Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama wants to put up a government complex at the South Road Properties (SRP) and turn the current City Hall into a museum. Still at the SRP, a month-long cleanup has recovered 75 tons of garbage.

Meanwhile, City Hall is set to hold another bidding for the construction of the Cebu City Medical Center.

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Here are the top stories for today, January 31, 2015:

Cebu City Hall

VIEW FROM CITY HALL. The park near the Cebu City Hall. At upper left in the photograph is Compañia Maritima. Mayor Rama wants to transfer City Hall to a government complex he is planning to build at the South Road Properties and turn the current building into a “modern” museum.

Mayor Rama wants to move City Hall to SRP, turn current building into museum

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he is considering moving City Hall to the South Road Properties and building a complex there for government offices. Rama said he will then convert the current City Hall into a museum.

Rama directed SRP Management Office head Roberto Varquez to tap architects to plan and design a government complex at the SRP.

With no modern museums in Cebu City, the current City Hall building will be an ideal venue because of its proximity to historical landmarks like the Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro, Basilica del Santo Niño, Plaza Independencia and Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Rama said transferring City Hall to the SRP will also help decongest traffic in downtown Cebu City.

City Hall prepares for another bidding for new Cebu City Medical Center

The Cebu City Government is preparing documents for the rebidding for the construction of the new Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC). The new CCMC will be a 10-storey facility with 409 hospital beds.

City Hall is rebidding the construction after Mayor Michael Rama declared the previous bidding a failure. Rama wants the new bidding “to address issues raised pertaining to the initial bidding and to avoid or preclude any suspicion of favoritism and anomalies.”

Rama said that instead of the initial project amount of P300 million, the city will pour in an additional P300 million for the project. The initial P300 million was taken from the first supplemental budget last year and the added P300 million will be sourced from the P13.4 billion city budget this year. The project also has an additional P45 million in budget raised through a fundraising campaign

New Cebu City Medical Center

NEW CCMC. The perspective plan for the new Cebu City Medical Center. (Taken from the Cebu City PIO Facebook page)

75 tons of trash taken from SRP waters

Garbage has been building up underwater at the South Road Properties for more than 13 years, Bantay Dagat Director Ranulfo Sebusa said. Last year, volunteer divers and environment officials found a mountain of trash that rose 15 feet.

Sebusa said the divers found garbage had already covered the coral reefs and there were fish that got trapped inside plastic bags.

A cleanup “Scubasurero” cleanup program that started in December and will end today retrieved 75 tons of garbage that have now been dumped at a sanitary facility in Consolacion. The program cost City Hall P1.8 million.

2 more Cebu City councilors return P20,000 calamity aid

Two more Cebu City councilors have returned P20,000 calamity assistance they received in 2013, it was learned yesterday.

Cebu City Councilors Mary Ann de Los Santos and Roberto Cabarrubias gave back the P20,000 calamity assistance they received in 2013, which was recently issued with a notice of disallowance by the Commission on Audit (COA).

City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas told reporters de los Santos returned the money last Thursday while Cabarrubias returned his last year.

Cabarrubias said returned the money even before the COA notice because of the case filed against them for receiving and approving the release of the fund.

“Lain ang opinion sa public sa among pagdawat ato nga assistance maong ako nalang giuli… Nangutang pa ko aron ibayad og balik ang P20,000 aron lang gyud way masulti ba kay public officials baya mi.” — Cebu City Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias

Councilors Alvin Dizon, Eugenio Gabuya Jr., Sisinio Andales, Nida Cabrera and Nestor Archival also returned their calamity assistance earlier this week.

Bodies of 2 SAF men from Cebu scheduled to arrive today

The remains of PO1 Windel Candano of Dumanjug town and PO1 Romeo Cempron of Consolacion town are scheduled to arrive early today. The two are among the 44 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) who died in an operation in Maguindanao.

The two will be given arrival honors at the airport before SAF operatives escort their bodies to their homes, according to Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas spokesman Superintendent Renato Dugan.

Yesterday, 800 people, mostly police officers, staged a “sympathy walk” from the IT Park to the PRO-Central Visayas headquarters on Osmeña Blvd.

Members of the Kaisang Bisig, the 2009 police academy class to which 3 of the slain police officers belonged to, shaved their heads to express sympathy to the families of their batchmates.

“As a president, even if I want to get mad, I cannot allow myself to be driven by emotion. I cannot make careless decisions. If I allow anger to dominate, rather than resolving the problem, we will just worsen it.” — President Benigno Aquino III

“How do we honor the great 44? Bawi nalang tayo sa mga criminals. Wala naman ditong MILF so we can honor the great 44 by going against illegal drugs, criminals, and human traffickers.” Senior Supt. Conrado Capa

January 31 Cebu newspapers front pages

TOP CEBU NEWS STORIES. The front pages of Cebu’s 3 English dailies today.

Other top Cebu news stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: Mandaue City set to close Cebu City slaughterhouse for failing to submit documents required for tax exemption

Sun.Star Cebu: MCIAA to build ‘replacement’ buildings for Philippine Air Force to set stage for demolition of structures needed for Terminal 2 construction to start

Sun.Star Cebu: 3-day anti-crime drive by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 7 nets 13 suspects, P1 million worth of illegal drugs, guns

Sun.Star Cebu: 9 local governments get P2 billion in financial assistance to residents affected by Super typhoon Yolanda

Sun.Star Cebu: Department of Health sends team to investigate death of patient in Mandaue City Hospital; husband earlier accused hospital of giving his wife wrong medication and causing her death

Cebu Business Headlines

The Freeman: BIR admits to lack of manpower to go after “underground” traders

Sun.Star Cebu: Construction, real estate industries to continue posting high growth, says economist

The Freeman: Veco targets 5% growth this year

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