” Cuizon said.

During the inspection, neither colorum bus nor mini-bus was found, said Cuizon.

Cuizon reported 100 special permits for bus and mini-bus so far were issued by his office while 60 were issued to public utility jeepneys.

The special permits are issued to public utility vehicles who wish to travel outside their regular route during the Holy Week.

To get a special permit, one has to pay P130 per unit which is good for three days while a payment of P260 per unit for six days.

Cuizon said the LTFRB-7 is also putting up help desk at these terminals to issue special permits on-site.

Cebu ports, bus terminals ready for influx of passengers for Holy Week


CEBU CITY, April 15 (PNA) -- Cebu’s ports and bus terminals are now ready for the influx of passengers going to their hometowns for the Holy Week celebration.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said he has directed Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) administrator Vicente Dejoras to take the necessary measures, including security at the terminal.

Davide said the number of passengers at the CSBT is expected to swell by Wednesday morning or afternoon.

The number of passengers started to increase the CSBT Monday and Tuesday, said Julieto Flores, spokesperson of Cebu Provincial Bus Operators Association and Cebu South Mini-bus Operators Association.

Flores said they expect the influx of passengers starting Wednesday.

Davide is also set to inspect the province-owned terminal on that day.

Officials of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 will also inspect bus terminals to make sure buses are in good running condition and are roadworthy.

The LTFRB 7 and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 will also put up passengers help desks at different bus and jeepney terminals.

Earlier, transport officials said they will make sure colorum buses will not take advantage of the influx of passengers.

Flores also assured they have enough buses and minibuses to ferry passengers.

The Cebu Port Authority (CPA) is also doing preparations to secure passengers going to other provinces.

“We are ready with the influx of passengers as well as our security measures are already in place,” said CPA spokesperson Yusuf Uckung.

Uckung said they have already put up help desk to ensure that passenger’s complaints or concerned are immediately attended to.

Uckung said the a team composed of personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine National Police-Maritime and other law enforcement agencies is likewise ready to look after overloaded vessels.

Cebu water firm readies water sources to counter El Niño

By Phoebe Jen Indino

CEBU CITY, Cebu- The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) is advising the public to brace for high temperatures this summer and to prepare for the effects of the El Niño phenomenon that is expected to hit the country by mid-year.

Because of the hot weather, MCWD said its water production may decrease by about 10,000 cubic meters a day. MCWD is urging the public to conserve water and to stock up during off-peak hours or at times when fewer people use water.

MCWD’s daily production of 206,000 cubic meters may lower significantly by the middle of the year as El Niño happens, said MCWD production and distribution department manager Astrophel Logarta. The 10,000-cubic meter volume deficit was also MCWD’s average daily deficit in water production when the country experienced El Niño in 2010.

But Logarta assured that only the Buhisan Dam and Jaclupan Weir will be affected by the dry spell and that about 95 percent of MCWD’s water comes from groundwater sources.

The 102-year-old Buhisan Dam in Cebu City is MCWD’s only surface water source. It produces about 10,000 cubic meters of water a day during the rainy season while the Jaclupan Weir in Talisay City, on the other hand, has an average yield of 30,000 cubic meters of water a day and is considered surface water-dependent.

To counter the effects of El Nino, MCWD is working on three wells, one in Canduman, Mandaue City, another one in Barangay Guadalupe and one in Barangay Camputhaw near the University of San Carlos North Campus, both in Cebu City. The wells, which should be ready in July, have a combined volume of around 2,500 cubic meters of water per day.

MCWD also expects additional 18,000 cubic meter water from the Cebu Provincial Government and the Cebu Manila Water Development Inc. The additional supply will serve consumers in northern Cebu, specifically Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, part of Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City.

Moreover, MCWD is also rehabilitating a reservoir in Cebu Business Park which was turned over to the water district several years back but was not utilized. MCWD distribution division manager Edgar Ortega said the reservoir can store some 3,000 cubic meters of water. It will be filled during nighttime and the water will be distributed in the morning.

LTFRB 7 to inspect buses, subject drivers to random drug tests as part of 'Oplan Biyahe'


CEBU CITY, April 13 (PNA) -- The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 will start inspecting buses on Monday in line with the "Oplan Exodus Ligtas Biyahe 2014" of the Department of Transportation and Communications during the Holy Week.

LTFRB 7 Director Ahmed Cuizon said this is intended to ensure that buses plying in the different routes are road- worthy.

Cuizon said the inspection will also be made to ensure no "colorum" buses will take advantage of the season because of the expected influx of passengers during the Holy Week.

Bus drivers and conductors will likewise be subjected to random drug testing, he added.

Cuizon said the LTFRB 7 will issue special permits to allow buses to operate out of their regular routes.

Joint help desks of the LTFRB 7 and Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 will be put up in selected bus terminals to assist passengers, issue special permits, and inspect road-worthiness and franchises.

Earlier, regional police officials have also assured that it’s all systems go and security measures are now in place in Cebu province for the Holy Week.

Cebu’s natural wonders: Rein in summer spending with budget-friendly trips

By Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - While taking summer trips could sound so pricey, the province of Cebu actually has a lot of wonderful nature attractions that are budget-friendly and perfect summer itinerary for the locals or even foreign tourists who want to keep their summer spending at bay.

Having only enough to spend is not a problem as there are vacation places--resorts, falls, springs and parks for outdoor activites--in the city and province of Cebu that cater to tourists.

Some of these nature’s places are newly discovered while others are starting to make a name in the tourism industry and to grab the awareness not just of the locals but the foreign visitors as well.

While people have the freedom to go to their favorite destinations this season, several families, friends, organization members and even neighbors look somewhere to enjoy the summer’s atmosphere on a tight budget.

Cheap fun

Find the cheap place and never fail to enjoy the outing, this according to Gelbolingo family who recently visited the famous Obong Cold Spring in the town of Dalaguete.

At the South Bus Terminal, there are two routes for the buses: Oslob and Carcar (both pass by Dalaguete). The fare is just P95 per head.

With 20 people comprising of family members, friends and neighbors, Gelbolingo family in the town of Argao only spent more or less P2, 200 for transportation, food, cottage and entrance fee.

The entrance fee to the spring is only P5 and the rental fee for its cottage costs P150: “Low cost gyod siya kay una ang bayad pa lang sa pagsud barato na unya mag-enjoy gyod ka, di ka magmahay,” said Sunshine Gelbolingo, who is based in the city.

Obong is a fresh water spring located near the sea and is now deemed as Dalaguete’s pride and has been included in the destination list of Suroy-Suroy Sugbo, the provincial government’s tourism advocacy program.

“I would say it was inexpensive fun,” Gelbolingo shared. “I guess what truly matters is you are with your family. The place is just secondary.”

The FREEMAN has compiled some of the low cost summer getaway destinations in Cebu specifically for the local tourism market:

1. Obong Spring. Located in the southernmost part of the town of Dalaguete, the cold spring has been a chosen trip destination for most domestic tourists who are looking for an inexpensive summer getaway. The entrance fee is obviously low: P5 for adult and P2 for kids under 10. The huge 400-year-old dalakit tree makes the atmosphere in the spring very cool amid the sunny, hot days.

Quick facts: Dalaguete is known as the “Vegetable Basket of Cebu” because the town’s foggy hillsides are right for growing healthy greens. Tons of fresh vegetables are harvested in Dalaguete’s farms everyday and transported to Cebu City’s Carbon Market.

2. Island in the Sky. People can actually escape the sweltering heat this summer by going to the mountainous part of Cebu like the Gaas in the town of Balamban, known for its chilly uptown barangays. This is where the other Queen City of the South’s “Little Baguio” is located--the Island in the Sky resort. Entrance fee to the mountain resort is P60 for adults and P25 for children.

“The cool weather is the best thing the place can offer,” said Kulet Estrella, one of the resort investment assistants. “This is God-given place although part of it is also man-made.”

Guests can enjoy various outdoor activities such as the cable car which is close to 400 meters long and costs P150 per ride. Visitors can also experience the cold pool for P50. The place can be reached by riding a Van-for-hire from JY Square in Lahug heading to the topmost Trancentral Highway of barangay Gaas; the ride would only cost P60.

“The temperature here is 8 to 10 degrees lower than in the city,” Estrella told The FREEMAN. “You can fully see the whole city, you can’t see that in other places.”

3. Adventure Café. Aside from the food it offers, this café also offers zipline ride which costs only P150; wall climb is P100; and stress wall activity (where a person throws and breaks plates to relieve anger and stress) is P25 per plate.

Rodrigo Manrique, the zipline’s officer in charge, said if an individual rides twice, the second ride would only cost P100, giving their customers a discount.

4. Tumalog Falls. Considered to be a newly discovered eco-tourism destination in the town of Oslob. Also called as “Toslob Falls” or “Mag-ambak Falls”, the Tumalog falls are visited by more and more local and foreign tourists because of its primeval look and, of course, the cheap entrance fee: P20.

Mother and daughter Ting and Bea Gomez, 19, recently visited the must-see nature attraction spending only a practical amount of money but was able to enjoy the beauty of nature.

The road going to the falls is just along the highway. So from the main road, the mother and daughter rode a habal-habal for only P30 heading to the topmost parking area and took a 5-minute walk down to the hidden paradise.

5. HK Resort. It is located in the municipality of Moalboal in the southwest coast of the province of Cebu. The public white sand resort’s entrance fee is only P25. But the resort’s caretaker Jhoey Abella said if a group or family rents a cottage which costs P600, the entrance fee is already free.

6. Tubod Flowing Water Resort. This has been a regular summer stop for most local tourists because of its budget-friendly amenities fee and the “pang-masa” trademark, said 37-year-old Mary Joy Bienes, Tubod’s senior receptionist. Located in Minglanilla, Cebu, Tubod resort’s entrance fee is reasonably affordable to the mid-earners: P120 for adults and P60 for kids. Aside from enjoying the pool, visitors can also roam around the resort’s Bird Sanctuary to see for themselves the different indigenous birds in the Philippines.

Different leisure activities can also be done inside the resort such as basketball, billiard and videoke. It offers 20% discounts for senior citizen clients.

Apart from these spots, the province of Cebu still has a lot of nature offerings waiting to be discovered.

Mactan airport officials assure passengers of safety


CEBU CITY, April 11 (PNA) -- Officials of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) have assured passengers preparations are in place to ensure their safety and convenience at the airport during the Holy Week.

MCIAA general manager Engr. Nigel Paul Villarete said every Holy Week, the airport has its own preparations in coordination with other law enforcement agencies.

But Villarete said they did not expect a huge volume of passengers at the airport during the Holy Week because most people travel by bus or passenger vessels to their hometowns and nearby provinces.

Villarete said June and July are the peak months in passenger volume at the Mactan airport.

Villarete said the airport is always prepared and ready to assure the public of its "good services."

Airport police and aviation police personnel have been mobilized to secure the airport and the passengers, Villarete said.

Earlier, the Department of Transportation and Communication announced it will establish an assistance center in all airports, ports and bus terminals to address the problems and concerns of passengers.

The DOTC is also closely coordinating with ship owners, bus operators and airline operators.

Bayani Challenge launched in Bantayan Island

(PIA Cebu)

CEBU CITY, April 10 (PIA) --- This year’s volunteerism event, Bayani Challenge, kicked off in Cebu province at the three storm-hit towns in Bantayan Island.

Launching ceremonies were held yesterday starting at the town of Sta. Fe, then Madridejos, and Bantayan.

According to Patrick Doromal of Gawad Kalinga (GK) Cebu, the first batch of the targeted 200 houses will be built in Bantayan and Madridejos towns.

Under the Bayani Challenge, Bantayan and Madridejos will benefit from the house build projects while in Sta. Fe, volunteers will work on repairing and repainting the schools.

Madridejos Mayor Sally de la Fuente said the 100 houses in their town will be built in Brgy. Tugas.

There are around 600 volunteers from Madridejos joining the Bayani Challenge this year, the mayor said.

For Bantayan town, around 1,000 volunteers have signed up for the challenge, according to Bantayan Public Information Officer Ricky Derecho.

Derecho said the volunteers are from 25 villages and six private organizations in Bantayan.

Simultaneous with the house build in Sitio Combado, Brgy. Ticad in Bantayan town is the coastal clean-up in 13 villages and Paraisong Pambata activity in Brgy. Mamacayao.

Volunteers will also refurbish the classrooms for school children aged 5 to 7 years old in Brgy. Liparan and Brgy. Doong, he added.

Spearheaded by Gawad Kalinga, the Bayani Challenge started in 2006 with the goal of “building relationships, bringing out the hero in everyone and raising resources and results for the poor that can only be achieved by working together.”

This year’s Bayani Challenge runs from April 9 to June 12 and aims to gather one million volunteers in 12 provinces nationwide to help in the rebuilding efforts for calamity-hit communities.

Doromal said they continue to invite Cebuanos to join the volunteerism event in the next few weeks in the identified local government units in Cebu province.

“Continuing ang registration until the very last week,” he said.

Disaster-prone areas go through seminars

By Juffer Denn Bornales and Lara Praz Mayol, CNU Comm Interns (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Talisay City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management headed the supervision of seminars among some barangays which were identified as flood and landslide prone areas.

The barangays of Camp 4, Candulawan, Jaclupan, Lagtang, Lawaan III, Manipis and Tapul are recognized as the areas vulnerable to landslides while Biasong, Candulawan, Dumlog, Lawaan II and III, Linao, San Isidro, Tanke, San Roque, Lagtang, Pooc and Tapul are susceptible to floods.

So far, they have conducted seminars in the barangays of San Isidro, Cansojong and Manipis since the city’s program has just started. Other barangays are expected to follow suit in the next days.

Vencie Monterde, disaster and risk reduction management officer, warned the residents of these barangays to be vigilant to disasters.

Monterde said the seminar aims to raise awareness about the disaster reduction system for the public to be prepared for the upcoming natural calamities.

Meanwhile, the City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management had already acquired relief goods from the Department of Social Welfare and Development in preparation for the Typhoon Domeng.

Schools, covered courts and barangay halls, which are possible evacuation sites, have already been made ready.

City of Naga launches development program

By Garry B. Lao (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - City of Naga, known to be the industrial hub in southern Cebu because of its vital industries, will be launching its newest program in pursuit of making the young industrial city an ideal place to live, work and do business with.

Garry Cabotaje, the city information officer, said the new program dubbed as Naga Akong Garbo (NAGa) will be launched this morning at Enan Chiong Activity Center.

Cabotaje said the NAGa program is a sub-project of the Our Cebu Program, formerly known as the expanded Green and Wholesome Environment that Nurtures of the Cebu Provincial Government, which inked a partnership with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.

As an integrated and holistic program of the city government, it provides a blueprint for effective and efficient implementation of its long-term goals for sustainable development, officials said in a statement.

Cabotaje also said the primary objective is to continue and improve the delivery of basic services to its constituents through the implementation of effective socio-economic and infrastructure projects; proper management of its natural and man-made resources; maintenance peace and order and strengthening ties with various government agencies and private sectors.

Among the highlights of the activity is the audio-video presentation of the NAGa Program to give the visiting guests led by Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III a glimpse of what the project is all about and its impact to the community.

A commitment building will follow wherein all the stakeholders headed by Mayor Valdemar Chiong will place their bare hands with water-based paint against the wall as a sign of their pledge to support the program.

Winning bidder in P17.5B Mactan airport expansion taps world-renowned Cebuano designer


CEBU CITY, April 7 (PNA) -- Megawide-GMR consortium, winner of the P17.5-billion Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) expansion project, has tapped world-renowned Cebuano designer Kenneth Cobonpue to design the airport’s new terminal.

Cobonpue said he had been approached by representatives of Filipino-owned Megawide Construction Corp. and Bangalore-based GMR Airports and made initial discussions on the new terminal.

Conbonpue said he was aware of the delays in the bidding for the project.

“I told them (GMR-Megawide officials) to come back to me after the project has been awarded to them,” Cobonpue said.

Megawide-GMR consortium won Friday the Mactan airport deal after posting the highest bid of P14.4 billion.

Cobonpue, along with designer Budji Layug and architect Royal Pineda, designed a rehabilitation plan for the more than 30-year-old Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 for free.

Their offer, however, was turned down by government officials.

The three made the offer after the NAIA Terminal 1 topped the list of a travel website’s world’s lousiest airports to sleep in 2012.

The airport also appeared in similar lists in 2013.

Louie Ferrer, Megawide chief marketing officer, earlier said they aim to start construction in the early part of 2015, as the terms of reference set that the new terminal should be delivered within 36 months.

But even before the consortium was awarded the project, its officials said they have been meeting with private stakeholders to make the MCIA expansion project a collaborative effort with inputs from Cebuanos.

Cebu business leaders happy with airport deal

By Aileen Garcia-Yap

BUSINESS leaders in Cebu were pleased with the announcement of the awarding of the contract for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport expansion project to the Megawide-GMR consortium.

“We’re happy that they finally made a decision. Finally, we can move forward and reap the benefits sooner,” said Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Philip N. Tan.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry past president Prudencio Gesta said this was a welcome development since the company has complied with all requirements of the bidding committee and submitted the best offer fair and square.

“With this development, GMR can immediately start the project which has been delayed for months. We are optimistic that the completion of this project will improve the volume of tourist arrivals to Cebu and the whole country in general, not to mention many investment opportunities that can be derived for having a world class airport,” said Gesta.

Cebu Business Club president Gordon Alan Joseph said this development will boost the country’s credibility before international investors.

“It had to be resolved otherwise it would send the wrong signals to investors about the Philippine investment climate. I do hope too that the winning consortium lives up to everyone’s expectations,” said Joseph.

“This is long overdue and really good news! This will also send a positive signal to our future investors that our country honors private and public partnership. Now we are really moving on,” said MCCI board member Carmel de Pio Salvador.

CCCI past president Lito Maderazo said he hopes DOTC will stand by its decision and move forward with the project as soon as possible. European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines board member Sabino Dapat agred.

“There is a process that is followed with all transparency and it is upheld. I think it is a good example that we, in Cebu, are fair and can be trusted by Foreign Direct Investors.”

Jay Aldeguer , president and CEO of the Islands Group of Companies expressed relief.

“Everyone was a bit jittery especially with a lot of the PPPs placed on hold. I’m happy that they have finally made a decision so that we can move forward. This is something really positive for Cebu,” said Aldeguer.

Cebu’s top 10 pasalubongs: Summer tourist influx spells profit for local entrepreneurs

By Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - As Cebu braces for the influx of tourists this summer season, local entrepreneurs likewise prepare themselves as souvenir and pasalubong items in Cebu has been an essential part of the travel experience among local and foreign tourists, promoting the diverse mix of locally-made products and helping entrepreneurs and the local economy.

The spending potential of local residents and travelers has improved the businesses of local designers and exporters of delicacies, fashion accessories, souvenir items, guitars among others.

Known for being the tourists’ preferred place for vacation, Cebu also has a lot of locally-made souvenirs, export and delicacy products to offer to both local and foreign visitors. be and p for local and foreign tourists who are visiting Cebu a g 30% are items that come from other regions in the o

These pasalubong or homecoming gifts are available in many parts of the city and province of Cebu. These areas include the Taboan Market, Tabo sa Banay, Lapu-Lapu Shrine, grocery and department stores and many other souvenir and delicacy stores.

One-stop souvenir store

The One Town One Product Store Tindahang Pinoy in Mandaue City’s Bridges Town Square displays and sells a wide variety of Philippine export quality products to domestic buyers and tourists.

It offers pasalubong items such as native delicacies, wicker and coco products, fashion accessories, capiz shell decors, hand-painted linens, handicraft and many more.

Cebu Gifts, Toys and Housewares Foundation (Cebu-GHT), Inc. manages the store which is a project the Department of Trade and Industry.

The Tindahang Pinoy helps small entrepreneurs and established exporters showcase their food and non-food products to the tourism market, said Dr. Elias G. Tecson, DTI region 7’s chief on Business Development Division.

Products made in Central Visayas make up the 70% share in the store and the remaining 30% are items that come from the other regions in the country.

Tecson said they are closely working with tour guide operators and local tourism promoters to make TP a regular stop for bus tours.

“It’s an automatic stop for local and foreign tourists who are visiting Cebu,” the chief said.

Meanwhile, Tecson is calling on more small entrepreneurs to join this year’s Sandugo Trade Fair in July in Bohol.

The fair aims to enhance the competitiveness of local manufacturers of delicacies and other OTOP products.

“That’s why we continue to conduct labeling and packaging development training to manufacturers to better improve their products,” Tecson said. “How can we promote our products if we don’t improve it?”

July is the month for micro, small and medium enterprises.

The FREEMAN has compliled the top pasabulong and souvenir products in Cebu:

1. Dried mango and Otap. The two and other known Cebu delicacies are still the top pasalubong choices among out-of-town travelers and even locals, Tecson said. “Number one gihapon ang food products nato,” he said. “Our delicacies are really unique and in-demand to tourists.”

2. Other delicacies. Other in-demand Cebu products include Rosquillos, Chicharon, Mazareal and Torta. Each municipality and city in Cebu has its OTOP product. For instance, Argao’s One Town One Product is the famous Torta with Tuba.

3. Danggit and other dried seafoods. The Taboan Market in Cebu City sell different types of buwad or dried seafoods which are mostly bought in bulk. This flea market offers the cheapest prices of the famous danggit, buwad pinikas, squid and a lot more to dried fish retailers and domestic visitors. These are also available at delicacy sections in many grocery stores but are priced relatively higher.

4. Wicker products. Wicker includes a variety of grasses, vines and other plants that are woven into baskets, chairs, tables and other furnitures. OTOP Store Sales Clerk Gema Paras, 39, said wicker-made baskets are one of the saleable non-food items in the shop. These baskets, she said, come from the different parts of Cebu province and other provinces in the region.

5. Guitars. Cebu has been known for its finest guitar industry, producing instruments of world class quality. Aside from Lapu-Lapu Shrine, Cebu guitars and ukuleles are also sold in the city’s Carbon Market stores. A guitar sells at P800, the cheapest.

6. Fashion accessories. Accessories include bracelets, necklaces, rings, earings, anklets among others. Gema said locals prefer buying native accessory items because of the affordability. The items sell at P20 - P500, depending on the design and size.

7. I Love Cebu T-shirts. Souvenir t-shirts are not only available in pasalubong centers but also in shopping malls and other retail stores, answering to the demand among Cebuanos and foreigners.

Other shops allow customers to personalize the design printing their names on the shirt. The famous line, “I Love Cebu” has evolved into a promotional tagline for Cebu.

8. Keychains and ref magnets. Gema of OTOP Store said the guitar and “I Love Cebu” keychains are the most saleable and attractive to visitors, saying these serve as keepsakes to them for having visited the “Queen City of the South.” Other keychains are printed with photos of the famous beaches and tourist spots in Cebu and other provinces in the Visayas.

9. Handicrafts. Craftsmen from different parts of Cebu province are exibiting and selling their hand-made items in Tindahang Pinoy, showcasing their customary creativity and skill.

Sales Clerk Gema revealed to The Freeman that the OTOP Store get a lot of orders from abroad on their various native products such as hand-painted linens, capiz shell decors, wrought iron furnitures and accessory boxes. These products are made from bamboo, shell, vines, fiber and other indigenous materials.

10. Miniature figurines. Figurines of jeepneys, traditional ice cream pushcarts, dolphin, and bangka are the best sellers in TP. Most of these miniatures are manufactured from barangay Mabolo in Cebu City.

MCWD earmarks P2B for business expansion

By Jessa J. Agua/JMD (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - With the aim of serving its target consumer better, the Metropolitan Cebu Water District has allocated an estimated P 1.91 billion for its expansion and distribution improvement projects in the eight local government units within its service area.

This is in line with the water district’s mandate to serve more businesses and communities in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay and the municipalities of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela and Cordova.

To ensure local government support for the projects that will benefit their constituents, MCWD will conduct a meeting with the mayors of each LGU about the water district’s infrastructure projects this year and in the next seven years.

“We want to support the growth of these LGUs and of Metro Cebu as a whole. As responsible water utility, we want to ensure that we can serve the demand and that there will be a stable supply of affordable, safe and potable water in Metro Cebu,” said MCWD General Manager Armando Paredes.

MCWD is currently producing around 200,000 cubic meters of water per day but is only serving around 43 percent of the total water demand in its service area.

The total water demand is projected to increase to 416, 000 cubic meters per day in the year 2020.

The water district is working to meet this demand by sourcing different additional sustainable supply.

One of which is the bulk water supply project of the Cebu Provincial Government and the Cebu Manila Water Development Inc. which will bring in additional 18,000 cubic meters of water per day by July this year. The volume will increase to 35,000 cubic meters per day in the second year up to the 25th year, which is the duration of the contract.

This additional supply will not only answer the supply gap but will also mark MCWD’s shift to surface water sourcing, which is more environmentally friendly than groundwater extraction.

To prepare for the incoming supply, MCWD will have to implement the P1.91-billion expansion and distribution improvement projects in its service area.

The implementation of these projects is expected to affect traffic flow in the northern part of Metro Cebu.

MCWD is appealing to motorists and the public for their patience and understanding for the inconvenience these will cause.

The same expansion project was recently presented to Liloan mayor Duke Frasco.

Capitol set to hire medical specialists

By Michael H. Braga (BANAT NEWS, The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - In line with its thrust to upgrade health facilities, the Cebu provincial government is now eyeing to enter contracts of consultancy with medical diplomats who would be assigned to different provincial and district hospitals.

Capitol would be hiring medical specialists in the field of obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery, internal medicine and pediatrics.

Provincial Board Member Grecilda Sanchez is sponsoring a resolution authorizing Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III to enter into and sign contract of consultancy with medical diplomats.

She said that this would give convenience to the patients since those who live in far flung areas would no longer have to go to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

“This would really save time ug mo-minus pod ang makalas nga kinabuhi kay tungod sa byahe nga layo pa… We slowly arm our hospitals. We are starting to decongest the influx of patients sa Sotto,” she added.

Davide said the province aims to improve the provincial government-run hospitals to at least level one since these are still in the primary care level.

There are 16 government-run hospitals in Cebu province.

The province is putting Carcar Provincial Hospital, district hospitals in Tuburan, Badian and Danao on the priority list this year.

He admitted though the provincial and district hospitals have their own operating rooms, but they don’t have surgeons.

Under the existing laws and orders, level one hospitals are required to have medicals specialists in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, General Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Davide earlier announced the province already set aside budget for the hiring of medical personnel and for the upgrading of operating rooms including the P6-million purchase of X-ray machines.

To develop local manufacturing CCCI eyeing DOST programs

By Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry plans to tap the support technologies and programs available specifically from the Department of Science and Technology and other government agencies to perk up the local manufacturing sector.

CCCI president Ma. Teresa Chan said that while services and remittances from the Overseas Filipino Workers continue to fuel the economy, there is a need to support the local manufacturing sector to grow the other side of the economy.

"There are a lot of government programs that the private sector is unaware of. DOST for example has several programs that would support the local manufacturing industry," said Chan.

She added that the Regional Development Council has a lot of good plans and proposed programs that the government can act upon and this has to be presented by the private sector in full scale.

"We really have to develop our local manufacturing sector. This is also to help push the inclusive growth that our government is trying to achieve," she added.

Chan mentioned the development of women entrepreneurship that needs serious attention, and the private sector like the Chamber could start an advocacy and hopefully eventually gain support from bigger institutions like the government and also other international non-governmental organizations that share the same advocacy.

Cottage and micro industries including those that are run by women, are one of the few sectors that the chamber is going to pursue under Chan's leadership.

Meanwhile, in an earlier interview with National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general Arsenio M. Balisacan, the said that the government is now bent on developing the local manufacturing sector, aside from attracting big-ticket foreign manufacturing investors.

In the last few year, when the Aquino administration started is thrust to promote inclusive growth, Balisacan said manufacturing investments have started to move up from both local and foreign capitalists.

"The revival of manufacturing is vital," said Balisacan adding that the government is now updating the Philippines Economic Development Program to prioritize six blue-collar generating industries such as agri-business, manufacturing, tourism, construction, logistics, as well as Information Technology.

The revival of attracting manufacturing investments to the Philippines is deemed crucial to balance the economic expansion, enabling the poor to participate in the growth process, he said.

Asian Development Bank senior country economist Norio Usui said, “now is the time for the Philippines to translate economic growth benefits down to the ordinary people if the country wants to take the right road to inclusive growth."

Cebu to host 23rd World Economic Forum’s Ocean 14 segment on May 23-25


CEBU CITY, April 1 (PNA) -- Cebu will host the Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions 2014 (Ocean 14) segment of the 23rd World Economic Forum (WEF) on May 23 to 25 at the Movenpick Resort in Lapu-Lapu City.

The WEF East Asia Regional Summit will be held in Manila for the first time on May 21 to 23.

The Ocean 14 is an extension to the WEF summit, which will gather 200 top decision makers and shapers in the world.

The summit is intended to open up stronger collaboration between private and public sectors with the unified goal to promote development, networking, and essentially to make the world "a better place" to live amid the challenging issues it faces.

The new champions of the WEF, a community that includes the Young Global Leaders, Global Shapers, Schwab Social Entrepreneurs in the Philippines, officially launched the three-day event Monday.

"To further fuel the momentum, Ocean 14 aims to develop a framework for creating Innovation Zones, that promote a new class of businesses," said Winston Damarillo, Ocean summit chairman.

Damarillo, who is also a Young Global Leader and owner of one of the successful innovation companies in the Philippines serving the global clientele, said the summit will give an opportunity for Cebu and the Philippines to showcase its world-class leaders, as well as innovations.

"Designed for start-ups and entrepreneurs working on high risk, high reward ventures, Innovation Zones will build on best practices and encourage innovation," Damarillo said.

He said Ocean 14 aims to convene the New Champions through leaders and Filipino change-makers in Cebu for three days of networking, dialogue on social and economic development.

Damarillo said those attending will discuss where the Philippine economy is now and what the future holds.

More than 200 leaders from the government, including YGL and senators Bam Aquino and Chiz Escudero, business, academe, and arts and culture will share strategies and solutions for promoting social economic progress as the Philippines prepares for Asean integration next year.

"The World Economic forum is one of the most influential non-profit organizations in the world and its a rare opportunity for the Philippines to host it. Its an honor for our foreign counterparts to experience Cebu and see a mix of the best-- from beaches to creative minds," said YGL and broadcaster Karen Davila.

The WEF, which gained strong international exposures such as running stories in CNN and other distinguished and top rated international media organizations, is also on its way to officially form the Global Shapers Cebu Hub and appointed Cebuano entrepreneur Jay Aldeguer as the founding curator.

Ocean will feature keynotes such as Asean Social Enterprise and Igniting the Innovation Initiatives via private-public partnerships, a range of interactive break-out sessions with themes around sustainable social initiatives, design thinking and solutions, and enabling a digitally-enabled economy, fireside chats, among other events.