Election ban hampers aid to drought victims; teacher in trouble for Facebook post; PNoy to visit Cebu anew – Cebu News Digest for April 26, 2016.

This is the roundup of stories that came out in local publications today, April 26, 2016.

DRY SPELL. Cebu Province has declared a state of calamity due to the drought but it can't release financial aid due to Comelec restrictions. (Photo from
DRY SPELL. Cebu Province has declared a state of calamity due to the drought but it can’t release financial aid due to Comelec restrictions. (Photo from

Comelec ban hampers Capitol aid for El Nino

THOSE affected by the El Nino phenomenon in Cebu province will have to wait for aid as Cebu Province can’t give any, pending a clearance from the Commission on Elections. Due to the election period, there is a ban on the distribution of relief assistance.  Last April 8, Gov. Hilario Davide III asked Comelec Manila for an exemption from the ban so it can provide assistance to those affected by the drought in Cebu, which has declared a State of Calamity due to the drought.
There was no update on his request as of April 25.

The election ban has slowed down our relief efforts in the midst of the calamity. Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reducation and Management Office head Baltazar Tribunalo Jr.

READ: Cebu Daily News: Lack of Comelec action on Capitol’s request hampers aid to drought victims.

Think before you post: DepEd to teacher.

A PHOTO of a student answering an exam on a banana leaf instead of a paper has landed a teacher in trouble. Jhesa Balbastro of Bohol was forced to answer a spelling test on a banana leaf since her family had no money to buy school materials. Her teacher, Maria Ana Doroy, took a photo and posted it on Facebook, calling it inspiring. That photo caught the attention of ABS-CBN, which included Balbastro in the final presidential debate.

However, Department of Education officials in Bohol aren’t amused.

It doesn’t happen in Bohol that our students would write on banana leaves no matter how poor we are. Think, think, think before you post. Be responsible in the use of social media. Dr. Wilfreda Bongalos, Bohol Schools Division superintendent

READ: Cebu Daily News: Teacher in trouble for posting photo of student using banana leaf in exam

PB approves P27B Cebu-Cordova bridge

The Cebu Provincial Board has approved the joint venture agreement between the Cordova Municipal Government and the Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC) for the P27-billion Cebu-Cordova Bridge Project.

The 8.25-kilometer third bridge will connect Cebu City to Cordova. Work is planned to start in late 2017 and is expected to be completed by 2020. The Cebu City council already approved the project.

Cordova already broke ground for the project in January 2015. Worsening traffic in Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue has amplified calls for the building of a 3rd bridge to link Mactan Island to mainland Cebu.

READ: Cebu Daily News: Provincial Board OKs P27-billion third bridge

President Aquino to visit Cebu again

PRESIDENT Benigngo Aquino III and his Liberal Party allies will visit Cebu again tomorrow for a pre-Labor Day campaign sortie for local LP allies and the proclamation rally of BOPK candidates. Aquino will visit Mandaue City, Capitol, Cebu City and Talisay. This is the third time that Aquino has visited Cebu during the election period.
However, Talisay City mayor Johnny delos Reyes, who was formerly allied with LP, said only a few supporters will be attending the rally in Talisay.

Mingaw lagi na. Kun adto siguro sila sa merkado basin tapukan pa sila. Ako na nang gitugyan ni Gullas kay siya man ang pinangga sa LP. Tagsa-tagsa naman mi’g tugkaran. Talisay City Mayor Johnny delos Reyes.

READ: Freeman: PNoy to visit Cebu for the third time in election period.

Other Cebu News:

» Sun.Star Cebu: Tension mars demolition in Mabolo

» Sun.Star Cebu: BFAR reports P47.7 damage due to El Nino

» Sun.Star Cebu: Del Mar, Abellanosa post lead in Sun.Star survey

» Sun.Star Cebu: Davide, 14 others, face raps for aid distribution

» Sun.Star Cebu: Pelaez sees victory due to drop in Lapu’s voting population

» The Freeman: Rama faces raps for administering oath on ‘known drug personality’

» The Freeman: Cops nab 12, P3.2M worth of shabu in drug bust

» Cebu Daily News: Carreta officials vow to close coal plant in case of violations

» Cebu Daily News: City Hall to distribute water in Budlaan

» Cebu Daily News: Series of robberies in Bogo City worry businessmen

Cebu Business News.

» Sun.Star Cebu: Megaworld expects more BPOs to relocate to Mactan

» Sun.Star Cebu: Party list sees malls opening own petrol stations

» The Freeman: Cebu furniture industry hopes to exceed target

» The Freeman: MCIA posts 14 percent increase in passenger volume in first quarter of 2016

» Cebu Daily News: New master plan hopes to boost logistic sector

» Cebu Daily News: C. Lhuillier offers product for climate change adaptation

Cebu Sports News.

» Sun.Star Cebu: Cebuano jungolfer bags spot in world championship

» The Freeman: Filipino Flash stays humble, downplays lofty billing

» Cebu Daily News: Cebuanos lead Batang Gilas in 71-point rout of Laos



Cebu City issues notice of award for Cebu-Cordova Bridge

Acting Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has issued the notice of award for the Cebu-Cordova Bridge Project to the Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC). With the notice, the company can now start processing the permits for the construction of the bridge.

“Please be informed that you have been awarded the project for the formation of a Joint Venture Agreement with the City Government of Cebu and the Municipal Government of Cordova for the financing, design, construction, implementation, operation and maintenance of an 8.55 km toll road to be known as the Cebu-Cordova Bridge, including the construction of the connections to Cebu City and Cordova, the main bridge, structure, viaduct, causeway and roadway,” Labella said in a letter to MPTDC chief executive officer and president Ramoncito Fernandez, The Freeman reported.

Cebu-Cordova Bridge 3rd bridge
CEBU-CORDOVA BRIDGE. An earlier iteration of the plan for the 3rd Cebu bridge. (Image taken from Regional Development Council website)

Cebu-Cordova Bridge proposal

Cebu City Committee on Awards member Mary Rose Salvatierra told The Freeman no other bidder submitted a challenge to the MPTDC proposal. She said the notice of awards was supposed to have been released in the second week of December but various incidents, including Mayor Michael Rama’s 60-day suspension last December 10, delayed the release.

Salvatierra said MPTDC can now start processing permits for the project like getting clearances from the Philippine Coast Guard and the Cebu Ports Authority.

Construction of the third Mactan bridge is expected to start in the first quarter of 2016, said Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy.

Under the latest proposal, the Cebu-Cordova Bridge will span eight kilometers from the mouth of the Guadalupe River to Shell Island and then Cordova town. It will have a toll plaza and causeway. The bridge is projected to cost P27 billion, higher than the initial estimate of P17 billion.

Need for 3rd Mactan bridge

The project broke ground On January 1, 2015. The project will be undertaken under a build and operate scheme with Cebu City and Cordova getting a share of the toll that will be collected from users of the bridge. An estimate placed the toll for bridge users at P55.

Cebu Daily News, in a news report published in January 2015, said the Cebu-Cordova Bridge could be opened to the public as early as 2018. A 3rd Mactan bridge is seen to ease crippling traffic in the existing 2 bridges and their surrounding areas in Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue Cities.


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 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