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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 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.

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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

Comments

By Max Limpag

Max Limpag is a journalist, blogger, and developer based in Cebu. He started as a reporter covering City Hall in 1996. He has written on technology for various print and digital publications since 1999 and twice won the Philippine Blog Awards for technology and sports. He co-founded the new media start-up InnoPub Media.