Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Cebu News Digest: Jan. 26, 2015: Fire destroys 7 Danao City offices; Archbishop Palma tells PNoy to move on; more traffic experiments in Cebu City ahead

Fire destroyed the old City Hall building in Danao City on Saturday, gutting 7 government offices and causing an estimated P6.19 million in damages. Witnesses told investigators they heard an…

Fire destroyed the old City Hall building in Danao City on Saturday, gutting 7 government offices and causing an estimated P6.19 million in damages. Witnesses told investigators they heard an explosion at the 2nd floor of the building before fire broke out.

Meanwhile, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma advised President Benigno Aquino III to “move forward” rather than linger on the past – the alleged crimes of the previous administration. Palma issued the statement after that stinging statement by President Aquino when Pope Francis visited Malacañang.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for today, January 26, 2015.

DANAO FIRE. Fire investigators reported the damage caused by the fire Saturday night at P6.19 million. (Photo by Lesley Caminade-Vestil of TV 5)

DANAO FIRE. Fire investigators reported the damage caused by the fire Saturday night at P6.19 million. (Photo by Lesley Caminade-Vestil of TV 5)

Fire destroys 7 Danao City offices; damage estimated at P6.19 million

A fire gutted 7 Danao City Government offices and the town’s police station at 9 p.m. Saturday in Barangay Poblacion, Danao City.

Senior Fire Officer 2 Eduardo Rizaldo said the alarm went out at 9:10 p.m. and the fire was placed under control 30 minutes after they arrived although it took them until past 4 a.m. to put it out completely. An investigator said witnesses reported an explosion at the second floor of the old Danao City Hall building after which smoke was seen rising out of the Parole and Probation Office, with fire quickly spreading throughout the building.

The fire destroyed the building where the offices of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Parole, Senior Citizens Office and Public Employment Service Office are located.

Move on, Archbishop Palma advises President Aquino

“Move forward,” rather than linger on alleged crimes committed by the previous administration, that was the advice of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma to President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday.

During Pope Francis’s visit to Malacañang on January 16, Aquino accused the local clergy of falling silent in face of the alleged anomalies of the Arrroyo Administration.

Archbishop Palma told reporters that contrary to what Aquino said, the Church has always observed “critical collaboration” with the National Government, even during the nine-year Arroyo administration.

“With all the inspiring moves made by the Holy Father, why do we have to linger or always go back to the past?” — Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma

“Each person is entitled to his perceptions, but if we look at it, it might be good to look at the present and to look forward rather than be stuck in the past.” — Palma

Citom asks public: Be prepared for more traffic experiments ahead

Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) Executive Director Victor Caindec said they will implement more traffic experiments on congestion-prone roads in the coming days

“We’re looking at Escario and there is an ongoing discussion with the private sector on how are we going to deal with it,” Caindec said.

He said traffic experiments implemented in Fuente Osmeña and on Gen. Maxilom Ave. will continue because they need more time to observe if these worked.

January 26, Cebu front pages

FRONT PAGES. Today’s front pages of Sun.Star Cebu and Cebu Daily News. (Note: front page image of The Freeman not available online)

Freedom fighter Dodong Holganza passes away

Former political detainee Jose Ribomapil “Dodong” Holganza Sr. has passed away. He died Sunday in Chong Hua Hospital after suffering a stroke. Holganza fought against the Marcos dictatorship and was detained for it. He later served various government positions.

“Mobarog, dili mahadlok mobarog.” — Cebu City market administrator and Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement chief Raquel Arce on Dodong Holganza, who was one of her wedding sponsors and whom she looked up to as an idol

Other to Cebu news stories

Sun.Star Cebu: 19 projects of Cebu towns to be funded by Capitol’s 20% development fund approved

The Freeman: Random drug tests for Cebu City high school students to start in June

The Freeman: Proposed rules on class suspensions in Cebu City schools ready; under proposal: suspension should be based on situation in area where school is located

Sun.Star Cebu: P90-million church with design inspired by St. John Paul II to rise in Barangay Pulangbato, Cebu City

Sun.Star Cebu: Veco gets provisional okay from ERC to collect P78 million it spent for underground cabling project in Capitol from its consumers

Cebu Business headlines

Sun.Star Cebu: 2014 year of rehabilitation; 2015 year to be competitive, says Department of Trade and Industry

Sun.Star Cebu: Human Nature to open 6 new branches throughout the country in 1st quarter

The Freeman: Vegetable prices in Cebu up by P10

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Cebu News Digest: Jan. 24, 2015: Rama threatens to close SRP to vehicle traffic; Sinulog 2016 street parties to be spread out in other cities

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is all over the news today: threatening to close the south coastal road if traffic measures to prevent accidents are not in place; threatening to…

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is all over the news today: threatening to close the south coastal road if traffic measures to prevent accidents are not in place; threatening to bar vehicles from Talisay City from passing the SRP if the city does not allow Cebu City to dump garbage there; proposing other LGUs to host street parties for a mega-Sinulog next year.

Meanwhile, are you still reading this on a laptop or PC? We invite you to try it out on your phone. We made sure this site works well on your phone so that you can start your day with coffee and a rundown of the top Cebu news stories on your phone or tablet (just as your parents started their day reading newspapers during breakfast). Bookmark www.mycebu.ph on your phone’s browser. Our app is still coming.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for today, January 24, 2015:

SRP road

SRP ROAD. Mayor Michael Rama has threated to close SRP to vehicle traffic unless safety measures are put in place.

Mayor Rama threatens to close SRP to vehicle traffic unless steps are taken to prevent accidents

After the spate of accidents in the Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR) in the South Road Properties (SRP), Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has threatened to close the road network.
Rama said that unless the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Cebu City and South Road Properties Management Office (SRPMO) implement 5 road safety measures today, he would close the CSCR.

The measures are:

  • Cutting speed limit to 40 kilometers per hour from 60 kph
  • Putting up road safety signs
  • Deployment of traffic personnel 24/7
  • More street lights
  • More speed control measures like rumble stripes, road markings with reflectors and flashing caution lights

“Motorists are ordered to maintain caution by reducing their speed limit. Those who will drive beyond the required limit will be apprehended. Motorists shall also be mindful of the new road signs and observe them with due diligence.” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama

“Ang kuwang ra man gyud diha is disiplina. All the measures the City will take will be useless if the drivers do not cooperate. We need their cooperation.” — Citom traffic operations division chief Joy Tumulak

Accidents increasing (based on Citom records)

  • 199 in 2010
  • 256 in 2011
  • 272 in 2012
  • 280 in 2013

5 accident-prone areas:

  • Cebu City-Talisay City boundary
  • L. Pardo junction
  • Sugbo Building intersection
  • Mambaling junction
  • Ludo Bridge

Sun.Star Cebu: ‘Fix it or I close it’
The Freeman: Rama closing SRP to traffic if…

Rama wants to make Sinulog ‘mega-event,’ spread out street parties to Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Talisay, Minglanilla, Consolaction

Mayor Michael Rama wants next year’s Sinulog to become a “mega event” that will go beyond Cebu City. Rama is encouraging the cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Talisay and the towns of Minglanilla and Consolacion to organize their own street parties and gimmicks.

“Ang ending, you shared the benefits with other LGUs, reduce the burden and you make everybody happy during the Mega Sinulog 2016.” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, overall chairman of the Sinulog Foundation Inc.

Rama said the Sinulog next year should be “extraordinary” because Cebu will be hosting the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016 and Pope Francis has been invited to it.

“Sinulog 2016 must be an extraordinary Sinulog, therefore it must be extra-ordinarily prepared anticipating for the arrival of VIPs and sister cities’ representatives around the globe.” — Mayor Michael Rama

Note: We are asking readers to send in suggestions to make next year’s Sinulog better. Feel free to add your suggestions in the post here: MyView: Did we party too hard during Sinulog? What should City Hall do in Sinulog 2016?

Mayor Rama press conference

PRESS CONFERENCE. Mayor Michael Rama answers questions of reporters during a press conference. (Photo from the Cebu City PIO Facebook page)

Rama threatens to bar Talisay City from passing SRP if Cebu City is not allowed to dump garbage in Talisay

Mayor Michael Rama yesterday threatened Talisay City he will close the South Road Properties to vehicle traffic from Talisay if officials will not allow Cebu City to dump its garbage in Talisay.

Talisay City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes has allowed Cebu City to dump its garbage in Talisay’s dumpsite but the City Council, which is dominated by the mayor’s political opponents, has questioned the move as being disastrous to the city’s environment.

“It would be against the interest of the people of Talisay if we allow others to also dump in our landfill.” — Talisay Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante

Rama said he will settle the issue with the Talisay City officials. De los Reyes said Cebu City will pay Talisay P700 per ton of garbage and with this fee, he estimates the city could earn millions in just a month.

“Importante mag-estorya. Kun kontra nila si JVR ayaw lang kontraha ang mayor sa Sugbo ug ayaw gahi og ulo kay kun kamo ang mohangyo nako basi di ko mosugot ug ipasirado nako ang SRP, Mambaling nalang makaagi.” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama

Cebu News

BANNER NEWS. Today’s front pages of Sun.Star Cebu and Cebu Daily News.

Other top Cebu news stories

Sun.Star Cebu: Hubo or ritual changing of the clothes of the Sto. Niño marks end of Sinulog festivities

Sun.Star Cebu: Congress has until February 20 to postpone SK elections

The Freeman: Suspect in killing lending collector in Argao arrested in KTV bar in Carcar, less than 24 hours after robbery and killing

The Freeman: LTFRB submits recommendation on petition for taxi fare rollback

The Freeman: Suroy-Suroy Sugbo participants praise tourism event; Aguinid falls on the spotlight

The Freeman: Danao City Government gets disaster information system from Smart Communications

Danao Infoboard system

COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM. The Danao City Government and Smart Communications, Inc. launched the city’s Infoboard system on Friday, January 23. Infoboard is an emergency and disaster management system that allows government officials to quickly send vital messages and information to citizens and disaster responders. Shown in photo are Danao City Vice Mayor Ramon “Red” Durano VI and Atty. Maria Jane C. Paredes, Smart senior manager for public affairs Visayas and Mindanao. (Photo taken from the Facebook page of Atty. Paredes, reprinted with permission)

Cebu Business Headlines

Sun.Star Cebu: 3.4 million tourists visited Central Visayas from January to November 2014, 200,000 more than same period in previous year

Sun.Star Cebu: 47 of 116 towns in Central Visayas lack banks, according to central bank

The Freeman: Regional Development Council asks local governments to support agri development plans

Commentary

The Freeman: Cebu City imploding with unsolvable problems

The offer of Talisay City to allow Cebu City to dispose of some of its garbage in its garbage dump illustrates yet one more problem that Cebu City should have long ago found a remedy for. We say remedy because solutions have simply become too hard to come by these days. Like the problem with traffic and flooding, the problem with garbage is not something that cropped up only yesterday.

And that is just about garbage. Up to this time, the city sinks in the rain because it still is in the dark on how to cope with floods. And when it is not drowning, it is getting choked in traffic. Everyday. There is not a day that passes that it does not choke in traffic. And like every other problem, Cebu City does not know how to deal with it. And when it does not have a problem, it goes looking for one — like promising to gift everyone with money it does not have. Sick!

Read the full editorial.

Bong Wenceslao asks: Where’s the new CCMC

I thought that with the City Government soliciting the help of the people in building the new CCMC, it would repay the help by speeding up work on the project and regularly updating them on the work’s progress. But city officials have been silent for months now like nothing happened. Will we ever see any movement in the old CCM site, which has already been fenced shut?

I have already said this before. The Rama administration has a penchant for starting many projects and not following up on them. For example, it has torn down the old CitiCenter building in Kamagayan with a promise to build a structure for City Hall employees there. What we see in the area now is a parking area and a small karnabal.

Read the full column

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Cebu News Digest: Jan. 23, 2015: Bobit Avila: Stop those photos giving Sinulog a bad image; husband accuses Mandaue City Hospital of killing wife by giving wrong medication

The Freeman columnist Bobit Avila called us out today and asked for people to stop the photos that are giving Sinulog a bad image (more about it and our response…

The Freeman columnist Bobit Avila called us out today and asked for people to stop the photos that are giving Sinulog a bad image (more about it and our response below). Meanwhile, an overseas Filipino worker accused doctors and nurses of the Mandaue City Hospital of causing his wife’s death by giving her wrong medication.

Meanwhile, are you still reading this on a laptop or desktop, we invite you to read MyCebu.ph on your phone. We made sure the site looks good and functions well on mobile devices. You can then start your day by browsing the top Cebu news stories on the phone while taking your morning coffee.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for January 23, 2015:

The Freeman columnist Bobit Avila calls out: Stop those photos giving Sinulog a bad image

Bobit Avila said in his column today that the photos of drunks lying around are giving a “a huge negative impact on our well-loved Sinulog Festival.”

What has gone viral in the social media networks being spread by MyCebu.Ph in the aftermath of the Sinulog Festival, which was never heard of in previous Sinulog events are the photographs of dead drunk revelers lying on the pavement asleep. Those photos were taken from the Baseline Residences and in Century Plaza Complex and I’m sure there were many other poor stoned drunks lying around elsewhere.

I suggested that the police round up all the drunks after the Sinulog Festival so photos like what we saw on Facebook wouldn’t give the Sinulog Festival a bad image. I’m all ears on what solutions the Sinulog Foundation can cough up. But one thing is sure, we cannot allow the status quo to remain.

Sinulog after party

RAISING CONCERNS. People sleeping on pavements after a night of heavy after-Sinulog partying has raised concerns among local residents over the safety of the revelers. The Freeman columnist Bobit Avila, however, said the photos are giving a bad image to Sinulog and should be stopped. (Photo by Dr. Kristina Dosdos, reprinted with permission)

This writer’s note: We have reached out to Bobit and invited him to read the actual post, what is being spread (albeit admittedly along with the photos that come with the article) is the call for people to pitch in with ideas, suggestions and feedback on how we can make next year’s Sinulog even better.

We are compiling the suggestions and have reached out to Mayor Michael Rama’s office. We will be printing it out and submitting it to him. We will then check, once in a while, what the City intends to do next year.

Cebu City Treasurer: Impossible to meet P5 billion tax target

Cebu City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas said it is impossible for them to meet the P5-billion revenue target set by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama for this month. Cuevas said that as of January 21, 2015, they were able to collect only P500 million at the one-stop shop in SM City Cebu. Cuevas said she reported it to the mayor and he was okay with it.

MPTC to help rehabilitate whole stretch of Guadalupe River as part of preparation for 3rd Mactan bridge

The Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) has agreeed to help undertake the rehabilitation and beautification of the Guadalupe river in preparation for the building of a 3rd bridge to connect mainland Cebu to Mactan Island.

MPTC will build the bridge after its proposal was approved by Mayor Michael Rama. Officials, led by president and chief executive officer Ramoncito Fernandez, met with Rama at City Hall yesterday.

Fernandez said they will take charge of the master plan for the river development. He also said they will start the project as soon as possible.

Overseas worker blames Mandaue City Hospital for wife’s death

Cesar Coliflores, who works as a driver in Saudi Arabia, accused the Mandaue City Hospital of giving wrong medication to his wife, Jocelyn, and causing her death last January 2. He said he will file charges against the hospital’s doctors and nurses.

Jocelyn had sought treatment for recurring fever. She later died from, “probable ruptured cerebral aneurysm,” according to the hospital’s death certificate.

But the autopsy report, according to the Sun.Star Cebu story, said Jocelyn died of “sudden cardiac arrest” and “left ventricular hypertrophy.” Coliflores got the report from the Philippine National Police Regional Crime Laboratory Office-Central Visayas.

The hospital chief said they are investigating the case but said the hospital did not commit mistakes.

“There’s nothing to complain and worry about because, on our part, we did our best. We did the right thing on the patient.” — Dr. Ma. Lourdes Espinoza, Mandaue City Hospital chief

Sun.Star Cebu: Husband goes after hospital for wife’s death

Other top Cebu news stories

Cebu Business Headlines

 

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Global Voices Summit in Cebu to tackle citizen media, freedom of information, Internet activism, other issues

Some of the latest issues on citizen media, freedom of information, digital security, indigenous languages and multilingualism online, and internet activism will be tackled in a two-day international summit initiated…

Some of the latest issues on citizen media, freedom of information, digital security, indigenous languages and multilingualism online, and internet activism will be tackled in a two-day international summit initiated by Global Voices in Cebu City.

The Global Voices Citizen Media Summit, to be held from January 24-25, 2015 at the Cebu Provincial Capitol, will coincide with the organization’s 10th anniversary.

Global Voices is an international citizen media network founded in 2004 at the Harvard University.

Over a hundred international bloggers, citizen media advocates, and tech experts from over 60 countries across the globe will gather for the event, which will highlight talks, panels, and workshops on the relations between open Internet and social movements around the world.

Global Voices organizers at the Cebu Provincial Capitol. (From the Global Voices Storify Feed)

Global Voices organizers at the Cebu Provincial Capitol. (From the Global Voices Storify Feed)

Leading the summit discussions are Global Voices co-founders Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon. Zuckerman is also director of MIT’s Center for Civic Media while MacKinnon is the author of the book Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom.

On the first day of the summit, London-based Media Legal Defense Initiative legal director Nani Jansen will talk about protecting the open internet against government policies and corporate practice that endanger Internet users’ rights of free expression and privacy.

There will be a session on Freedom of Information Laws featuring experts led by Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) Executive Director Malou Mangahas. They will share their first-hand experience in the use of these laws to bring about greater transparency and accountability.

Also scheduled is a panel on how Filipino Citizen Media have been used in mobilizing street protests and coordinating disaster relief and response efforts along with the barriers they face relating to cost and quality of internet connection to online regulations.

The second day of the summit will train the spotlight on indigenous language digital activism, including a session on Filipino Indigenous Languages in Citizen Media. It will explore the ways indigenous languages are being promoted online.

jan22-global-voices-banner

Other panel discussions would touch on digital security and privacy, online censorship and freedom of speech worldwide, and a roundup of the Magna Carta of Internet users from all over the world.

Like the past Global Voices summits in the UK, India, Hungary, Chile and Kenya, the Global Voices Media Summit 2015 promises to be a productive site for inspiring fresh ideas, sharing experiences, and forging cross-border collaborations.

Members of the public can register to attend the event at http://summit2015.globalvoicesonline.org. The cost of admission for the two days is PHP 2,000 for Filipino residents, with a special student rate of PHP 1,000.

The Global Voices Summit 2015 is sponsored by the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Google, the Province of Cebu, Knight Foundation, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Sun.Star Publishing, Open Society Foundations, Yahoo, and PRWorks.

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Cebu News Digest: Jan. 22, 2015: Hooliganism ‘big blackeye’ for Sinulog; proposal seeks to require Cebu companies to hire senior citizens, Cebu students top dentistry board

Sinulog has both a religious and festive component. This year, however, its festive side was marred by reports of what The Freeman has now described as “hooliganism.” We are gathering…

Sinulog has both a religious and festive component. This year, however, its festive side was marred by reports of what The Freeman has now described as “hooliganism.”

We are gathering suggestions and feedback from people on how to make next year’s Sinulog, including the street parties, better, more fun and safer for everyone: pilgrims, partygoers, bystanders and passers-by. If you want to join the discussion, head off to MyView: Did we party too hard during Sinulog? What should City Hall do in Sinulog 2016?

Are you still reading this on a laptop or PC? We’d like to invite you to try it out on the phone. Make sure to bookmark MyCebu.ph on your phone’s browser. We are still working on our app.

Meanwhile, 3 students from Cebu, including 1 who nearly fell asleep because she did not drink coffee, topped the Dentistry Board Exam. At City Hall, Mayor Michael Rama disapproved a City Council resolution for the purchase of 80 garbage trucks for all of the city’s barangays.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for January 22, 2015:

DAMAGED. A MyCebu.ph FB community member submitted this photo saying this car was damaged amid the rowdy Sinulog revelry. We have not, however, been able to independently confirm its veracity.

DAMAGED. A MyCebu.ph FB community member submitted this photo saying this car was damaged amid the rowdy Sinulog revelry. We have not, however, been able to independently confirm its veracity.

The Freeman: Rise of hooliganism “a big blackeye for the Sinulog and Cebu City”

The Freeman says in its editorial today that hooliganism, criminal violence linked to football abroad, is “creeping inexorably” to the festival.

One of the cars trashed during the Sinulog. (Photo by Mike Limpag)

One of the cars trashed during the Sinulog in 2014. (Photo by Mike Limpag)

Here are a few examples. On Ramon Aboitiz Street near the Redemptorist Church, an unattended car parked in a commercial complex suffered a damaged roof and a broken windshield because drunk hooligans jumped on it and used the vehicle as a dance floor to an after-Sinulog party that was going on.

Is this what the Sinulog has become? Is this what the Sinulog is all about? Is this the picture of Cebu City we want to project to others? Many of those in the cars and taxis caught in these roads of hell and other places like them were visitors.

We agree that drinking cannot be removed from the picture because that is part of what a fiesta is all about. But the city government, as overall host of the event, cannot shirk from its responsibility of protecting everyone.

It will be another year before the next Sinulog but now is a good time to start preparing for the other aspects needed for success that were clearly overlooked this time

Among the paper’s suggestions: make sure all roads are open after the parade and patrols to implement this.

Read the full editorial: A big blackeye for the Sinulog and Cebu City

Sinulog after party

RAISING CONCERNS. People sleeping on pavements after a night of heavy after-Sinulog partying has raised concerns among local residents over the safety of the revelers. (Photo by Dr. Kristina Dosdos, reprinted with permission)

What’s you take? What do you suggest? Join our discussion in this article.

1 SWU student, 2 from CDU top Dentistry Board Exams

They are: Faye Jennifer Cabrera of Southwestern University (SWU), who placed 3rd; Cristy Allysa Almonte, of Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU) who ranked 7th; Rose Elaine Li of CDU who was at 10th place.

Almonte, according to the Sun.Star Cebu story, almost fell asleep while taking the exam because her friends told her not to take coffee.

Almonte is from Oroquieta City in Misamis Occidental. She is the daughter of a doctor working for the City Government and a dentist.

Cristy Almonte

7TH PLACER. Cristy Allysa Almonte. (Photo taken from FB profile)

“I have seen their hard work and I wanted to make it all worth it in the end.” — Dentistry Board 7th placer Cristy Allysa Almonte talking about her parents.

Councilor Carillo proposes requiring companies in Cebu to hire senior citizens

For every 10 workers, a Cebu City company should have 1 senior citizens, Cebu City Councilor Gerardo Carillo proposed in an ordinance.

Sun.Star Cebu said a national law already provides incentives to companies that hire senior citizens. Carillo, however, wants to make this a requirement for companies in Cebu City.

His proposal: 10 percent of a company’s labor force should be allotted to senior citizens.

“It is common knowledge that some members of this sector are still physically and mentally capable to perform tasks that some young adults perform. Most of the members of this sector are still willing to work if given the opportunity by the business sector.” — Councilor Gerardo Carillo

“It is a good ordinance if you think of it, but is it practical in all kinds of businesses?” — Cebu City Councilor Margarita Osmeña, asking if it would cover all kinds of businesses, including karaoke bars and massage parlors.

But during discussions at the City Council yesterday, Carillo apparently offered to change the resolution and make it voluntary after hearing the views of various industry and sector representatives.

Other top Cebu news stories

Cebu Business Headlines

 

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Cebu News Digest: Jan. 21, 2015: Talisay Mayor JVR, council face off over budget; Cebu City struggles with garbage collection; Fuente parking rules changed

With elections just a year away, political posturing has started in Talisay with Mayor Johnny delos Reyes accusing the City Council of trying to sabotage his administration by cutting his…

With elections just a year away, political posturing has started in Talisay with Mayor Johnny delos Reyes accusing the City Council of trying to sabotage his administration by cutting his P1-billion budget by almost half.

In Cebu City, delays in garbage collections have worsened after the closure of the Inayawan sanitary landfill. The problem has been exacerbated by the lack of garbage trucks, bad roads and the heavy traffic from Cebu City to Consolacion, said a top official.

Meanwhile, if you’re still reading this on a laptop of PC, we invite you to try viewing it on the phone. We made sure this site works well on the phone. Bookmark www.mycebu.ph on your phone’s browser so you can open it first thing in the morning to get a rundown of the day’s top Cebu news stories.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for January 21, 2015:

Mayor Johnny de los Reyes

Talisay Mayor Johnny de los Reyes. (Photo taken from Talisay PIO Facebook page)

Talisay Mayor de los Reyes vetoes budget approved by City Council; Council ready to override mayor’s veto

Talisay City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes said it is his duty to veto the P539 million budget approved by the City Council. De los Reyes had proposed a P1-billion budget. He said Talisay deserved better services

De los Reyes told reporters the City Council “committed acts beyond its powers” when it cut the proposed P1.081 billion to just P539.941 million.

“As father of the City it is my duty to show the council that it has done the wrong thing so I will veto the budget.” — Talisay City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes, as quoted in Sun.Star Cebu

De los Reyes accused the council, including former political ally Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante, of trying to sabotage his administration.

Villarente, however, said they cut appropriations that the mayor’s office could not properly explain. He asked the mayor to “stop misleading” Talisay residents.

“When we called several department heads to discuss further the lump sum, other maintenance and operating expenses and special activities, they couldn’t give us a sufficient explanation that’s why the council slashed the budget.” — Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante, as quoted in Sun.Star Cebu

Council members are ready to override the mayor’s veto. The council is dominated by the opposition Alayon Party of former mayor Eddie Gullas, with 7 members. However, 2 of de los Reyes’ allies, Councilors Danilo Caballero and Aldin Diaz, will support overriding the veto. That leaves, according to The Freeman, only 2 councilors to support Mayor de los Reyes.

The issue could drag on as Talisay City Legal Officer Alfredo Sipalay said that if the council overrides the mayor’s veto, de los Reyes can either raise the issue to the Cebu Provincial Board or the courts.

 

Garbage collection problem in Cebu City worsens with Inayawan closure

The problem on garbage collection in the south district of Cebu City has worsened with the closure of the Inayawan sanitary landfill.

When before barangay garbage trucks only had to bring their collection to Inayawan, they now have travel about 12 kilometers north to Consolacion to dump it in a private landfill.

Association of Barangay Councils president and Tisa barangay captain Phillip Zafra said barangays from the south district are struggling with garbage collection. The problem is exacerbated by the lack of garbage trucks, bad roads and heavy traffic to Consolacion.

“The landfill is just too far and the roads going there are in bad condition, so even the garbage trucks that are able to run eventually conk out. Also, the traffic going to Consolacion is very heavy. Our garbage trucks can barely make two trips in a day, that’s why we cannot avoid delays in the collection of the garbage.” — Association of Barangay Councils president P.

As solution, the barangays will ask the City Government to look for a private landfill closer to them, in Talisay City or Minglanilla.

Parking in Fuente to follow procedures in Mactan Airport

City traffic officials are changing the parking procedures at the Fuente Osmeña area to follow the procedure being implemented at the Mactan airport.

“Starting today, only diagonal parking will be allowed on a designated parking bay across the Rajah Park Hotel and nearby establishments. The outermost lane, the lane beside the sidewalk, will strictly be a no-parking lane to make way for vehicles that will drive by to drop off or pick up passengers.” Sun.Star Cebu explained the changed procedures in its report.

The change comes a week after they modified parking and stopping rules in the area to address congestion.

“The parking scheme in Fuente starting today will be exactly like what is being implemented at the Mactan airport… All the vehicles will have to park diagonally, with the nose (of the car) going in first.” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama

Rama warned traffic enforcers will be strictly monitoring the area and arresting erring drivers.

“We need to ensure a continuous traffic flow there because Gen. Maxilom and the Fuente Osmeña circle area is a vital road network that leads to hospitals. You cannot count the number of ambulances that pass that area every day.” — Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) Executive Director Victor Caindec

Low oil prices will not last; save more, expand investments

PRICES of oil products will not stay low and people should take advantage of its current level by saving more, accelerating loan payments or expanding investments.

Department of Energy (DOE) energy industry management division chief Saul Gonzales says prices will likely increase again later this year.

“People should not spend too much of whatever savings they get out of the cheap fuel because this is temporary,” Gonzales said.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Teresa Chan said the public “should take advantage of the cheap fuel by increasing savings, pre-terminating loans or accelerating payments, or expanding investments,” Sun.Star Cebu said in its news report.

This week, prices of oil were cut again by P1.25 per liter for gasoline and P1.45 per liter for diesel.

Maritime Industry Authority 7 Director Nanette Villamor-Dinopol said some shipping companies in Cebu have decided to adjust freight and passenger rates.

Other top stories:

Commentary

Sun.Star Cebu Editorial: ‘Be quiet’

“But here’s one more thing the Pope can teach all of us: that a truth is more potent when well-timed. And that sometimes the best thing to do, when all one wants to do is grumble, is to be quiet.”

The Freeman editorial: The trash comes with the territory

Don’t just bitch about the trash…

“What we should be bitching about is the unruliness of the crowds in the streets in the after-Sinulog parties. Where are the policemen, barangay tanods and other peace-keepers when they are needed to control those who take over the streets and prevent vehicles from moving forward, blocking their way and terrorizing their occupants by banging on the sides or jumping on them and rocking them, spraying them with beer or worse, spray-painting them.”

Bobby Nalzaro asks: Did Bebot Abellanosa use the Sinulog for politics?

A tarpaulin with photos of Bebot covered the float with the markings: “Abellana National School contingent is sponsored and powered by ACT.” How come his photos were displayed in the float when ACT was the sponsor? The emcee, Sam Costanilla, also kept mentioning his name. Is that allowed now by the Sinulog Foundation? I am afraid that next year’s Sinulog will banner politicians’ names and photos considering that it’s an election year.

Cebu Business Headlines

Don’t just depend on EU-GSP+, focus on quality of products to do well in the European market, exporters told

“The EU-GSP+ is just gravy on the steak. Ultimately, it is the quality that will determine your marketability. While we can take advantage of these preferential trading agreements. We should not put all our eggs in there.” Export Development Bureau Director Senen Perlada

More opportunities open for Filipinos to work, live in Canada

New immigration policies will allow more Filipinos to work in Canada, according to Cebu-based via consultancy PinoyCare Visa Center. Canada has expanded its skill categories to 2,000. The country has also offered an Express Entry option “designed to get people with the skills to succeed in Canada’s economy faster than ever.”

With Express Entry, applications by skilled workers to move to Canada is done within 6 months or less.

 

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Cebu News Digest: Jan. 20, 2015: Will Pope Francis come to Cebu next year?

AFTER a rapturous welcome by millions of Filipinos, Pope Francis left the country yesterday “feeling the warmth” of the bastion of Christianity in Asia. While many in Cebu who had…

AFTER a rapturous welcome by millions of Filipinos, Pope Francis left the country yesterday “feeling the warmth” of the bastion of Christianity in Asia. While many in Cebu who had hoped the popular pontiff would drop by were disappointed, there are talks the pope will be here for an important Church conference next year.

Despite a campaign for a zero-waste Sinulog, 197 tons of garbage were collected after this year’s festivity, more than what was gathered last year.

Meanwhile, are you still reading this news summary on a PC or laptop? We’d like to invite you to try viewing it on a phone. We made sure this site works well on a phone. You can then start your day right by opening www.mycebu.ph on your phone to get a rundown of the day’s top Cebu news and read our other stories.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for January 20, 2015:

Pope Francis invited to Cebu for International Eucharistic Congress in 2016

Philippine church officials are hoping Pope Francis will return to the country to attend the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) that will be held in Cebu in January next year. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said they are hoping the Pope would come and that he would bring the invitation up again when he meets him in Rome next month.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, according to a Cebu Daily News report, “draws hope from hints from the Vatican that Pope Francis is interested to attend the conference in Cebu.”

WILL POPE VISIT CEBU NEXT YEAR? Pope Francis looks to the crowd sending him off at the Villamor Airbase before entering the plane that took him to Rome yesterday. Local Church officials are hoping that the Pope will return to the country next year to attend the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu in January. (Malacañang Photo)

WILL POPE VISIT CEBU NEXT YEAR? Pope Francis looks to the crowd sending him off at the Villamor Airbase before entering the plane that took him to Rome yesterday. Local Church officials are hoping that the Pope will return to the country next year to attend the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu in January. (Malacañang Photo)

“I told him to visit the Philippines during the IEC and the Holy Father told me: ‘Pray that I’m still alive by that time and that I still have enough strength (to travel). I couldn’t help but laugh at his remark.” — Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma on a conversation with the Pope before his recent visit to the country.

The IEC 2016 was originally scheduled in May but moved to January 25 to 31 since the Pope’s schedule was full in May.

“Kung pupunta siya, wow, salamat. Pero sa ngayon, gusto ng Santo Papa na bumalik muna sa Roma para makapaghinga.” — Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

“I am very optimistic nga moari siya sa 2016, judging from the people nga misugat niya ug katong mitambong sa kaihokan sa Manila… We should pray nga mobalik siya.” — Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III.

“I know that popes do not attend the IEC. In all the IECs that I have attended from India, Europe, Poland to Rome, to America, there’s no attendance of a pope, only a representative.” — Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, who said he would love to personally invite the Pope here.

“While it is true that popes do not normally come to the IEC, IEC 2016 in Cebu merits a special consideration.” — Cebu Archdiocese media liaison officer Msgr. Joseph Tan, pointing out that Pope Francis is known as the “Pope of Surprises”

Huge Sinulog crowd overwhelms police, volunteers; 197 tons of trash gathered after Grand Parade

Crowd control has always been a key challenge of the Sinulog Grand Parade. This year, the huge turnout overwhelmed police and volunteers.

“We managed the crowd in the morning but at 2:30 p.m., they grew in number so we were overwhelmed. Some people who crossed the pedestrian crossing zones spilled over to the carousel route since they cannot head to the provided exit due to lack of space.” — Tinago Barangay Captain Joel Garganera, Sinulog crowd control committee head

The city designated 26 pedestrian zones to allow people to cross the carousel route without disturbing contingents joining the grand parade.

“At 4 p.m., the crowd was already unmanageable along Mango Avenue where house music was already blaring near the carousel route and people just wanted to be festive and dance.” — Joel Garganera

Acting Cebu City police chief Senior Supt. Conrad Capa suggested that the number of police personnel be doubled to better manage the crowd.

“Though some of the zones became ineffective, I would like to commend the officers who served as human barricades since they never lost their temper despite the heat.” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

Despite a Zero-Waste Sinulog campaign, revelers left 197 tons of garbage on the city’s streets, more than the 170 tons collected last year.

It took 1,000 workers, 13 garbage trucks and 11 hours to clear the streets of trash, a City Hall official said.

“Bisan pag butangan og trash bin ang carousel route, way control ang mga tawo. Wa sad mi control sa mga tawo.” — Department of Public Services chief Rolando Ardosa. (Even if we placed trash bins along the carousel route, people showed no control. And we couldn’t control them either)

Other Sinulog stories:

“The crowd in Manila is expecting more from Sinulog every year, that’s why we have to make sure that our representative can maintain the standard.” — Sinulog Foundation Inc. executive director Ricky Ballesteros

Meanwhile…

Were you among the 700 issued with citation for throwing trash, urinating in public etc? City Hall said you better settle that fine to avoid getting issued a warrant of arrest. Read The Freeman’s story here.

“Mas nindot kun i-settle dayon na nila para wala nay problema. Kun walay ikabayad, puwede ra mag-community service. Mas dali kun i-settle kaysa makasohan nato sila.” — Cebu City Environmental Sanitation Enforcement Team Chief Grace Luardo

Cebu Business Headlines

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Cebu News Digest: Jan. 19, 2015: Pope calls on Filipinos to be ‘outstanding missionaries of faith in Asia;’ P1.25/liter oil price rollback today; Abuyog, Placer top Sinulog Grand Parade; no classes in Cebu today

An estimated 6 million to 7 million people attended the mass in Luneta yesterday, possibly the biggest papal crowd in history, Vatican officials said. Pope Francis is scheduled to leave…

An estimated 6 million to 7 million people attended the mass in Luneta yesterday, possibly the biggest papal crowd in history, Vatican officials said. Pope Francis is scheduled to leave the Philippines today following a visit that saw millions warmly welcoming the popular pontiff.

Late last night, organizers announced that Kulturang Placereño won the Sinulog-based category while Tribu Buyoganon of Abuyog, Leyte topped the free interpretation category.

Here are the top stories today, January 19, 2015:

Be outstanding missionaries of faith, Pope Francis tells 6M to 7M people gathered in Luneta

Pope Francis called for the protection of children and of the family in a mass at the Luneta that was attended by what the Vatican described as the biggest papal gathering in history.

“In these days, throughout my visit, I have listened to you sing the song: “We are all God’s children.” That is what the Santo Niño tells us. He reminds us of our deepest identity. All of us are God’s children, members of God’s family. Today Saint Paul has told us that in Christ we have become God’s adopted children, brothers and sisters in Christ. This is who we are. This is our identity. We saw a beautiful expression of this when Filipinos rallied around our brothers and sisters affected by the typhoon,” the Pope said.

PAPAL SELFIE. Pope Francis lets a woman later reported by a TV station as having kidney disease take a selfie with him. (Malacañang photo)

PAPAL SELFIE. Pope Francis lets a woman later reported by a TV station as having kidney disease take a selfie with him. (Malacañang photo)

Here are some of the things Pope Francis said during his mass in Luneta yesterday and an earlier event with the youth in the University of Santo Tomas.

Filipinos are called to be outstanding missionaries of the faith in Asia.

Certain realities of life we only see through eyes cleansed by our tears. I invite each one here to ask yourself: have I learned how to weep? Have I learned how to weep for the emarginated or for a street child who has a drug problem or for an abused child?

The great question of why so many children suffer, she did this in tears. The response that we can make today is: let us really learn how to weep.

Today, with so many means of communication we are overloaded with information. Is that bad? No. It is good and can help. But there is a real danger of living in a way that we accumulate information. We have so much information but maybe we don’t know what to do with that information.

To be wise use three languages: think well, feel well and do well. And to be wise allow yourselves to be surprised by the love of God. That will guarantee a good life.

DEVOTION. The Pilgrim Center at the Basilica del Santo Niño is the center of the devotion to the Holy Child. (Photo by Ted Espinueva)

DEVOTION. The Pilgrim Center at the Basilica del Santo Niño is the center of the devotion to the Holy Child. (Photo by Ted Espinueva)

Abuyog, Placer win in Sinulog grand parade; 2.5 million attend event; no classes today

Kulturang Placereño and the Tribu Buyoganon from Abuyog, Leyte topped this year’s Sinulog grand showdown. Although much of the country’s focus was on Pope Francis in Manila, the Sinulog still drew a sizeable crowd estimated by police at 2.5 million, albeit lower than last year’s 3.2 million.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has ordered no classes today in both public elementary and high schools in Cebu City. He also encouraged private schools not to hold classes.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III also suspended classes in all levels, including tertiary, today. For private schools, it will be at the discretion of each school. Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes has also declared no classes in all public school levels today.

Here are the winners of the Sinulog Grand Showdown:

Sinulog-based category

Champion: Kulturang Placereño
2nd place: Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe, Tangub City
3rd place: Carcar City Division
4th place: Tuburan National High School
5th place: Talisay City Central School

Best in Costume: Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe
Best in Musicality: Carcar City Division

Free Interpretation category

Champion: Tribu Buyoganon, Abuyog, Leyte
2nd place: Tribu Lingganay, Alang-Alang, Leyte
3rd place: Tribu Himag-ulaw, Placer, Masbate
4th place: Catbalogan City, Samar
5th place: Lumad Basakanon

Best in Costume: Tribu Lingganay, Alang-Alang, Leyte
Best in Musicality: Tribu Buyoganon, Abuyog, Leyte

Street Dancing

Champion: Lumad Basakanon, Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City
2nd place: Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe, Tangub City
3rd place: Kulturang Placereño, Placer, Masbate
4th place: Tribu Buyoganon, Abuyog, Leyte
5th place: Tribu Lingganay, Alang-Alang, Leyte

P1.25 per liter cut in gas prices expected today

Petron Corporation, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC), Seaoil Philippines Inc., PTT Philippines, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines and Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI) will roll back prices by more than a peso today, according to a report by the Philippine News Agency.

All 6 companies will cut gasoline prices by P1.25 per liter and its various diesel brands by P1.45 per liter. Kerosen products will also be P1.25 per liter cheaper.
The companies said the price cuts mirrors the plunge in oil prices in the international market. (From a PNA report)

Other top stories:

Cebu Business Headlines

 

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Cebu News Digest: Jan. 16, 2015: Pope Francis arrives in the Philippines; commemorative papal coins out; Sibonga steel bridge opens

Pope Francis arrived to a massive Filipino welcome yesterday. People lined up the streets to catch a glimpse of him as he rode on his popemobile from the Villamor Air…

Pope Francis arrived to a massive Filipino welcome yesterday. People lined up the streets to catch a glimpse of him as he rode on his popemobile from the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City to the Apostolic Nunciature on Quirino Ave.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, meanwhile, has issued P50 and P500 commemorative papal coins.

Here are the top news stories for today, Jan. 16, 2015:

Pope Francis arrives in the Philippines

Pope Francis arrived in the largest Roman Catholic country in Asia and third largest in the world for a five-day apostolic visit yesterday afternoon. Estimates of the crowd that welcomed him varied from 1 million to 3 million, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Church bells tolled throughout the country to welcome the widely popular leader of the Catholic Church.

Seconds after Pope Francis appeared at the top of the plane’s steps, a gust of wind blew away his papal skullcap. He smiled and descended the steps, without his hat.

ROCKSTAR POPE. Pope Francis smiles at the huge crowd thatl ined up to welcome him. (Philippine News Agency photo)

ROCK STAR POPE. The widely popular Pope Francis smiles at the huge crowd that lined up to welcome him. (Philippine News Agency photo)

The pope was welcomed by President Benigno Aquino III, Vice President Jejomar Binay and top Cabinet officials. He was then brought on his popemobile to the Apostolic Nunciature on Quirino Ave., passing streets lined with people.

“The visit comes at that point when people would really be helped by a moral and spiritual boost coming from someone who really cares.” — Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

AFP prepares contingency plan if Pope makes a detour to Cebu

The weather bureau said Tropical Storm Amang would either make landfall in Legazpi City or in Eastern Visayas. Al Quiblat of Pag-asa Mactan said that if Amang makes landfall in Legaspi City, Tacloban and Cebu will be hardly affected.

Officials fear the storm will jeopardize Pope Francis’s visit in Tacloban tomorrow. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said Cebu is ready if Pope Francis decides to drop by.

The Central Command of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), meanwhile, has made preparations for the possibility Pope Francis would be diverted to Cebu by the storm.

“We have a contingency plan.” — Lt. Gen. Nicanor Vivar, commander of Centcom.

Papal coins out

Photo taken from the BSP website.

Photo taken from the BSP website.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will issue limited edition P50 and P500 papal coins to honor Pope Francis’s visit to the country.

The P50 coin for Pope Francis is made of nickel brass and will be sold for P100. The P500 coin is made of Nordic gold with gold plating. The coins can be ordered through the BSP website. Those who want to reserve coins can download forms from the site and email these to the BSP. Reservation will be accepted only until the end of June 2015.

“Both P50 and P500 coins are legal tender and will be sold for P100 and P1,000, respectively, to cover production, packaging and other costs. The coins are minted under a licensing agreement with the Vatican.” — Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Sun.Star Cebu: Papal coins out

Other papal visit stories

Meanwhile…

Sun.Star Cebu: Sinulog Mobile Guide released for free download
(Disclosure: this is our project)

Temporary steel bridge in Sibonga scheduled to open today

Buses and other vehicles can now take their normal route going south with the opening of the temporary steel bridge in Dumlog, Sibonga at 3 p.m. today. The bridge has two lanes and a capacity of 20 tons.

The approach of the Dumlog Bridge, which connects Argao and Sibonga, collapsed after flash floods caused by tropical storm Seniang.

Other stories

“This year is a functional, operational, confrontation, conflicting, implementing, creating and integrating of projects and programs for our administration.” — Mayor Michael Rama as quoted by The Freeman.

“Ang akong pag-veto is justifiable. Fair lang siguro sa akoa kay klaro man gyud kaayo ang ilang paglaslas sa akoang budget. Sobra pa man sa katunga ang paglaslas sa akoang budget.” — Mayor Johnny de los Reyes

Business headlines

Parting shot…

We published a food feature on the native dishes served in Marco Polo’s Sugbusog 2015. Do check it out: From humba to kan-on mais and saang, Cafe Marco buffet features Cebuano fiesta fare in Sugbusog 2015

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Cebu News Digest: Jan. 15, 2014: 2 ‘minimal’ power rate hikes ahead for Veco; UP grad is Miss Cebu 2015; Vatican: No pope posters please

The Visayan Electric Co. (VECO) will pass on to consumers the P78 million cost of the underground cabling from the Capitol to Fuente Osmeña and the purchase of power from…

The Visayan Electric Co. (VECO) will pass on to consumers the P78 million cost of the underground cabling from the Capitol to Fuente Osmeña and the purchase of power from a plant in Leyte. The hike, an official said, will be minimal. Late last night, UP Cebu mass communications graduate Wynonah Van Joy Buot was crowned Miss Cebu 2015.

Meanwhile, if you’re still reading this on a laptop or desktop, we want you to try opening it on your phone. We made sure this site looks good and functions well on the phone. You can then just browse the news summary on your smartphone or tablet while taking your breakfast or morning coffee. To get the daily news summaries, either bookmark www.mycebu.ph on your phone or like our Facebook page.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for Thursday, January 15, 2015.

Veco power to cost slightly more this year

The Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) will increase power rates twice this year to pass on to consumers the P78-million cost of putting cables underground from the Capitol to Fuente Osmeña and the purchase of power from the Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plant.

Veco Chief Operating Officer Sebastian Lacson said they used to buy power at P4.56 per kilowatt hour (kwh) from the Leyte plant. But it has been privatized and they project price to go up to P5 per kwh.

The increases will be minimal, he said:

  • 20 centavos additional for average consumer with 200 kilowatt-hour a month for the underground cabling pass-on costs
  • P12 additional for average consumer who will consume 200 kilowatt-hour a month for the Leyte power purchase pass-on costs

Sun.Star Cebu: Power to cost more
The Freman: VECO announces 2 possible rate hikes

UP mass com grad, the crowd favorite, crowned Miss Cebu 2015

Wynonah Van Joy Buot is Miss Cebu 2015. (Photo by Gerald Yuvallos of Istorya.net)

Wynonah Van Joy Buot is Miss Cebu 2015. (Photo by Gerald Yuvallos of Istorya.net)

UP Cebu graduate Wynonah Van Joy Buot is the new Miss Cebu. She was crowned in last night’s pageant.

Buot “consistently impressed” judges all throughout the competition, Frederick Peralta, one of the judges, told Sun.Star Cebu.

The pageant’s final question was “If you could host Pope Francis to dinner, who would be your Cebuano guests and why?” Buot said she would invite students of Cebu.

“If I were to take Pope Francis for dinner in Cebu, I would bring with me the students of Cebu because our students are the hope of the future and our Pope Francis is the hope of our country (…) We can then talk about how we can strengthen, unify, and share love and respect, so that we can encourage our citizens to take part and make a change here in our society.” — Wynonah Van Joy Buot, Miss Cebu 2015

Buot also won Miss Friendship, Miss Photogenic, Kapamilya Star of the Night, and Best in Evening Gown.

Vatican asks Archdiocese of Palo: Remove Pope Francis banners

Vatican officials have asked the Archdiocese of Palo to remove banners and tarps with the image of Pope Francis. The request came along with instructions for the papal motorcade from Tacloban City to Palo on January 17.

“The pope said he’s not the focus of this event. He said the focus is Christ.” — Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines president

The Freeman: Rome: No pope posters please

ANNOUNCING A QUEEN. Today’s banner pages of Sun.Star Cebu and Cebu Daily News.

 

Liloan Mayor Duke only Cebuano in Ten Outstanding Young Men award

Liloan Mayor Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco received The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines award for 2014 in the field of public administration. Under his administration, Liloan was able to increase its revenues by 400 percent. The town also sponsored more than 1,000 scholars from underprivileged families.

Other awardees were Ma. Doris Dumlao, journalism; Biñan City Mayor Marlyn B. Alonte-Naguiat, government and public service; Jessie Pascual P. Bitog, agricultural engineering; Dr. John Mark S. Velasco, medical science and public health; and Oscar Franklin B. Tan, law.

The TOYM, according to a Sun.Star Cebu report, “seeks to give national recognition to young men and women between ages 18 and 40, whose selfless dedication to their profession or vocation has resulted in significant contributions to the welfare of their countrymen, as well as the advancement of their fields of endeavor.”

“I am deeply humbled by this great distinction. I share this award with the people of Liloan and of Cebu. Serving as mayor of Liloan for the past eight years has truly been a privilege. Receiving this award is an affirmation that we must be doing something good.” — Liloan Mayor Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco

Other top stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: Sinulog started with PE students, recall Boy Odilao, who came up with idea that became the country’s grandest festival

“When we started out, our concept was to create a festival that would serve as our “halad” (offering) to the Santo Nino. No more, no less. When you shout ‘Pit Señor!’, you are actually asking the Child Jesus for something.” — David “Boy” Odilao Jr., former Customs collector and father of Sinulog

Sun.Star Cebu: Hundreds of balikbayans return to Cebu for Sinulog;
Sun.Star Cebu: Marina asks shipping companies to cut passenger, cargo rates because of oil price plunge
The Freeman: LTFRB asks local governments to help make sure correct PUJ fare is charged by measuring distances of jeepney routes
The Freeman: Girl accused of shoplifting reported to have attempted suicide by taking TB pills

Business headlines

 

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Cebu News Digest: Jan . 14, 2015: Cebu is Plan B for Pope in case of bad weather; arguments spark over P7 fare, LTFRB tells commuters: report PUJ violators

Transport and security officials yesterday inspected the Mactan Cebu International Airport facilities in relation to the coming visit of Pope Francis in the country and the holding of the Sinulog….

Transport and security officials yesterday inspected the Mactan Cebu International Airport facilities in relation to the coming visit of Pope Francis in the country and the holding of the Sinulog. Officials said the pope’s flight will be diverted to Cebu only in the event of bad weather in Tacloban.

Arguments have broken out over the P7 minimum PUJ fare in routes where drivers have reportedly been “under-charging.” Transportation officials, meanwhile, told commuters to report those who do not follow the P7 minimum fare that took effect Tuesday.

Are you still reading this news briefing on a PC? We’d like to invite you to try opening it on your smartphone or tablet. We made sure it looks great on your phone or tablet so you can just read it with your breakfast and morning coffee. To get the daily summaries, like the MyCebu.ph official Facebook page or go directly to the site at www.mycebu.ph.

Here are the top Cebu news stories today, January 14, 2014.

Looming bad weather won’t stop papal visit; Pope’s plane to be diverted to Mactan if bad weather stops it from landing in Tacloban

Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary Emilio Abaya and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin lead an inspection of the Mactan Cebu International Airport yesterday.

“Cebu is a major hub so we are checking on the airport and the seaports to eliminate all possible threats and any distractions both to the Sinulog and Tacloban, and of course the activities of the Pope.” — DOTC Secretary Emilio Abaya.

Abaya stressed there are no changes in Pope’s itinerary.

“The itinerary is very clear… Cebu is not included. It is clear that all the Pope’s activities will be in Manila and Tacloban. There is no activity here… sorry to be the bearer of bad news.” — Abaya said.

He said the MCIA will be an alternative airport for the papal visit “only in the event of foul weather.”

PAPAL VISIT. Pope Francis will be in the Philippines this week. (Creative Commons photo by the Catholic Church of England)

PAPAL VISIT. Pope Francis will be in the Philippines this week. (Creative Commons photo by the Catholic Church of England)

The weather agency is sending a mobile radar system to Tacloban City to better keep track of weather conditions during the pope’s visit.

“There is a tendency that the tropical cyclone will pass by Eastern Visayas area in time for the Papal visit. As early as Friday, they will experience rains. In Cebu, light rains and strong winds will be felt this Friday.” — Pag-asa Visayas Director Oscar Tabada.

New PUJ minimum fare triggers arguments; LTFRB tells commuters to report violators

“Heated arguments between passengers and drivers marked the first day of the implementation of the new minimum fare for public utility jeepneys in Central Visayas,” The Freeman reported today.

The paper said the arguments broke out in routes where drivers claim to have been undercharging for some time. A transport union official cited as example the MEPZ 1, Lapu-Lapu City to JCentre Mall, Mandaue City route where drivers collect only P9 as fare instead of the P10 based on the distance. Drivers wanted to keep the charge but passengers insisted that it be lowered.

The transport union will ask the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to measure the length of the routes and check whether the fares should be adjusted.

LTFRB 7 Acting Director Rey Elnar, meanwhile, asked commuters to report violations on the minimum fare.

DOTC approves new bus routes for Metro Cebu

The Department of Transportation and Communication has approved the Talisay-Mambaling, Talisay-North Bus Terminal, Talisay-Mactan Cebu Airport and North Bus Terminal-Mambaling routes.

The new routes are under the High Quality Public Transport System that is meant to be an interim solution to the Bus Rapid Transit system that will start operation in 2018. SM Prime Holdings Inc. proposed to operate a bus service from Talisay City Hall to MCIAA in preparation for the opening of the SM Seaside City Complex in the middle of this year.

Based on the agreement, 69 buses will be deployed to “serve the demand and fulfill service requirements” for the first year of operations, The Freeman reported.

COLORFUL COSTUMES. Sinulog contingents are garbed in colorful native costumes. (Photo by Ted Espinueva)

COLORFUL COSTUMES. Sinulog contingents are garbed in colorful native costumes. (Photo by Ted Espinueva)

8 downtown roads closed to vehicles starting tomorrow until Sunday

Eight major roads in downtown Cebu City will be closed to vehicles starting tomorrow until Sunday as part of the Cebu City Government’s “pedestrianization” program. The roads include M.C. Briones, D. Jakosalem, Lapu-Lapu, Burgos, Legaspi Extension, Mabini Extension, Manalili, and Magallanes streets.

“Now, everyone is encouraged to walk just like people in Rome when the image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod was brought for canonization. They did it there and so we can. We will do it here.” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

Rama said he wants to check how the closure will work with a test run this afternoon.

“Pedestrianization will address the issue of preservation and decongestion of traffic. There would be avoidance of the continuity persistence of vehicle movement, which may affect the structural integrity of our historical infrastructures.” — Rama

More Cebu news stories:

Business

DTI says consumer goods likely to drop by March

The plunge in the price of oil in the global market will lead to lower prices of basic goods late next month or early March, the Department of Trade and Industry said.

DTI-7 Director Asteria Caberte said prices will not immediately go down because producers normally have a three-month inventory of their products.

“We really expect the decrease in prices may be in March. Atong inventory level man gud is usually three months.” — Caberte.

Property developments:

Sun.Star Cebu: Developer tops off Horizons 101, tallest building in Visayas and Mindanao

 

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Cebu News Digest: Jan. 13, 2015: LTFRB studies cutting taxi, bus fares; Ex-mayor Soc, Mayor JVR clash over budget cut; Mayor Rama vetoes some budget items

After jeepney fares were slashed to P7 in Central Visayas, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will now look into cutting the fares for taxis and buses. In…

After jeepney fares were slashed to P7 in Central Visayas, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will now look into cutting the fares for taxis and buses. In Talisay City, former mayor Soc Fernandez and Mayor Johnny de los Reyes exchanged stinging words over the cut in the budget for the mayor’s office.

Meanwhile, are you still reading this on your computer? We invite you to read the daily news briefing on the phone or tablet. We made sure it looks good and functions well on the phone or tablet so you can just sit back, sip your morning coffee and browse through the headlines. Start your day right by opening www.mycebu.ph before anything else to quickly get updated and read our other stories about Cebu.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for Tuesday, January 13, 2015:

CUT TAXI FARE. There is a petition to cut taxi flagdown rate to P30 from P40 and the charge for succeeding 300 meters to P2.50 from the current P3.50. (Creative Commons photo by Flickr user Jeffrey James Pacres)

CUT TAXI FARE. There is a petition to cut taxi flagdown rate to P30 from P40 and the charge for succeeding 300 meters to P2.50 from the current P3.50. (Creative Commons photo by Flickr user Jeffrey James Pacres)

LTFRB studies cutting taxi, bus fares; P7 minimum jeepney fare takes effect today

After the minimum fare for jeepneys was cut to P7, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has asked its regional offices to simultaneously hold public hearings on a petition to cut fares for taxis and buses.

The P7 minimum fare will take effect in Cebu and throughout Central Visayas starting today.

The LTFRB will hold simultaneous consultations on January 16 on petitions to:

  • Cut taxi flagdown rate to P30 from P40 and the charge for succeeding 300 meters to P2.50 from the current P3.50.
  • Cut bus fare to P1.80 per succeeding kilometer from the current P2.

Sun.Star Cebu: LTFRB studies taxi, bus fare cuts

While you were sleeping….fire broke out

Fire broke out in the Greenwich branch at the ground floor of SM City Cebu. TV 5 Cebu reporter Ryan Sorote shared in his Facebook page that the outlet where a water dispenser was plugged in sparked a fire, blanketing the mall in thick smoke. Sorote shared the photo below in his Facebook page. You can watch Sorote’s report in the TV 5 newscast this afternoon.

jan13-fire-sm

(Video journalists cover a fire that broke out in Greenwich in SM City Cebu. (Photo by TV 5 reporter Ryan Sorote)

 

Soc, JVR exchange words in tense Talisay Charter Day event

Former mayor Soc Fernandez and current Talisay City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes provided verbal fireworks in a tense Charter Day event.

Fernandez shared the story about how Talisay became a city through the efforts of former congressman and former mayor Eddie Gullas. He then defended the city council for cutting the P1.08-billion budget proposal of Mayor de los Reyes to just P539.941 million.

De los Reyes then criticized the councilors for being anti-poor and cited how he used the intelligence funds to dole out money to the poor as a way to prevent crime. The council slashed his intelligence fund of P10 million to just P100,000.

“Ang akong IF (intelligence fund) is for peace and order. Tan-awa ang criminality kung dili nako gukdon. Kung ang tao maipit gani sa problema, manulis na sila. Mao sa dili pa sila makahimo ug krimen, ako na lang silang gihatagan.” Talisay Mayor Johnny de los Reyes as quoted by Sun.Star Cebu. (The paper’s translation: (My intelligence funds are for peace and order. A person who is desperate ends up robbing others. So before they can commit crimes, I give them some help to prevent illegal acts).

“Dili gyud makaingon sila nga gilaslasan namo nga way rason. Nakatigum pa gani ang syudad sa among paglaslas.” Former Mayor Soc Fernandez, as quoted by Sun.Star Cebu. (The paper’s translation: (No one can accuse us of slashing the budget for no good reason. The City has even saved as a result of the cuts we made)

President dismisses admin raps filed by ABC against Mayor Rama for being “moot”

President Benigno Aquino III has dismissed a complaint filed by the Cebu City Association of Barangay Councils against Mayor Michael Rama in 2012. The complaint for grave abuse of authority was filed over a P5-million budget allocation to barangays in 2012.

The complaint was dismissed because Rama was re-elected mayor and “is no longer amenable to administrative sanctions,” according to the November 20, 2014 order.

“The rule is that local elective officials cannot be subjected to disciplinary sanction for administrative misconduct committed during a prior term. The underlying theory is that each term is separate from other terms, and that the re-election to office operates as a condonation of the officer’s misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefor,” according to the decision.

“Mao naman kaha na? I can’t rebut the decision of the president. But we hope the decision of the Ombudsman would be to our favor because we believe strong ang ground sa case against the mayor.” — former ABC president and now Barangay T. Padilla councilor Michael Ralota who filed the complaint.

VETO. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama sought a P18.9 billion as 2015 budget but the council only approved P13.4 billion. (Photo taken from the Cebu City PIO Facebook Page)

VETO. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama sought a P18.9 billion as 2015 budget but the council only approved P13.4 billion. (Photo taken from the Cebu City PIO Facebook Page)

Mayor Rama vetoes 20 “inappropriate provisions” on budget ordinance

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has vetoed several provisions of the budget ordinance covering the P13.4-billion annual budget for the year.

Rama had asked for P18.9 billion as budget for 2015 but the council only approved P13.4 billion.

“While I firmly believe in the complementary roles of the executive and legislative branches in crafting and monitoring the annual budget, I am mindful of legal fiats and jurisprudential rulings stating that the budget remains the sole responsibility and accountability of the executive department. Any provision to the contrary is again a usurpation of my exclusive authority.” — Mayor Michael Rama.

Among the items he vetoed was special condition set by council for the release of P720 million in financial assistance to senior citizens. The council required the mayor’s office to release P1,000 monthly to senior citizens, who are supposed to receive P12,000 as annual assistance. Rama, however, said monthly releases will be inconvenient to senior citizens and goes against a council resolution passed in 2012 that calls for lump sum or installment releases.

Other top Cebu news stories

Cebu Business News

Carcar City women earning more making raffia bags, corsage than making shoes

A Japanese is selling raffia bags and corsage handmade by women in Carcar City, allowing them to earn more: from P20 a pair working on espadrilles shoes to P200 or even up to P900 creating bags.

“In one week, kung mag concentrate lang jud sila sa paghimo, they can produce three bags.” — Lucil A. Barbieros, Sekiya local proprietor. She said this means the women can get P2,000 a week.

Other business stories

“Some ignorant American [real estate] analysts are saying that the Philippines is facing threats, they don’t know what they are talking about.” — Economist Bernardo Villegas, as quoted by The Freeman.

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Cebu News Digest: Jan. 12, 2015: Cebu imploding from traffic mess, what can be done? Biz leaders want minimum PUJ fare cut to P6; BRT proponents study social impact

Traffic in Metro Cebu is getting worse and The Freeman has sounded a clarion call – the “lack of imagination and inspired leadership” in solving the city’s traffic problem is…

Traffic in Metro Cebu is getting worse and The Freeman has sounded a clarion call – the “lack of imagination and inspired leadership” in solving the city’s traffic problem is driving it “to the brink of economic stagnation.”

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Teresa Chan, meanwhile, said the minimum fare should be P6.50 or even P6 and not the P7 that was approved because the price of diesel is now P28.75 per liter and may decrease some more in the coming days.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for Monday, January 12, 2015:

The failure to solve the traffic problem "driving Cebu City to the brink of economic stagnation," warned The Freeman. (Creative Commons Photo by Flickr user Chad M)

The failure to solve the traffic problem “driving Cebu City to the brink of economic stagnation,” warned The Freeman. (Creative Commons Photo by Flickr user Chad M)

Cebu imploding from traffic mess: The Freeman warns in editorial

There is no truth to the assumption that Cebu’s traffic situation is not as bad as Metro Manila’s. On the contrary, it is far worse.

Metro Manila is the seat of government and therefore enjoys top priority in the landing of big ticket infrastructure projects meant to address traffic congestion. Cebu City does not enjoy the same status in the pecking order of government projects. It has to fight and beg for what is left of the national infrastructure pie. Or it is forced to borrow.

This lack of imagination and inspired leadership is driving Cebu City to the brink of economic stagnation. Do not be fooled by the unbridled rash of real estate development and construction because they represent only one aspect of growth. Unless some solution is found and found fast for the traffic mess that is already here and choking everyone, even vertical development will have to consider its contribution to the overall congestion.

Bus Rapid Transit stakeholders study impact on drivers, operators, businesses

Stakeholders of the Bus Rapid Transit project to be implemented in Cebu will be in the city today to look into the impact of the project on businesses, drivers and transport operators. The group will come up with a “comprehensive plan to restructure and review” the project’s social management aspect, according to a report from The Freeman.

“We really have to carefully peruse the project’s social aspect as there would be displacement otherwise we will be in big trouble socially.” BRT office head Rafael Yap.
The Freeman said at least 2,614 jeepney drivers of 1,307 jeepney units and 912 operators with 1,191 franchises and 22 routes will be affected by the BRT project.

Cebu City clears sidewalks in preparation for Sinulog Grand Parade

More than 30 structures on Osmeña Boulevard and General Maxilom Avenue were cleared by Cebu City Hall in preparation for Sunday’s Sinulog Grand Parade. Among those cleared was a stage built by Crown Regency Hotel for a concert outside its main entrance. City Hall said the structure did not have a permit.
City Hall also warned those who want to hold street parties not to put up structures that will obstruct the route of the parade on Sunday and procession on Saturday.

New performance routines help 2 schools top Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan

Vicente Rama Memorial Elementary School and Apas National High School were the top contingents in the elementary and secondary divisions of the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan yesterday.
Don Vicente Rama won with a performance inspired by the animated film “Antz.” Its 100 dancers dressed as ants impressed the judges at the Cebu City Sports Center to score the first win for the school.

Apas, meanwhile, banked on a simple dance routine and synchronized movements to win, according to a Sun.Star Cebu report.

The group’s choreographer said they did not expect to win, considering they only started practicing during the Christmas break.

“Our concept is praising the Sto. Niño through different sets of prayers, from the old ones up to the present. Our routine is simple ra gyud tungod sa kagamay sa.” — Apas choreographer Venancio Esparaguera, as quoted by a Sun.Star Cebu report.

Davide tells provincial engineers: Hurry up on road repairs

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III has ordered provincial engineers to speed up the repair of provincial roads and other infrastructure damaged by tropical storm Seniang, The Freeman reported. Capitol will repair provincial roads in the towns of Alcantara and Barili that have been rendered impassable by the storm. To speed up repair and rehabilitation, Capitol will buy heavy equipment.
The Freeman: Davide: Hurry up on road repairs

Other top Cebu news stories:

“It is but a rare occurrence that a foreigner will develop such immense interest on Cebuano history as substantiated by his lifelong dedication to the research and study of Cebu.” — resolution naming Dr. Michael Cullinane adopted son of Cebu City

“We are concerned about this matter because this can help our employees a lot. While P5 may not be feasible, considering the operational costs, we hope our jeepney operators and drivers will help the riding public, the majority of our population who are wage earners, by offering P6.” — CCCI president Tess Chan.

Cebu Business News

USC student group builds juice business

The Quenchers booth during the USC Entrep Fair in Ayala Center Cebu. (Photo by USJ-R MassCom Intern Nel Mozol)

The Quenchers booth during the USC Entrep Fair in Ayala Center Cebu. (Photo by USJ-R MassCom Intern Nel Mozol)

A group of BS Entrepreneurship students from the University of San Carlos have built a bottled juice drink business that has been described by a Sun.Star Cebu report as “gaining popularity in supermarkets, school canteens, and shipping lines.”

Their drink, Quenchers, started out as a school projected that they decided to turn into an actual business. Their company now produces more than 2,000 bottles of the drink every week.

Other business news stories:

The Freeman: Faith and business: Donatos carving Sto. Niño images for decades
The Freeman: “Balik Cebu” organizers to build 50 houses in Yolanda-hit areas

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Cebu News Digest: Jan. 11, 2015: Manny Pangilinan group proposal to build 3rd bridge approved; LTFRB okays P7 new minimum jeepney fare; Talisay, Tuburan win in Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan

It looks like the 3rd Mactan-Cebu bridge project is moving in earnest after the groundbreaking at the start of the year with the Cebu City Government approving the proposal by…

It looks like the 3rd Mactan-Cebu bridge project is moving in earnest after the groundbreaking at the start of the year with the Cebu City Government approving the proposal by the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC). An in another bit of good news, the minimum fare in Central Visayas is now P7.
In the battle against drugs, a man whom police said was a big-time drug pusher was arrested with P700,000 worth of shabu.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for today, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015:

MVP. Business Manuel Pangilinan leads the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., whose proposal to build the 3rd Mactan-Cebu bridge was approved by Cebu City Hall. Pangilinan is shown above during a PLDT stockholders' meeting.

MVP. Business Manuel Pangilinan leads the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., whose proposal to build the 3rd Mactan-Cebu bridge was approved by Cebu City Hall. Pangilinan is shown above during a PLDT stockholders’ meeting.

Cebu City approves Manny Pangilinan-led company to build 3rd Mactan-Cebu bridge

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has declared the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) the original proponent of the 3rd bridge that will link Cordova to Cebu City. Sun.Star Cebu reported that Rama signed the certification declaring MPTC the original proponent of the project based on a review by the Cebu City Joint Venture Committee.

Rama and Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy led the groundbreaking of the project on Shell Island.

“Based on our review, the proposal was really original and they did not copy other designs.” — City Administrator Lucelle Mercado, in Sun.Star Cebu report.

Mercado heads the Cebu City Joint Venture Committee. She said they already forwarded the certification to MPTC so they can start talking about terms. Mercado said that if no one challenges the proposal then the MPTC will be implementing the project.

LTFRB approves P7 minimum jeepney fare for Central Visayas

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has approved a 50-centavo provisional cut in the jeepney fare in Central Visayas, according to a report by The Freeman.

LTFRB 7 Director Reynaldo Elnar said his recommendation for the P7 minimum fare was approved by their board last Thursday and might be implemented starting Monday. Elnar said the new fare will be announced by LTFRB chairman Winston Gines, who will be in Cebu with other board members on Monday for a meeting on the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project.

Elnar said he will call for a public consultation on January 16 on calls to also cut the fares of other public utility vehicles. Rep. Manuel Iway, who used to be with LTFRB, filed a petition to cut the taxi flagdown rate from P30 to P20 and the fare for each succeeding 300 meters from P3.50 to P2.50.

JEEPNEY FARE CUT. The LTFRB has approved P7 as the new minimum fares for jeepneys in Central Visayas. (Creative Commons photo by razordu30 in Flickr)

JEEPNEY FARE CUT. The LTFRB has approved P7 as the new minimum fares for jeepneys in Central Visayas. (Creative Commons photo by razordu30 in Flickr)

Talisay City, Tuburan win top spots in Sinulog Sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan

The Talisay City Central Elementary School and the Tinubdan sa Kauswagan Cultural Troupe of Tuburan won their respective divisions during the Sinulog Sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan yesterday. They each won P300,000.

Talisay’s performance told the discovery of the Sto. Niño image in San Nicolas on April 28, 1565, which is commemorated as the Kaplag.

Talisay Mayor JVR threatens to sue over City Council’s decision to cut proposed budget for his office

Talisay City Mayor Johnny De los Reyes said he will file a complaint before the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Ombudsman-Visayas over the City Council’s cut by almost half of the proposed budget for his office.

De los Reyes proposed a P41.82 million for his office but this was slashed by the council to P20.31 million.

P700,000 worth of shabu seized during arrest of suspected big-time dealer in Carcar

Police seized P700,000 worth of shabu during the arrest of Rodel Quijano in a drug buy-bust Barangay Valladolid, Carcar City last Friday.

Senior Insp. Leo Logronio of the Cebu Provincial Police Office Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) said Quijano can sell more than 50 grams of shabu per week and is part of the drugs watchlist of Carcar City.

He said Quijano is also in their watch list of alleged drug personalities in Carcar City.

Man uses toy gun to rob taxi drive, arrested

A MAN is accused of robbing a taxi driver in Mandaue City using a toy gun on Friday morning. The accused robber, identified as Gabriel Marie Limotan, was brought to the Mandaue police station by the driver, Brian Rabago.

Limotan hailed Rabago in Barangay Basak at 7 a.m. on Friday and asked to be brought to Barangay Cambarao. He then poked what later turned out to be a toy gun on Rabago’s neck and told him to surrender his money. The driver handed his P300 in fares but noticed the gun was a toy. He quickly speeded off toward the Mandaue police office where Rabago was then detained.

Other top news stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: Man accused of killing Toledo City barangay captain reported to have offered to surrender amid threats to his life

“He was told that the relatives of the victim are also hunting him down. It’s better if he will surrender, at least we can assure his safety.” — Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Noel Gillamac

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Cebu News Digest Jan. 10, 2014: Leyte storm survivors return to dance Sinulog; Mayor Rama threatens to sue City Council for economic sabotage

The Sinulog grand parade will focus on its religious roots as it marks its 35th year this 2015. The festival was officially launched yesterday with a parade that started at…

The Sinulog grand parade will focus on its religious roots as it marks its 35th year this 2015. The festival was officially launched yesterday with a parade that started at the Basilica del Sto. Niño. Previous winner and crowd favorite Tribu Lingganay from Alang-Alang town in Leyte province will join the grand parade again after skipping last year when it was devastated by Super typhoon Yolanda.

Meanwhile, sparks flew at City Hall with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama threatening to sue the City Council over the deferral of the conversion of City Hall’s foreign loan for the South Road Properties (SRP) into a domestic one.

CEBU NEWS. Today's front pages of Sun.Star Cebu and Cebu Daily News.

CEBU NEWS. Today’s front pages of Sun.Star Cebu and Cebu Daily News.

Here are the top Cebu news stories today:

Sinulog grand parade to focus on religiosity

The Sinulog Grand Parade will highlight the festival’s religious significance as it marks the 35th year. This year’s theme is “Sto. Nino: Hope of the People” and organizers want to emphasize the religious component of the festival.

The festival was launched yesterday with a parade from the Basilica del Sto. Niño to Fuente Osmeña and the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).

“This is not just a cultural and historical event, this is a religious happening.” — Sinulog Foundation Inc. executive director Ricky Ballesteros.

Ballesteros said the festival is held on the 450th year commemoration of the finding of the Santo Niño de Cebu image and the 50th anniversary of the designation of what was then the San Agustin Church as Basilica Minore.

The stage at the CCSC, where contingents will perform their respective routines, is also patterned after the façade of the Basilica del Sto. Niño.

RELIGIOUS FOCUS. This year’s Sinulog Grand Parade will highlight the religious foundation of the festival.

RELIGIOUS FOCUS. This year’s Sinulog Grand Parade will highlight the religious foundation of the festival.

Today: Sinulog Sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan

Different schools will perform during this afternoon’s Sinulog sa Kabataan
1 PM Parade of Participants, Capitol Site to CCSC
2 PM Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan at the CCSC

Tribu Lingganay returns to perform after surviving storm

Tribu Lingganay from Alang-Alang town in Leyte will be returning this Sinulog after skipping last year when Super typhoon Yolanda devastated their community.
Alang-Alang won in the free interpretation category in 2012 and 2013.

Cebu Daily News reported that 600 performers have been practicing since October for the Sinulog, even as typhoons Quennie, Ruby, and Seniang hit their community.

“We do not want to fail the Sinulog spectators. We wanted to make sure that we will be giving a good show.” — Alang-Alang contingent coordinator Kent Jefflord Guillermo.

Get Sinulog 2015 Guide on your phone!

SinulogGuide
Download the guide here.

DPWH working 24-hours a day to finish steel bridge in Sibonga

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) installed yesterday the steel decks of a temporary bridge in Barangay Dumlog in Sibonga. DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas said the installation might take five days but his agency will try to do it faster.

DPWH hopes the steel bridge will be passable before the important Sinulog events: the religious procession on January 17 and the grand parade on January 18.

The 18-meter approach to the Dumlog bridge, which links Argao and Sibonga, collapsed during a flash flood at the height of tropical storm Seniang.

The temporary bridge will have the 20 tons of capacity, the same capacity as the original span.

HONORING THE POPE. Inmates of the Cebu provincial jail dance to honor and thank Pope Francis for visiting the Philippines. (Photo from the Cebu Provincial Government Facebook Page)

HONORING THE POPE. Inmates of the Cebu provincial jail dance to honor and thank Pope Francis for visiting the Philippines. (Photo from the Cebu Provincial Government Facebook Page)

Cebu inmates dance to thank Pope Francis

More than 2,000 inmates at the Cebu provincial jail danced yesterday as prayer offering and thanksgiving to Pope Francis for visiting the Philippines. They danced to a Gregorian chant and the song “We Are All God’s Children.”

Mayor Rama threatens to sue City Council for “economic sabotage” over conversion of SRP loan

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama criticized the Cebu City Council for asking him to submit a request for the passage of a resolution to authorize the mayor to negotiate with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the conversion of City Hall’s foreign loan for the South Road Properties (SRP) into a domestic one.

Rama said the councilors already knew about his plan and there was no need for him to file a request.

“Kahibaw na man sila ana. Kung wa sila kahibaw ana, buta sila. Kung wa sila kadungog, bungol sila. Kung wa sila kahibaw, insignificant sila. Unsa man ng klaseha uy? Dapat di na sila maghuwat. Dapat motabang sila sa mayor.” — Mayor Michael Rama.

In 1995, JICA lent Cebu City 12.315 billion yen to develop the 300-hectare SRP. Rama wants to convert the yen loan into a domestic one to save on interest and foreign exchange losses.

NO NEED FOR REQUEST. Mayor Michael Rama says the councilors already knew about his plan and there is no need for him to file a request. (Photo from Mayor Rama's Facebook Page)

NO NEED FOR REQUEST. Mayor Michael Rama says the councilors already knew about his plan and there is no need for him to file a request. (Photo from Mayor Rama’s Facebook Page)

“He wants to keep on filing, then let him file a case. He can do what he wants. Bahala siya.” — Councilor Margarita Osmeña

Councilor Sisinio Andales says a request from the mayor is required as part of protocol and procedure. Osmeña and Andales said they are in favor of restructuring City Hall has to follow procedures for transparency and accountability, The Freeman reported.

“But if he’s going to sue us. He can file case or whatever he likes. We are willing to face him. But as I said, we cannot take a shortcut, rather follow what is proper.” — Councilor Sisinio Andales as quoted by The Freeman

Other top Cebu stories:

Cebu Business News

Local taxi drivers making more money from cab booking apps

From just P500 a day as take home pay, Ronel Diapana now earns P900 after signing up with GrabTaxi, an app that allows commuters to hail taxis using their phones. Diapana told The Freeman that with the app, he can book 5 to 10 passengers during rush hours. The difficulty in getting a cab during rush hours is pushing more commuters to use apps like GrabTaxi.

grabtaxi

“In a way, nakatabang gyud ni siya sa transportation industry — taxi industry. Karon, di na ang drivers mangita og passengers, ang passengers na maoy mangita sa drivers. The drivers no longer have to go around to find passengers.” — Raymond Dejan, GrabTaxi Cebu sales and operations manager

“These groups will be an extension of CCCI in the far-flung areas in Cebu. We are going to help them become legitimate and advocacy-driven business groups and not just a mere social club.” — CCCI president Ma. Teresa Chan

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Cebu News Digest Jan. 9, 2015: Road closure today for Sinulog launching parade; Mandaue to ban tricycles from national highways soon

Expect heavy traffic in Cebu City starting at noon today for this afternoon’s Sinulog 2015 launching parade. Early yesterday morning, Cebu saw the “biggest and most attended Walk with Jesus,”…

Expect heavy traffic in Cebu City starting at noon today for this afternoon’s Sinulog 2015 launching parade. Early yesterday morning, Cebu saw the “biggest and most attended Walk with Jesus,” which surprised church officials who expected attendance to be affected by the upcoming visit of Pope Francis.

In Mandaue, meanwhile, traffic officials said they have been called out by the public works department for allowing tricycles on national highways. They will discuss with drivers and operators possible route changes when tricycles are barred from national highways.

Here are today’s top news stories in Cebu:

Cebu City roads closed today for Sinulog launching parade

Both lanes of Osmeña Blvd. will be closed to vehicles this afternoon for the Sinulog launching parade that will start at the Basilica del Sto. Niño until Fuente-Osmeña. Traffic enforcers will close the roads by noon until the last contingent enters the Cebu City Sports Center.

The launch will start with a mass at the basilica at 2 p.m. to be followed by the parade at 3 p.m.

Drivers should follow traffic advisories and take alternate routes to ease traffic, said Citom Operations Chief Jonathan Tumulak. He said enforcers will be deployed along the route to guide drivers and communters.

“Let’s all be patient and keep cool to avoid trouble on the road.” — Citom Operations Chief Jonathan Tumulak

HUGE TURNOUT. Yesterday mornings Walk With Jesus and mass was attended by 57,000 devotees.

HUGE TURNOUT. Yesterday mornings Walk With Jesus and mass was attended by 57,000 devotees.

Biggest Walk With Jesus turnout in years

Thursday morning’s Walk with Jesus procession was the biggest so far since Fr. Jonas Mejares became rector of the Basilica del Sto. Niño de Cebu. He said it was the “most attended religious opening salvo” he attended.

The “Walk with Jesus” procession is a penitential walk while also serving as the opening of the religious activities of the annual Fiesta Señor.

“Ang Facebook ug ang lain matang sa social media grasya gikan sa Ginoo busa gamiton nato sa maayong pamaagi.” — Fr. Jonas Mejares during sermon, after which he sang “The Impossible Dream.”

Sr. Supt. Conrad Capa, officer-in-charge of the Cebu City Police Office, said 27,000 people joined the procession. He said 29,000 devotees were already in the basilica adding up to 56,000 devotees.

Other Sinulog stories:

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Tricycles banned from Mandaue national highway

BANNED FROM NATIONAL HIGHWAYS. Tricycles like these will soon be banned from the national highways in Mandaue City. (Flickr photo by Gregory Perez under Creative Commons License)

No more tricycles in Mandaue national highways soon

Mandaue City tricycles will soon be barred from plying national highways, according to Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team) head Edwin Ermac.

Ermac said Mandaue City has been called out by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for allowing tricycles on national highways. These include M.L. Quezon St., M.C. Briones St., Hernan Cortes St., A.S. Fortuna St. and Plaridel St.

“Sige na og pressure nato ang DPWH nga dili na paagian og tricycles ang national highways.” — Team head Edwin Ermac Ermac.

A 2007 memorandum by the Department of Interior and Local Government banned tricycles and pedicabs on “national highways utilized by four-wheel vehicles greater than four tons and where normal speed exceeds 40 kilometers per hour.”

Ermac said they will change routes of jeepneys and as soon as the routes have been finalized, tricycles will be limited to interior roads.

DPWH to finish temporary steel bridge in Dumlog before Sinulog

If things go as planned, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 will be able to install today the rest of the materials needed for the steel bridge to temporarily connect Dumlog, Sibonga to Argao.

But DPWH 7 maintenance division chief Elvis Calunod said that if materials and the rest of the equipment will not arrive today, the temporary bridge will only have one lane. Dumlog Bridge, which connects Sibonga and Argao, collapsed during tropical storm Seniang.

Other top stories:

“It’s an honor for Cebu nga kita ang nabuhat. Ni-participate gyud ang mga Cebuanos sa pagbisita ni Pope. Sama ra nga niapil gyud ta sa iyang misa,” — Jennifer Lunod, customer service manager of Mehitabel Inc.

“We’re happy we have the third bridge, ma-decongest na ang traffic.” — Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza

Business

September to be tourism month in Cebu City

The Cebu City Tourism Council (CCTC) will declare September as Tourism Month. The city will hold shopping festivals that will offer bargains similar to the annual Black Friday sale in the US.

CCTC will also launch next week a new tourism campaign called Lakbay Lingaw or Fun Travel to showcase the various aspects of the city’s tourism from shopping to history and culture and eco-tourism.

“Bohol, Palawan and Camarines Sur are doing a lot to promote their respective destinations and if we don’t come up with coordinated efforts and fail to align our directions we will lose our spot as prime tourism destination.” — Cebu City Tourism Council chairperson Tetta Baad

Other stories:

 

No Comments on Cebu News Digest Jan. 9, 2015: Road closure today for Sinulog launching parade; Mandaue to ban tricycles from national highways soon

Cebu News Digest Jan. 8, 2015: Mayor asks for dikes; council disagrees on voting definition; city ready to transfer Sinulog performance

A town mayor has asked for Capitol’s help to build dikes to prevent flooding in low-lying areas. Other mayors of towns affected by Seniang also sought help in rehabilitation. The…

A town mayor has asked for Capitol’s help to build dikes to prevent flooding in low-lying areas. Other mayors of towns affected by Seniang also sought help in rehabilitation. The Cebu City Government, meanwhile, extended help not only to Cebu towns affected by the storm but to 2 cities in Samar.

Here are today’s top Cebu news stories:

Mayor asks Capitol: Give us dams

Ronda Mayor Mariano Blanco III asked Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III and legislators to help them build dikes in rivers to prevent floods in low-lying areas.

Davide met yesterday with mayors of towns in southern Cebu that were affected by tropical storm Seniang. When Seniang hit southern Cebu in the last days of 2014, 17 persons died, 14 of them in Ronda.

The mayors also sought the governor’s help in the rehabilitation of houses and dealing with sinkholes.

Davide said he will ask the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Cebu Provincial Engineering Office to study where they can build river dikes.

IN ARGAO. A sinkhole topples a hut after tropical storm Seniang hit the area. (Photo by Evelyn Llevado Remando)

IN ARGAO. A sinkhole topples a hut after tropical storm Seniang hit the area. (Photo by Evelyn Llevado Remando)

Sun.Star Cebu said the mayors who attended the meeting included Blanco, Raymond Joseph Calderon of Samboan, Verna Magallon of Alegria, Beatriz Caburnay of Alcantara, Teresito Mariñas of Barili and Inocentes Cabaron of Moalboal.

Sun.Star Cebu also reported that as of yesterday, 148 houses were destroyed and 449 houses damaged by Seniang in Alcantara, Barili, Dumanjug, and Ronda.

Cebu City sets aside P1.8 million to help areas hit by Seniang

The Cebu City Council yesterday approved P1.8 million as financial assistance to Dumanjug, Alcantara, Ronda, and Sibonga in Cebu, Catbalogan City in Samar and Borongan City in Eastern Samar. Each local government unit will get P300,000.

The financial assistance for Catbalogan and Boronggan will not be released yet since the resolution by the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council recommended only the P1.2 million in assistance to the four southern Cebu towns.

Councilor Alvin Dizon said that although he has no objections to helping the cities of Catbalogan and Borongan, there should be guidelines on when the City can send assistance to local government units outside Cebu.

“I’m surprised! Nakakatuwa naman the City of Cebu extended help to us. It’s really a big help and it shows that the city has a big and generous heart for areas affected by the typhoon.” — Catbalogan City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan in an interview with The Freeman.

Issue on two-thirds vote definition stops council from overriding Rama’s veto of SRP sports hub

The question on what constitutes a two-thirds vote stopped the Cebu City Council from overriding yesterday the veto by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama of an ordinance setting aside 10.6 hectares of the South Road Properties for a sports hub.

Councilors Eugenio Gabuya Jr., Mary Ann delos Santos, Hanz Abella, Alvin Dizon, Lea Japson, Nida Cabrera, Sisinio Andales, Margarita Osmeña, Roberto Cabarrubias, Nestor Archival and Alvin Arcilla voted to overturn Rama’s veto.

But Council presiding officer and Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella said one more vote was needed to override the veto, citing a 2001 DILG legal opinion. Gabuya, however, disagreed and cited a 2007 legal opinion to back him up.

The council agreed seek the legal opinion of the DILG and pending that, suspend the implementation of the ordinance

Stories:
Sun.Star Cebu: Issue on what constitutes two-thirds vote stops council from overriding veto
The Freeman: Council voting results in stalemate

SINULOG BEAT. The grandest festival in the country opens early in the morning today with a religious walk. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is prepared to transfer performances if bad weather hits the city on the day of the grand parade. (Photo by Lito Lapure used with permission from the Sinulog Foundation)

SINULOG BEAT. The grandest festival in the country opens early in the morning today with a religious walk. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is prepared to transfer performances if bad weather hits the city on the day of the grand parade. (Photo by Lito Lapure used with permission from the Sinulog Foundation)

Sinulog starts; workers ready in case of bad weather

Sinulog activities open at 4 a.m. today with the Walk of Jesus.

If bad weather hits Cebu City during the grand parade on January 18, contingents will perform either in the City Hall block in the South Road Properties or in the Cebu Coliseum, organizers said.

“This will be if worse comes to worst. The judging for the contingents will have to be transferred.” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama

Rama said the venue should accommodate at least 5,000 people. The performance will be transferred only in the event that the city will be placed under Signal No. 1 by the weather bureau.

Sun.Star CebuWhatever weather comes, Sinulog workers ready

Other stories:

Also interesting… The Freeman editorial: Raising taxes to throw away needlessly is crazy

It is difficult to understand why a city that keeps bloating its budget with unnecessary cash doleouts would have to fund those unnecessary doleouts with more taxes. The more sensible and practical thing to do would have been to scrap those unnecessary cash doleouts altogether. After all, the only purpose they really served was to win pogi points for city officials and nothing else. — Editorial, The Freeman, Jan. 8, 2015

Cebu Business Stories
Local governments told to streamline permit renewal process

Business owners in Cebu are calling on local governments to streamline the annual renewal of business permits and licenses and cut down the red tape.

Filipino-Cebuano Business Club Inc. president Rey Calooy said procedures in getting and renewing permits should be standardized in all local governments.

Rey Calooy. (Photo taken from Facebook page)

Rey Calooy photo taken from his Facebook page.

“Gawas sa local taxes, naa pay fees for sanitary bisan way klaro ang [garbage] collection. Every step naay bayad.” — Rey Calooy

Department of Agriculture 7 tells farmers to go organic

“There is a high demand for organic food. There is money in natural farming (because the products) command a premium price. We need to maximize this opportunity.” — DA 7 Director Angel Enriquez

Cebu Business Month organizers start finalizing events

Overall chairman Francis Dy says this year’s celebration has “Glocalized Cebu” as theme and continues last year’s efforts to help businesses prepare for the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

He said CBM will be a platform for local companies to network with local and global companies to grab opportunities when the AEC takes full affect by yearend. (Sun.Star Cebu story)

“I was hesitant to accept it. I knew that it would take up almost 100 percent of my time from the business. But I saw the sincerity and that she needed someone to help out.” — Francis Dy on being asked by CCCI president Ma. Teresa Chan to chair this year’s CBM.

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Cebu News Digest Jan. 7, 2015: More Sinulog contingents, leaner crowd; barangay captain shot dead; Rama still hopes Pope will visit Cebu

Sinulog organizers say the visit by Pope Francis next week will impact Sinulog attendance. Those in Luzon or Leyte would likely attend papal visit activities rather than fly to Cebu…

Sinulog organizers say the visit by Pope Francis next week will impact Sinulog attendance. Those in Luzon or Leyte would likely attend papal visit activities rather than fly to Cebu for the Sinulog. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and some local government and church officials, however, still talk up hopes for the pope to swing by Cebu.

Meanwhile, another public official has been shot dead in an ambush. Here are the top stories in Cebu’s papers today, January 7, 2015.

Sinulog 2015

SINULOG IS HERE. Organizers say they expect more contingents to join this year’s Sinulog grand parade. (Photo by Teddy Uy used with permission from the Sinulog Foundation)

Organizers see fewer people attending Sinulog but expect more contingents joining festivities

Sinulog organizers expect fewer people to attend Sinulog activities because of Pope Francis’ visit to Manila and Tacloban starting next week. On top of the papal visit, many flights have been cancelled because Manila has been declared a no-fly zone at certain hours when Pop Francis will arrive on January 15 and leave on January 19.

Sinulog Foundation Inc. Executive Director Ricky Ballesteros said many in Luzon and Leyte will choose to join activities with the Pope in Manila or in Tacloban rather than head to Cebu for the Sinulog since the visit is a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

“Affected gyud ang Sinulog ani (in terms of number of people) because they are torn between two big events… Those from Luzon, Manila and Leyte might decide to attend the Pope’s activities instead,” — Sinulog Foundation Inc. Executive Director Ricky Ballesteros during the Association of Government Information Officers forum.

Ballesteros said that as of January 6, 36 contingents have confirmed joining the grand parade. They expect the number to increase to 45 next week, more than last year’s 42 contingents.

Ballesteros said the history of Cebu will be told in the grand finale performance.

“Sinulog is Cebu. Let us defend, protect and contribute to its success. To all the undesirables, please take a leave and be spiritual instead. Attend all the religious activities at the basilica,” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama

Mayor Rama still hopes Pope Francis will visit Cebu

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he still hopes Pope Francis will visit Cebu, which he repeatedly pointed out as the cradle of Christianity in the Philippines. The city is also “very near” Tacloban City, which the pope will visit.

“I can’t understand why the Pope can’t drop by Cebu. I don’t understand why such an arrangement can’t be done and Manila is being highlighted. But let’s continue to pray,” — Mayor Michael Rama

Cebu Daily News and Sun.Star Cebu

FRONT PAGES. Today’s front pages of Cebu Daily News and Sun.Star Cebu

Toledo barangay captain shot dead

A barangay captain of Toledo City was shot dead Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. while driving his Ford Everest SUV on the national highway after dropping off his children at school.

Timoteo Largo, 65, died in a ditch where he was gunned down allegedly by Dionesio Juarez. Largo is the barangay captain of Cambang-ug, Toledo City. Juarez, on the other hand, was identified as a member of Civil Service Unit (CSU) of the Toledo City Hall and a police asset.

Toledo City Police Chief Ricky Delelis told Sun.Star Cebu they are considering 2 motives for the attack: 1) Largo’s refusal to accept illegal drugs payment and 2) Largo’s refusal to allow Juarez to be part of the sand and gravel business in the barangay.

“Istoryahan nato ni, pre (Let’s talk about this).” Timoteo Largo to Dionesio Juarez shortly before the killing.

Capitol meeting

SOLVING BRIDGE PROBLEM. Cebu Governor Hilario P. Davide III meets with officials from Sibonga town and other government agencies to speed up solution to the collapse of the Dumlog bridge connecting the towns of Argao and Sibonga. (Cebu Province PIO photo)

DSWD says Ronda mayor turned down offer to provide relief goods before Seniang

DSWD 7 Assistant Director Shailane Marie Lucero said they offered to supply relief goods to Ronda before Tropical Storm Seniang made landfall but Ronda Mayor Mariano Blanco III wanted these only after the storm.

Lucero said they could not distribute the relief goods because they needed a signed request from Mayor Blanco since all calamity-related expenses of DSWD are subject to audit. The goods would have been delivered immediately had the mayor signed the letter

“We are only following the law, otherwise we will go to jail.” — DSWD 7 Assistant Director Shailane Marie Lucero

Sun.Star Cebu: Ronda ‘turned down’ DSWD’s offer to provide relief goods before storm

Also interesting:

Business

Local retailers seek government protection

Local retailers are asking for “special non-discriminatory locations” and special rates for businesses located in Mandaue and Cebu Cities. Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) – Cebu Chapter president Robert Go said this would help local retailers reeling from the challenges of the dominance by global brands of the market.

“Many of our home grown retailers are helpless and have nowhere to go, either deteriorating or are running out of business, being too dependent on malls,” — Robert Go.

Suroy-Suroy Sugbo bookings on the rise

Cebu Provincial Government tourism consultant Patria Aurora Roa has reported strong demand for the “Suroy-Suroy sa Sugbo” program for the southern part of the province. She said the southern leg will have new destinations such as the Aguinid Falls in Samboan and Mainit Spring in Malabuyoc.

The Freeman: Bookings for Southern Suroy-Suroy on the rise

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Cebu News Digest Jan. 6, 2015: Urgent need for clean water; steel bridge in Sibonga; 2 fires in Metro Cebu

The Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas has asked municipal health officers to monitor water sources to make sure these have not been contaminated by damage wrought by Tropical Storm…

The Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas has asked municipal health officers to monitor water sources to make sure these have not been contaminated by damage wrought by Tropical Storm Seniang. Yesterday, 2 fires hit Metro Cebu, destroying 11 houses in Cebu City and damaging 1 in Lapu-Lapu City. Also yesterday, Capitol said it will be donating P1 million to the Sinulog Foundation for the holding of the country’s grandest festival. Pit senyor, indeed!

Here’s our roundup of the top Cebu news stories coming out in today’s papers:

Need for clean water in south Cebu urgent

The Manila Water consortium, which has a joint venture with the Cebu Provincial Government to pursue the Cebu Bulk Water Project, sent a mobile water treatment plant to Alcantara on Monday. That plant can transform murky stream water into potable water by 1,500 to 3,000 liters of per hour, according to a report by Sun.Star Cebu: Need for clean water urgent.

Officials are worried damages caused by Seniang might include contamination of water sources.

Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head Felix Suico said they have deployed a tanker to be filled with 50,000 to 75,000 liters of water in Moalboal for delivery to Ronda, which was badly damaged by Seniang.

Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head Baltazar Tribunalo Jr. said that there are now four water treatment systems in place in the south. On top of that, Dr. Expedito Medalla of DOH-Central Visayas said he and his staff will be with other government officials to distribute 350 jerry cans in Sibonga, Dumanjug, Alcantara and Ronda. Each can hold up to 20 liters of water, he said.

Monitor water sources

CHECK IF IT’S SAFE. The Health Department has asked municipal health officers to monitor water sources to make sure these have not been contaminated after Tropical Storm Seniang hit Cebu. (Creative Commons Photo by Mel McC)

Start of classes brings, what else, heavy traffic!

The first day of class after the Christmas break was peaceful but the sudden influx of vehicles caused heavy traffic, an official told The Freeman.

Traffic Operations Management Operations Chief Jonathan Tumulak, however, told The Freeman they were able to manage the heavy traffic even during the peak hours. He particularly pointed out the Banilad-Talamban corridor as experiencing heavy traffic from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“Tanan nag-expect na gyud nga ma-traffic ta kay ting klase na, ting-uli from the province, and ting-trabaho na,” — Cebu City Traffic Operations Management Operations Chief Jonathan Tumulak.

DPWH promises to complete steel bridge connecting Argao, Sibonga in 2 weeks

Public works officials said they are working to complete a temporary 2-lane steel bridge to reconnect Dumlog, Sibonga and Argao in 2 weeks. DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas said the bridge panels are already at the site and the other components will be transported to Cebu from Cagayan de Oro City soon.

“We hope we can reopen the bridge to traffic before the Sinulog celebration,” he said.

Dumlog bridge

TEMPORARY. A temporary steel bridge is being built after the destruction of this bridge in Dumlog, Sibonga cut off southern Cebu towns from the rest f the province. (Photo by Allan Tangcawan)

Completing the bridge is important because many Negros and Bohol residents travel by land and pass the area to go to Cebu City for the Sinulog Festival, which will culminate with the grand parade on January 18. (Sun.Star Cebu: DPWH vows to complete steel bridge connecting Argao, Sibonga in 2 weeks)

Cebu 2nd District Representative Wilfredo Caminero, on the other hand, is asking that huge trucks be banned from using alternate roads on part of the so-called vegetable highway connecting Mompeller, Argao and Papan, Sibonga. He described the passage as in “critical situation” due to continuous rain and the passage of big trucks. (The Freeman: Caminero: Bar huge trucks from using alternate roads)

11 houses destroyed in 2 fires that hit Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City

11 houses were destroyed in a fire at an interior portion of Barangay Capitol Site yesterday morning. Firefighters reportedly had a hard time getting to the scene because of a creek. The 20-minute fire caused an estimate P250,000 in damage to properties. The Freeman quoted Senior Fire Officer 3 Roylin Maratas as speculating that lighted candles children in the area were playing with may have started the fire.

“Duna ta nadawat na information na magsige gyud ni sila og duwa og kandila. Kon biyaan ni sila sa ilang mga ginikanan,” — Senior Fire Officer 3 Roylin Maratas.

Capitol to donate P1 million to Sinulog Foundation

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III yesterday said the Cebu Provincial Government will be donating P1 million to the Sinulog Foundation as financial assistance for the holding of the Philippines’ grandest festival. Sinulog Foundation executive director Ricky Ballesteros had sought the governor’s help. (Sun.Star CebuSinulog body to get P1M)

Also interesting:

Cebu Business News

Benedicto company to launch BPO building this year

Cebu-based Enrison Land Inc., the company behind the Be Resorts hotel brand, will be launching a business process outsourcing or BPO building this year in the IT Park. The company recently announced expansion plans for Be Resorts.

“Cebu is growing fast and we’d like to be part of such strong growth.” — Managing Director Enrilen Joy Benedicto said.

Feng Shui ‘expert’ sees rosy economic prospects for Philippines

Feng shui and astrology expert Hanz Cua told the The Freeman that the Year of the Wooden Sheep, which will begin on the Chinese New Year on February 19, will be “more prosperous, quiet and relaxed compared to previous years.”

With the ASEAN integration, Cua says economic relations among member countries will be more prosperous.

“2015 is also a good year to start a business for start-ups. The Philippine economy will be busier this year. Dahil paakyat yung ating economy, may job offers para sa mga walang trabaho.” — Feng shui and astrology expert Hanz Cua

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Cebu News Digest Jan. 5, 2015: Binay visit, south Cebu travel problems, resumption of classes

Vice President Jejomar Binay and the impact of the bridge damaged by Seniang dominate today’s news. With Sinulog fast approaching, stories on the festival are also becoming prominent including one…

Vice President Jejomar Binay and the impact of the bridge damaged by Seniang dominate today’s news. With Sinulog fast approaching, stories on the festival are also becoming prominent including one about a “massive operation” against erring drivers as one way to deal with the traffic that comes with the event. Sinulog Foundation Executive Director Ricky Ballesteros also pledged that there won’t be an increase in the prices of Sinulog tickets.

Binay gives out food, cash aid in Seniang-hit towns

Vice President Jejomar Binay on Sunday visited towns hit the worst by Seniang and distributed 7,500 food packs to affected families. He also gave out cash aid to the families of those who died during the storm, saying he will still see if he can extend a similar assistance to other victims.

Binay also went to the wake of the seven members of Bajenting-Faunillan family in Barangay Liboo, Ronda. The family members died when flashfloods swept their home at the height of Seniang. A two-year-old and a one-month-old child are still missing.

“Dagdagan pa ninyo ang inyong pananampalataya sa ating Mahal na Panginoon. Hindi Niya tayo pababayaan,” Vice President Jejomar Binay speaking in Ronda town.

Stories on his visit in Cebu:

Gwen Garcia and Jejomar Binay

CEBU VISIT. Vice President Jejomar Binay and 3rd District Representative Gwendolyn Garcia eat in a boodle fight, a shared meal where food is placed on top of banana leaves at the center of a table, in Dumanjug town. (Photo by Mitchelle Palaubsanon of The Freeman)

Slow, difficult commute in south Cebu

For thousands of commuters in south Cebu, returning back to Metro Cebu today for work or classes will be slow and difficult. Travel in the south has been complicated by the collapse of the Dumlog Bridge in Sibonga at the height of tropical Seniang five days ago.

A temporary road in Barangays Lindogon and Simala that can accommodate trucks and buses has been opened starting Sunday but only from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Since it is not open in the morning, bus passengers will have to get off at one end of the bridge, cross to the other side on foot or by motorcycle and take another bus there.

Sibonga foot bridge

FOOT BRIDGE. The Cebu Provincial Government reported the completion of this additional footbridge in Dumlog, Sibonga. (Photo taken by Toper Kintanar and published in the Cebu Provincial Government Facebook page)

“We are trying our best to find another path,” said Cebu Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera.

During his visit, Vice President Binay promised to urge Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson to fast-track work on the Dumlog Bridge. (Sun.Star CebuTemp road for trucks opens)

Near the toppled Dumlog Bridge, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) constructed a two-meter wide, 15-meter long footbridge made of coconut lumber for pedestrians. (Cebu Daily News20-ton vehicles can pass in south’s alternate route)

Class break extended for 3 southern Cebu schools

Classes resume today for all but three schools in Southern Cebu that sustained damages during tropical storm Seniang.

A landslide has rendered the way to the Calagasan National High School in Argao impassable, while classrooms were damaged in two Pinamungajan elementary schools – Tupas and Lut-old – after trees fell on them. The Department of Education (DepEd) has granted the request of Argao to suspend classes for one week in Calagasan. (The Freeman: Longer break for 3 schools)

DSWD hit for failing to extend help

In Ronda, which was badly hit by Seniang, the mayor wants to know why the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has failed to extend help to storm survivors. Not a single food pack has arrived for Seniang survivors in Ronda, the mayor said, adding he expected the DSWD to help calamity victims.

“There is not even a single family food pack that arrived from DSWD to alleviate the suffering of my people. Where are the DSWD officials now?” — Ronda Mayor Mariano Blanco III. (Sun.Star CebuMayor asks: Where’s DSWD’s help?)

Also interesting:

Cebu Business News

On the business front, Cebu’s premier business organization looks back at 2014 while a Cebu Bankers Club official dispenses sound advice for local banks.

2014 another banner year for CCCI

When it comes to meeting goals, 2014 was another banner year of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI). CCCI president Ma. Teresa Chan said the chamber has come to represent the voice of the business community. (Sun.Star Cebu: CCCI now ‘important voice’)

Local banks told: Merge with foreign, other banks

“Foreign banks are interested to operate and open branches here. The implication of that for local banks is either you merge with bigger (local) banks if you’re quite small or you can merge with foreign banks (…) If you’re small and you don’t have the technology, merge with them,” — Cebu Bankers Club president Gino Gonzales told smaller local banks. (Sun.Star CebuMerge with other banks to stay competitive: officer)

No Comments on Cebu News Digest Jan. 5, 2015: Binay visit, south Cebu travel problems, resumption of classes

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