In 2019, the public will see the rise of two BPO towers, a mall and a hotel inside the 24-hectare Cebu IT Park in Lahug.

A fire went up in a reforestation project in Barangay Canangcaan, Oslob town at 2 p.m. last Sunday and spread to cover 120 hectares.

Central Visayas is asking for P108.86 billion in projects in the national budget for 2016.

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Here are the top stories for today, March 21, 2015:

More development in IT Park

Property developer Ayala Land Inc. will invest around P8 billion for a 2.2-hectare mixed-use project inside its own development, the Cebu IT Park in Lahug, Cebu City.

Cebu IT Park

A night shot of the Cebu IT Park, where property developer Ayala Land, Inc. plans to put up a Central Bloc of 2 BPO towers, five-level Ayala mall, and Seda Hotel. (Creative Commons photo by George Parilla)

The project is called the Central Bloc. It will house two business process outsourcing (BPO) towers, a five-level Ayala mall, and a 214-room Seda hotel.

The new project, which broke ground on Friday, is expected to generate 17,000 jobs upon completion in 2019. About 14,000 of these jobs are expected to come from the BPO sector.

The BPO towers will accommodate local and multinational firms that wish to expand their operations in Cebu while the mall is expected to house a total of 500 local and international brands and offer a gross leasable area of 24,000 square meters.

The management said they will add two more access roads to Banilad to support the road requirements of Ayala’s existing and future projects in the Cebu IT Park.

No response to the fire?

The fire department in Oslob admitted they were not able to respond to the forest fire in Barangay Canangcaan because no one told them about it.

Authorities are now verifying reports that a 14-year-old boy may have caused the fire, which broke out in steep terrain. Residents in the area failed to stop the forest fire because of the steep terrain and their lack of water sources.

The fire destroyed around 60,000 trees of varying species, such as kakawati, robles, ipil-ipil and molave, and worth Php 285,000, according to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7.

It was one of the critical plantations under DENR’s National Greening Program (NGP). The nine critical NGP plantations in Central Visayas are in Oslob and Argao in Cebu; Ubay, Buenavista, Getafe, Pilar and Talibon in Bohol; and Ayungon and Bindoy in Negros Oriental.

DENR 7 director Dr. Isabelo Montejo ordered the immediate monitoring of all 20 NGP plantations in the region and setting up of community fire brigades to counter the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

Proposed budget for CV

With the endorsement of the Regional Development Council (RDC) 7, Central Visayas is asking for P108.86 billion in programs and projects, including roads, in the national budget for 2016.

The budget proposal is divided into four parts: development administration (P427.44 million), social development (P55.310 billion), economic development (P3.730 billion) and infrastructure (P49.395 billion).

Cebu has the biggest budget for social development at P38.285 billion and infrastructure, at P21.858 billion.

However, the total amount does not include yet Cebu City’s infrastructure projects because these lacked an endorsement from the Cebu City Development Council.

Other top Cebu News stories:

Cebu Daily News: Chief justice urges lawyers to support reforms
The Freeman: Public safety more urgent
The Freeman: Cebu City fails fiscal performance scorecard
Sun.Star Cebu: Lacson to PNoy on Mamasapano incident: ‘Say sorry’

Cebu Business headlines:

The Freeman: DOLE allocates P76M for summer job program
The Freeman: Sy-led mall chain to expand Visayas operations
Sun.Star Cebu: ‘Embrace what makes the PH unique’

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