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CHR frowns on Osmena cash reward; NBI nabs Briton in cyber-sex sting; Lapu-Lapu tries another traffic scheme–Cebu News Digest for May 20, 2016.

This is the roundup of stories that came out in local publications today, May 20, 2016.

REWARD, Incoming Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmena meets P03 Julius Regis, the cop who wounded a robbery suspect. Osmena handed over a P20,000 reward. (Photo from Tomas Osmena's FB page.)
REWARD, Incoming Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmena meets P03 Julius Regis, the cop who wounded a robbery suspect. Osmena handed over a P20,000 reward. (Photo from Tomas Osmena’s FB page.)

CHR to probe drug pusher’s death.

The Commission on Human Righs in Central Visayas said the cash reward offered by Cebu City mayor-elect Tomas Osmena to cops, tanods and even civilians who can kill criminal elements may lead to abuse. CHR 7 director Arvin Odron said the reward system may encourage barangay tanods or even civilians to engage in extra-judicial killings because of the moneytary consideration.

We will closely watch this. We are alarmed because this is not the usual policy of local executives. CHR 7 director Arvin Odron.

Ang trabaho sa Commission on Human Rights mohatag silag protection sa mga kriminal. Sa akong bahin, ganahan gyod ko mohatag og protection sa mga biktima sa krimen. Cebu City Mayor-elect Tomas Osmena.

Read: Cebu Daily News: Osmena scoffs at CHR’s concern over P50K reward.

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News

Cebu News Digest: April 24, 2015: Underground pass on N. Bacalso Ave.?; Water supply critical due to dry spell

To solve the worsening traffic in Cebu City, there are plans to build a P750-million underground pass on N. Bacalso Ave. It will be a four-lane pass for two-way traffic stretching 700 meters from Muslim Mosque on N. Bacalso Ave. to the corner of Cabreros St.

Still in Cebu City, work on S. Osmena Blvd. comes closer to completion after the contractor undertaking the road project resumed earth-balling the trees on the center island under the supervision of the Cebu City Parks and Playground Commission (CCPPC).

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama attended the quarterly meeting of the Cebu Citizens’ Press Council where he said he does not mind receiving criticisms but asked that these refer to factual issues.

There is a reason the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) is frequently calling on the public to conserve water this summer. Several parts of the cities of Talisay and Cebu are already feeling the issue of water supply shortage.

Are you planning to buy a house unit or thinking of investing in one?

Check out Astele, which is among the newest property developments of top developer Primary Homes in Lapu-Lapu City. Astele is a vibrant community nestled in the coastal area of the island, close to top beach vacation getaways. It makes use of natural lines and Asian contemporary elements that give it a tasteful and minimalist feel. (Read more about the project here.)

Here are the top stories for today, April 24, 2015:

Traffic solution

According to Nonato Paylado, head of the Department of Public Works and Highways 7 planning and design division, the planned features for the underground pass are the following:

It will stretch 700 meters from the Muslim Mosque on N. Bacalso Ave. to the corner of Cabreros St.
It will allow two-way traffic with two lanes per direction.

Cebu City underground pass
Shown on the map is the general area of the proposed underground pass on N. Bacalso Avenue.

The infrastructure, which will be done in three phases, is projected to be completed in 2017 or next year, depending on the funds, affecting surrounding properties, including two shopping centers.

The underpass project is included in the 2015 DPWH Infrastructure Program, which is funded by the national budget for this year.

Low water pressure in parts of Talisay, Cebu City

This summer, several parts in Talisay City and Cebu City have been experiencing low water pressure or no water at all at certain hours of the day.

Summer and the El Niño made an impact on the water production of the MCWD whose output is down by 10,000 cubic meters per day.

Actual water production was 208,000 cubic meters from a target of 218,000 cubic meters.

According to Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara, MCWD public affairs manager, the Jaclupan weir or small dam reached a critical level in the first week of April, affecting many areas.

The Jaclupan water facility has been producing about 20,000 cubic meters instead of its normal output of 33,000 cubic meters a day, while the Buhisan dam, which usually dries up in the summer, produced only 3,200 cubic meters instead of 6,000 cubic meters a day.

Mayor to City Hall department heads: Be accessible

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama clarified he issued no gag order on 21 department heads and offices of City Hall and even called on them to be accessible.

The Cebu Citizens’ Press Council invited the mayor to its second quarterly meeting as a way of improving media coverage at City Hall.

“That has been my position all the time. If you want to be a public servant and you work at City Hall, I have been telling clearly, it is a 24/7 job. With the departments, I will again, through PIO (Public Information Office), remind them to be accessible,” said Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

Other top Cebu News stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: End in sight for road project
The Freeman: Manual voting a last option for 2016 elections – Comelec
Cebu Daily News: NBI-7 steps into probe of child beggar’s death

Cebu Business headlines:

The Freeman: Aznar clan sells 57% SWU stake for P1.9B
Sun.Star Cebu: Success of pricier ice cream offers retailers ‘premiumization’ lessons

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News

Cebu News Digest: April 23, 2015: DOTC awards Cebu BRT contracts to Korean firm; CV has low rice sufficiency

Kunhwa Engineering & Consulting was awarded with the contract for the detailed engineering design and construction supervision of the Bus Rapid Transit system project in Cebu City.

According to the Department of Agriculture (DA) 7, Central Visayas only has a 34-35 percent rice sufficiency, which means that only about 2.4 million of the 6.8 million people living in Central Visayas will be fed by the region’s rice production.

Here are the top stories for today, April 23, 2015:

Korean company gets BRT contracts

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) awarded the contracts for the detailed engineering design and construction supervision of the Bus Rapid Transit system project in Cebu City to Kunhwa Engineering & Consulting.

According to Cebu-BRT office head Rafael Yap, the notice of award is only a prerequisite to proceed with the actual detailed engineering design.

However, DOTC still needs to issue a notice to proceed after all requirements are complied with by the Korean company before Kunhwa can start with the detailed engineering design. Yap said that the notice to proceed includes vital details, especially the timeline.

The first phase of the BRT project would involve detailed engineering design and preparation of bidding documents for the engineering, structural, civil, architectural, electrical and mechanical design while the second phase covers the supervision of the transit way and the supporting infrastructure during the construction.

Despite low rice sufficiency, CV gets enough supply

The DA explained that Central Visayas is not a rice-producing region because its soil condition, terrain and topography are not suitable for rice production.

In Cebu, the areas that pass the conditions for rice production are Carcar City, Toledo City and Argao.

Despite this situation, Central Visayas still gets enough supply of rice. This is primarily because of the fact that rice producers from Eastern Visayas and Western Visayas bring their rice produce to Central Visayas for marketing.

“We are dependent on other regions…we get rice from Iloilo and we get some of our meat products from Mindanao. However, we get enough supply because we (Central Visayas) have a big role in marketing the products.” – Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 Technical Director for Research and Regulations Joel Elumba

DA 7 continues to encourage the public to shift to other food staples like corn, camote, cassava and oats.

Other top Cebu News stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: Cop’s son caught carrying P400T worth of illegal drugs
The Freeman: Cebu City faces looming crisis on garbage disposal
Cebu Daily News: ‘Blunt force’ used on girl

Cebu Business headlines:

Sun.Star Cebu: Special rates for homegrown brands sought
The Freeman: CV registers P1.4B investments for Q1

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News

Cebu News Digest: April 8, 2015: PB approves recla project in Cordova; Cebu City needs P1B for new classrooms for K to 12

The Provincial Board (PB) approved a resolution that authorizes Cordova town to carry out a P138-billion reclamation project under a public-private partnership agreement.

The Cebu City Government’s Local School Board (LSB) seeks the National Government’s help—and funds worth almost P1 billion—for the full implementation of the K to 12 program starting next year.

Are you planning to buy a house unit or thinking of investing in one?

Check out Astele, which is among the newest property developments of top developer Primary Homes in Lapu-Lapu City. Astele is a vibrant community nestled in the coastal area of the island, close to top beach vacation getaways. It makes use of natural lines and Asian contemporary elements that give it a tasteful and minimalist feel. (Read more about the project here.)

Here are the top stories for today, April 8, 2015:

‘Biggest’ recla project in the country

The Cordova reclamation project is moving forward with PB’s approval.

Cordova reclamation
Mayor Adelino Sitoy, shown here during a recent event in Cordova, says SM Prime Holdings will finance the P138 billion reclamation project in the town. (Photo taken from DILG Cebu FB page)

SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI), which reportedly came up with an unsolicited proposal, will be the private proponent that will finance the project.

SM will get 49 percent (735 hectares) of the total reclaimed area of 1,500 hectares while the rest will be shared by the Provincial Government, the Philippine Reclamation Authority and Cordova.

According to former Cordova mayor Arleigh Sitoy, it will be the “biggest” reclamation project in the country, or five times bigger than the South Road Properties in Cebu City, since it will connect Shell Island in the western part of the town to lighthouse all the way to Lava Island in the southern part of the town.

The P138 billion will be released in phases in the next eight years.

Story

Local School Board seeks more funds for implementation of K to 12

Cebu City needs almost 700 additional classrooms that will cost almost P1 billion to build. LSB’s P385-million Special Education Fund this year is not enough.

With the K to 12 program, the City’s north district will need 165 additional classrooms for senior high school (a new level) and 68 additional classrooms for kindergarten and Grades 1 to 6 pupils.

The City’s south district will need 181 additional classrooms for senior high school and 252
classrooms for kindergarten and elementary pupils.

One classroom alone will cost P1.2 million while a four-storey, 20 classroom building will cost P24 million.

LSB is seeking funds from the National Government through the Department of Education that has a school building program.

6 towns, 5 cities in Cebu among top 10 CV destinations

According to the Department of Tourism-7, among the top destinations (municipality category and city category) in Cebu in 2014 based on the volume of tourists are:

Municipality category

  • San Remigio, Cebu (2nd place)
  • Sta. Fe, Cebu (3rd)
  • Minglanilla, Cebu (4th)
  • Moalboal, Cebu (6th)
  • Cordova, Cebu (8th)
  • Medellin, Cebu (10th)

City Category

  • Cebu City (1st)
  • Lapu-Lapu City (2nd)
  • Mandaue City (5th)
  • Bogo City (6th)
  • Danao City (7th)

Other top Cebu News stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: 8 boys saved from 2 ‘pimps’
The Freeman: 33T Cebu City voters urged to validate their biometrics
The Freeman: Priest among finalists in 6th Triennial Awards

Cebu Business headlines:

Sun.Star Cebu: PLDT wireless units ‘set pace for postpaid revenue growth’
The Freeman: Mobile data is the new battleground for telcos

Categories
News

Cebu News Digest: April 7, 2015: Public warned: Days to get hotter; Year-round brgy. festivals in Cebu City?

After Cebu recorded its hottest day so far at 33.6 degrees Celsius last Black Saturday, Pagasa (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) Mactan Weather Station said the temperature is expected to rise in the coming month.

A Cebu City barangay official, meanwhile, says there was nothing wrong in his use of a government car for a family outing at a beach.

In Cebu City Hall, a councilor suggests some festivals that the barangays can hold to attract tourists in the months following the Sinulog celebration.

Are you thinking of buying a condo unit?

Check out Eagles’ Nest by Primary Homes — a great option especially for students of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu. The school has endorsed it as alternative living arrangement for its students. (Read more about the project here.)

Here are the top stories for today, April 7, 2015:

HOTTER DAYS AHEAD. Pag-asa is asking people to brace for hotter days. (Creative Commons photo:  Takeshi Kawai)
HOTTER DAYS AHEAD. Pag-asa is asking people to brace for hotter days. (Creative Commons photo: Takeshi Kawai)

‘Protect self from heat’

Since the heat index, or the actual temperature felt in a human body, is about four degrees higher than the recorded temperature, last Black Saturday’s temperature felt like 37.6 degrees.

Al Quiblat, chief meteorologist of PAGASA Mactan, said the public should watch out and prepare themselves for the hotter days ahead due to the progressing El Niño.

“Di ta angay’ng makuyawan sa bagyo sa pagkakaron. Ang angay natong bantayan ang kainit because of progressing El Niño.” — Al Quiblat, chief meteorologist of PAGASA Mactan

He pointed out that the minimum temperature that can trigger heat stroke is 32 degrees Celsius. He cautioned the public against long direct sun exposure and advised them to regularly drink water.

Yesterday, the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) is not discounting the possibility of heat stroke as the cause of death of a 10-year-old female street child who was found unresponsive and bleeding from the mouth along Mango Avenue, Cebu City.

CCMC said they have yet to check the underlying cause of the child’s death, including her medical history.

Nothing wrong in using government car for beach outing: barangay chairman

Barangay Carreta chairman Eduardo Lauron said there was nothing wrong in his using a government car for a family outing in Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City.

“It was my grandson’s birthday. Wala may bati siguro ana kay wala man na siya gigamit para sa sugal compared sa uban (Nothing’s wrong with that because it was not used in activities like gambling, like others).” — Barangay Carreta chairman Eduardo Lauron as quoted by Cebu Daily News.

Ombudsman Visayas spokesperson lawyer Maria Corazon Naraja said they will evaluate reports to determine action on the incident.

“It is but proper for government officials and employees to keep in mind that government funds and properties are meant for official purpose only. If they violate this rule, they have to answer for it.” — Ombudsman Visayas spokesperson Maria Corazon Naraja

Cebu City to improve barangay festivals to attract, sustain local tourists

Cebu City
To sustain the number of tourists coming to Cebu for the Sinulog throughout the rest of the year, the City Government is thinking of holding more festivals. (Photo taken from Cebu City PIO Facebook page)

Cebu City Councilor Gerry Carillo said they are proposing a number of barangay festivals for the city government to hold in order to help sustain the number of local tourists right after Sinulog.

“These festivals are already existing. What we want is to enhance them and make it more attractive so we could continue to invite more tourists to visit Cebu. These year-round festivals will give Filipinos and even foreign tourists more reasons to come back to Cebu.” — Gerry Carillo, Cebu City councilor

Part of the plan is to transform barangay fiestas into festivals and encourage more barangays to participate for the whole year. Eight city festivals are being finalized:

Buwad Festival, which covers San Nicolas, Pahina, Sawang, Pasil, Suba and Calamba, this month until May 10 in San Nicolas

Summer Festival with activities like biking, flying kite, car racing and Sta. Cruzan in Labangon next month (Carillo said they are still seeking approval for its implementation.)

Tartanilla Kabayo Festival, with Mambaling and Dulho as the lead organizers, in June

Sundang/Bolo Festival in Basak and San Nicolas in July

Puso Festival in Inayawan this August

Mango Festival in Brgys. Subangdako, Kalunasan, and Guadalupe in September

Mountain and Flower Festival by Bonbon, Babag, Busay, Buol, Sinsin, Sudlon 1&2, Sibugay and Tabunon in October

Kasadya sa SRP and Festival for the City (Cebu City Charter Day) in December to February

“Festivals are an excellent marketing tool. One of the objectives here is to make people come back to Cebu right after Sinulog. Cebu isn’t just about Sinulog. We also celebrate other festivals, which we hope locals and foreign tourists would take a look at and experience.” — Manny Ongkiko, an event organizer

Other top Cebu News stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: Rama orders re-blocking fire scene in Sitio Mansanitas, Barangay Cogon Pardo
Sun.Star Cebu: South Korean national charged with importing used clothes
The Freeman: 2 minors tagged in jeepney robberies nabbed

Cebu Business headlines:

The Freeman: Joint curriculum mulled to solve designers’ woes
The Freeman: DOLE 7 slates job fairs in Cebu and Bohol

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News

Cebu News Digest: March 30, 2015: Public urged: Do more beyond Earth Hour; 250T nurses ‘needed’ in Germany

Some government officials recommended actions that the public can do beyond last Saturday’s Earth Hour.

About 250,000 nurses are needed in Germany in the next five years, according to health care matching company Care.com Europe founder and chief executive officer Steffen Zoller.

Are you planning to buy a condo unit or thinking of investing in one?

Check out Eagles’ Nest by Primary Homes — a great option especially for students of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu. The school has endorsed it as alternative living arrangement for its students. (Read more about the project here.)

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

Here are the top stories for today:

‘Go beyond Earth Hour’

While the demand for electricity dropped by 34.67 megawatts (equivalent to nearly 15 percent of the power reserve for the entire Visayas yesterday) during Earth Hour last Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., government officials pointed out that it is time for all sectors to do more and go beyond Earth Hour.

“We should learn to understand that the Earth Hour is beyond symbolism. Earth Hour is about understanding the truth that this world will be left to the next generation. We should keep in mind that this planet is not ours, as we are only its stewards.” – Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella

Earth Hour Cebu
Cebu City and other local officials led by Mayor Michael Rama mark Saturday’s Earth Hour celebration at SM City Cebu. (Photo by Cebu City Tourism Commission executive director Cinbeth Orellano)

“In the 2015 global climate risk index, Cebu is not spared from the effects of climate change. It is important that we go beyond this Earth Hour.” – Councilor Nida Cabrera, chairperson of the Cebu City Council’s committee on environment

“We can make an Earth Hour each day, going beyond the one hour every last Saturday of March. This is our challenge as we face the negative impacts of climate change.” – Dr. Eddie Llamedo, public information officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7

They recommended the following:

• segregating trash at home
• using less water and power
• planting more trees, especially fruit-bearing and indigenous trees
• disaster preparedness
• relocating residents from no-build zones and vulnerable areas of the city, such as along rivers and other waterways.
• properly disposing of things that are harmful to human beings
• taking shorter showers to save water
• teaching children composting and proper waste segregation
• switching off unnecessary appliances
• converting all incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps

Job opportunities await nurses in Germany

With the high demand for nurses and health care workers in Germany due to the country’s aging population, fewer workers in the health sector, and the building of more hospitals, Care.com Europe founder and chief executive officer Steffen Zoller said Germany is eyeing the Philippines to help fill in the demand.

Even when the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency does not allow recruitment agencies in the Philippines to recruit Filipino nurses in Germany, employers in Germany can do direct hiring from the Philippines.

Also, when the Federal Republic if Germany entered into a bilateral agreement with the Philippines for a government-to-government placement system for Filipino workers’ temporary employment in Germany in March 2013, the foreign country opened its doors to Filipino medical professionals, especially nurses, who were previously banned from employment in Germany, in accordance with its laws.

To date, only 31 Filipino nurses have been brought to Germany. The foreign nation is looking at accommodating at least 500 Filipino nurses this year.

Other top Cebu News stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: Sta. Fe port able to accommodate more ships after damaged ramp gets fixed
Cebu Daily News: Disaster preparedness eyed for schools
Sun.Star Cebu: 11 nabbed in Naga, Bogo, Talisay raids
The Freeman: Don’t be swayed by ‘modernized ideas’
The Freeman: SRP eyes P58M in equipment

Cebu Business headlines:

Sun.Star Cebu: ‘Reasonable’ pay hike won’t impact BPO growth: Romulo
Sun.Star Cebu: Deca Homes developer installs fiber to the home infra
The Freeman: Palm Sunday spells extra income for lukay vendors
The Freeman: ECCP allocates P2 million for innovation center

Categories
Feature People Places

Explore Cebu City’s highlands on a mountain bike

On the fringes of Cebu City’s urban landscape are wooded trails that lead to rustic hangouts.

People unfamiliar with the city might find it hard to believe that a few minutes away from the high tech enclave of BPO companies and big shopping malls are rivers, waterfalls, and other scenic spots.

The most convenient way to explore these uphill sites is on a mountain bike and your best bet for a guide would be biking fanatic Gene Faelnar, who is behind the Cebu Mountain Bike Adventure tours.

Faelnar’s love affair with mountain bikes started in 1990 and he has been trail riding since 2005. It was only three years ago or in 2012, though, that he made a business out of bringing guests to explore the mountainsides.

Gene Faelnar

“In Cebu City’s mountain barangays, there are 52 trails and counting. There are campsites where you can relax before moving on to other destinations,” said Faelnar.

MTB Adventure rates

Faelnar organizes biking tours to the mountainsides for people of all ages. He picks the trails based on whether his guests have beginner or hardcore biking skills.

Trail biking rates depend on the number of persons joining and already include rent for the bike and other gears, food, and guides.

kiddie-trail-party

He charges P4,000 to bring one person on a biking tour, P2,500 each for groups of two to three, P1,500 each for four to six, and P1,250 each for seven and up.

According to Faelnar, the ideal biking group is from 8 to 10 persons.

“I’ve tried handling 27 persons in one tour and it posed a lot of challenges. There were experienced riders who went on ahead and beginners who lagged behind. It was difficult to keep track of them,” he cited.

gene-bike-shop
Gene Faelnar is the man behind Cebu Mountain Bike Adventure tours.

 

Biking tour inclusions

In the beginning, Faelnar said he served as the only guide and brought tools in case of flat tires and other problems. He hired multicabs to transport his guests and the bikes to where the trails start.

mtb-trail-hardcore

Today, he has bought his own truck and hired staff to bring with him on the mountain biking tours. He now assigns one person to every four to five bikers and also has someone to act as sweeper to stay at the end of the line and make sure all are accounted for.

“I developed my system through experience. Hangtud karon, sige lang gihapon nako og improve ang tour,” Faelnar added. (Even now, I’m continuously improving the tour.)

A pit stop in the biking tour is Faelnar’s campsite on the mountainside. Bikers have their lunch — it’s boodle, Filipino style — and take a break or even shower at the cottage in his one-hectare property planted with mango trees. Faelnar hires his own cook to prepare food like native chicken soup and grilled pork belly.

Guests get to climb and enjoy the view of urban Cebu City at the Tops Lookout in Barangay Malubog, swim in the waterfall-fed pool in Barangay Bonbon, and crisscross the mountain trails on bikes.

mtb-tour-waterfall-break

Bike shop services

At the start, those who went on Faelnar’s tours were mostly foreigners, Europeans in particular, and visitors from Manila. In the last three to four months, there have been call center agents in Cebu joining his tours.

To provide convenience to out-of-town guests, Faelnar recently opened backpacking accommodations at the back of his bike shop in Guadalupe, Cebu City. He has a total of three rooms and has also set aside a small space for a restaurant.
gene-backpacking-room

Aside from guiding bike tours, Faelnar sells custom-made mountain bikes and provide bike spa services, which involve tune-up, greasing, and overall maintenance.

He said his parents used to be critical of his business but now support him wholeheartedly.

For the growing number of tourists coming to Cebu, Faelnar’s Cebu Mountain Bike Adventure tours provide more than the usual travel experience.

gene-mountain-bikes

Interested in this activity? Contact Gene Faelnar’s Cebu Mountain Bike Adventure group to book a tour.

Cebu MTB Adventure
1298-B V. Rama Avenue, Guadalupe, Cebu City
Contact number: (032) 238 6813 (tap on your phone to call)

Categories
News

Cebu News Digest: March 16, 2015: SRP collision kills 5; Former TV actress, model crowned Miss Universe-Philippines; Cebu City gets ready for El Niño

Five persons were killed in another car accident at the South Road Properties (SRP) shortly before dawn on Sunday. The car they were in crossed the center island and collided with a truck on the opposite lane.

After three tries, former television actress and model Pia Wurtzbach was finally crowned Miss Universe-Philippines on Sunday night.

With the assistance of the Cebu City Government, farmers of Cebu City’s mountain barangays are preparing for the dry spell this summer and for the rains that are expected to arrive about two months from now.

Are you planning to buy a condo unit or thinking of investing in one?

Check out Eagles’ Nest by Primary Homes — a great option especially for students of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu. The school has endorsed it as alternative living arrangement for its students. (Read more about the project here.)

Here are the top stories for today:

SRP crash claims 5 lives

Rustico Bas, a seaman who was on vacation, and four of his passengers were killed when his Hyundai sedan collided with a prime mover carrying around 700 sacks of cement.

Killed together with Bas were Alma Basalo, 45; Gwendolyn Basalo, 49; Rosette Capala, 44; and Owen Juinio, 39. They were all residents of Talisay City. The group had been invited to dinner at Bas’s house the night before.

‘Responsible use of the Internet’

The newly-crowned Miss Universe-Philippines Pia Wurtzbach bested 33 other candidates in the Binibining Pilipinas 2015 competition at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City. She represented the city of Cagayan de Oro.

“I think that we should be careful with what we post online, especially our thoughts and our opinions that we don’t hurt anybody. We have to be careful with what we post, especially with our bodies and our faces. So always think before you click.” – Miss Universe-Philippines Pia Wurtzbach, when asked for her thoughts on Internet censorship, during the question and answer round.

Wurtzbach also won the Miss Cream Silk award.

Here is the list of winners during the pageant:

Miss Universe-Philippines 2015: Pia Wurtzbach
Bb. Pilipinas International 2015: Janicel Lubina
Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2015: Rogelie Catacutan
Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2015: Christi Lynn McGarry
Bb. Pilipinas Tourism International 2015: Ann Lorraine Colis
First Runner Up: Hannah Ruth Sison
Second Runner Up: Kimverlyn Suiza

Prepping up for dry spell

About P5 million was budgeted last year to purchase hoses and drums for Cebu City’s farmers.

Another P2 million worth of seeds and fertilizers were distributed last year.

“As far as our observation, it’s a normal summer season. It’s normal that water supply decreases. It’s not alarming. There’s still water.” – City Agriculturist Joselito Baclayon

Temperature in the upland areas ranged between 22 to 24 degrees Celsius during the day but would lower to 18 degrees in the evenings.

Other top Cebu News stories:

Cebu Daily News: Storm ‘Bavi’ weakens slightly as it nears PH
Sun.Star Cebu: Let scholars graduate, Cebu City asks schools

Categories
News

Cebu News Digest: March 12, 2015: Court orders Balilis to refund Capitol P37.8 for submerged property; 3 fires hit Cebu City in one afternoon

The court has ordered the estate of Luis Balili, Amparo Balili and lawyer Romeo Balili to return to the Province of Cebu P37.81 million, the amount Capitol paid for the submerged and mangroves areas of their property in the City of Naga that the former administration purchased.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Raphael Yrastorza Sr. said:

“Whether or not plaintiff knew of the submerged areas, the law would not allow the other party to take advantage of the ignorance of the party affected.”

Halfway through the Fire Prevention Month in March, three fires were reported in Cebu City yesterday. One was in South Road Properties (SRP), another in Barangay Guadalupe and the third in Barangay Sambag I.

Here are the top stories for today, March 12, 2015:

‘Simple justice’

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Raphael Yrastorza Sr. ordered the estate of Luis Balili, Amparo Balili and lawyer Romeo Balili to return P37.8 million to the Cebu Provincial Government. This is the amount Capitol paid nearly seven years ago for a property in the City of Naga, which turned out to be submerged (80,124 sq. m.) and covered by mangroves (14,402 sq. m.).

In his 16-page decision dated Feb. 16, 2015, RTC Branch 14 Judge Raphael Yrastorza Sr. wrote:
“It is only simple justice, therefore, that the defendants should return what plaintiffs claimed; otherwise, it would be an injustice to allow defendants to be unjustly enriching themselves at the expense of the plaintiff (Cebu Province) for the value of the submerged area of 80,124 square meters on Lot SP-07-01-000048, and the mangrove area of 14,402 square meters on Lot SP-07-01000062, a total of 94,562 square meters, at P400 per square meter.”

“In the case at bar, defendants who received the benefits are not entitled to it and there is no legal right to receive it, considering that the areas supposedly sold to plaintiffs are inalienable and indisposable parts of public domain.”

Atty. Balili said he will file a motion asking the court to reconsider its decision.

Speaking for Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia, lawyer Christina Frasco said that the decision confirms that former governor now Congresswoman Gwendolyn Garcia should not be held liable for relying on the titles of the properties when the Province acquired these.

3 fires reported in Cebu City in 1 day

A grass fire was reported at 1:12 p.m. near the San Pedro Calungsod Shrine in SRP. The fire was put out at 1:46 p.m.

Another grass fire broke out in a subdivision in Barangay Guadalupe eight minutes later. Residents doused the fire before Cebu City firetrucks arrived.

At 2:24 p.m., another fire was reported in Barangay Sambag I, which began inside a room of a two-storey boarding house owned by Virginia Ngosiok. The blaze was controlled after 11 minutes.

Other top Cebu News stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: LTFRB brushes off cab drivers’ objections
Cebu Daily News: Cabrera: Don’t let remaining trees die, plant more
The Freeman: 2 cities share traffic burden in new scheme
Cebu Daily News: Cab driver denies poking knife; passengers
The Freeman: Complaint filed vs hospital staff over ‘malpractice’
The Freeman: Mayor, et al face raps over abattoir deal
Sun.Star Cebu: Filinvest turns over 633 units for social housing

Cebu Business headlines:

The Freeman: Bancnet, Megalink to merge this year
Sun.Star Cebu: Smart takes home 18 Quill awards
The Freeman: Cebu Bionic Builder introduces power-efficient products
Sun.Star Cebu: Entrepreneur Slater Young unveils building tech
The Freeman: Paramount Property Ventures Inc. allocates P.5B for more projects in Cebu

Categories
News

Cebu News Digest: March 10, 2015: MCWD assures no water shortage during dry season; Heavier traffic felt in Mandaue City

Due to the dry season, Buhisan Dam is now at a “critical level” but the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MWCD) assured consumers that there is sufficient water supply.

After the rerouting plan at the North Reclamation Area was carried out, Mandaue City’s traffic congestion become heavier compared to Cebu City whose traffic condition is described as “manageable.”

Some taxi drivers and operators in Cebu refuse to follow the P30 flagdown rate, calling the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 order unreasonable. The board urged passengers to report these taxi drivers.

Are you thinking of buying a house? How about getting one in Argao?

Primary Homes Inc. makes it possible for you to easily enjoy the charms of Southern Cebu with its resort-inspired community Argao Royal Palms and Tropical Flats. Built alongside Argao’s aquamarine seas in Barangay Suba, the development features two-storey houses, bungalows, townhouses, and condominium units. (Read more about the project)

Buhisan Dam
The Buhisan Dam is at ‘critical’ level due to the dry season. (Creative Commons photo by LeylanR.)

Here are the top stories for today, March 10, 2015:

As dry season starts, Buhisan Dam is drying up

MCWD confirmed that the Buhisan Dam is drying up and is already at a “critical” level. The dry season has just began.

There will be no water shortage, MCWD assured, because it gets additional water from the Carmen Bulk Water Supply Project. Buhisan Dam is not the main water source of MCWD.

From the usual 7,000 cubic meters of water per day, Buhisan Dam now only produces 3,000 cubic meters of water per day.

“On our own, we define it as a critical level, but we would like to assure the consumers nga di gyud maapektuhan ang ilang supply even if modugay pa ang dry season (that their supply will not suffer, even if the dry season lasts long).” –MCWD public affairs manager Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara

Still, MCWD is asking the public to conserve water, such as by recycling water to flush toilets.

Traffic in Mandaue heavier than in Cebu City

Cebu City Traffic Operations Management Executive Director Rafael Yap said that heavier traffic congestion is felt in Mandaue City while the traffic in Cebu City had turned “manageable” after the rerouting plan at the North Reclamation Area was implemented.

Hence, there is a need for coordination between the traffic organizations of the two cities. The identified bottlenecks are found along Ouano Avenue near the Aboitiz Football Field.

“It is unfortunate that Mandaue City is suffering the brunt of traffic impact, but this is simply reality. We (Mandaue City and Cebu City) both agreed that roads need to be repaired. We both agreed that it is an urgent necessity. We both agreed that it is for APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation).” –Cebu City Traffic Operations Management Executive Director Rafael Yap

Some taxi drivers refuse to give P10 rate cute

Some taxi operators and drivers in Metro Cebu did not follow the order of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 to lower the flagdown rate from P40 to P30, saying it was unreasonable.

The Metro Cebu Taxi Operators’ Association (MCTOA) under Chairman Richard Cabucos and Cebu Integrated Transport Service Cooperative (Citrasco) under Chairman Benjamin Ryan Yu said that on their behalf, the Philippine National Taxi Operators’ Association (PINTOA) has filed a motion asking LTFRB to reconsider the flagdown rate cut.

MCTOA and Citrasco have passed resolutions supporting the motion for reconsideration filed by PINTOA.

Other top Cebu News stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: Rama asks: What’s up with case vs. Tomas?
Sun.Star Cebu: 1 of 4 female MTCC judges gets Ungab case
The Freeman: Dumanjug mayor suspended for appointing council secretary

Cebu Business headlines:

Sun.Star Cebu: Cebu vital to Lexmark success
Sun.Star Cebu: Qatar preparations for World Cup present opportunities for Filipino workers: Dole
The Freeman: Insurance firms beef up Cebu operations

Categories
News

Cebu News Digest: March 9, 2015: LTFRB to taxi drivers, operators: Impose P30 flagdown rate starting today or be fined P5T-P15T; Get protection order, battered husbands told

Taxi drivers or operators who will refuse to reduce their flagdown rate by P10 starting today, as ordered by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), will face stiff penalties.

Battered husbands can secure a Barangay Protection Order from the barangay captain to prevent their spouses from staying at their conjugal homes and avoid another incident of domestic abuse.

This school year’s graduates of Cebu City public schools are spared from paying fees, after the City Government decided to subsidize the P150 that each student was supposed to pay this month.

Are you thinking of buying a house? How about getting one in Argao?

Primary Homes Inc. makes it possible for you to easily enjoy the charms of Southern Cebu with its resort-inspired community Argao Royal Palms and Tropical Flats. Built alongside Argao’s aquamarine seas in Barangay Suba, the development features two-storey houses, bungalows, townhouses, and condominium units. (Read more about the project)

taxi flagdown rate rollback
The P30 flagdown rate for taxis takes effect today. (Creative Commons photo by Daniel Y. Go.)

Here are the top stories for today, March 9, 2015:

P5T-P15T fines await taxi operators, drivers for noncompliance

Under the Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-001, taxi drivers and operators refusing to follow the new LTFRB en banc order of P30 flag down rate starting today will be fined P5,000 each for the first offense.

A fine of 10,000 will be imposed for the second offense. The taxi unit will also be impounded for 30 days.

On the third offense, the driver and operator will be fined P15,000 each and the Certificate of Public Conveyance or franchise for the taxi will be revoked.

According to LTFRB, passengers can file complaints of noncompliance. Once filed, both the driver and operator will be summoned. If the evidence is sufficient, LTFRB can impose penalties immediately.

LTFRB also informed the public that the P40 flag down rate will still reflect in the taxi meter until it is re-clibrated but the drivers should already deduct P10 from the total fare.

This does not include yet the 20-percent discount for senior citizens, students and Persons with Disabilities.

Protection order available for maltreated husbands

A battered husband can proceed to the barangay hall and ask for a Barangay Protection Order, which will disallow the wife of the complainant from entering their conjugal house to prevent more incidents of domestic abuse.

This is covered by the domestic violence ordinance authored by Cebu City Councilor Gerardo Carillo, which also gives equal protection to husbands who are being maltreated by their wives.

“Amo g’yud nga gihatagan og equal protection ang mga bana diha sa ordinansa kay duna may mga sitwasyon nga ang mga bana maoy gidagmalan sa ilang mga asawa.” –Cebu City Councilor Gerardo Carillo

The ordinance was crafted a few years after the enactment of Republic Act 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act, in 2004, which only covers the rights of women and children.

2 men behind bars for cursing, insulting cops

Jurevel Simeni, 18, of Iligan City, and Vivencio Rocamora, 20, of Barangay Luz, Cebu City are jailed for allegedly insulting and cursing policemen who confronted them following a complaint by tourists whom they kept on following.

They are believed to be “gays” looking for customers.

During the confrontation, Simeni allegedly shouted at the police, said “buang ang mga pulis sa Cebu City,” and spat on the faces of PO1 Berlino Ricafort and PO1 Ariel Nuñeza.

Simeni resisted arrest while Rocamora tried to pull him away from the policemen. The former fractured his shoulder during the struggle, prompting the police officers to immediately bring him to Cebu City Medical Center for medical attention.

City Gov’t to subsidize graduation fees of public school students

The Cebu City Government decided to disburse P3.7 million as subsidy for the P150 graduation fee each of the students were supposed to pay this month.

Some 26,050 elementary and high school students are expected to graduate in Cebu City public schools.

The subsidy is covered by the newly approved City Ordinance 2412 (Ordinance Providing for Graduation Fees Subsidy to all Public Elementary and secondary Schools in the City of Cebu) that City Councilor Alvin Dizon authored.

Other top Cebu News stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: 4 employees file complaints vs. OWWA 7 chief
Sun.Star Cebu: Search for missing Filipino crew of sank cargo vessel ends; Dinoy family mourns
The Freeman: After 2 years, fishermen still waiting for pay

Cebu Business headlines:

Sun.Star Cebu: More Filipinos poor in 2014
Sun.Star Cebu: Pag-ibig sets P5.22 B as Visayas loan target
Sun.Star Cebu: Local furniture market doing well: Cobonpue
The Freeman: PEZA: CV has 42 registered ecozones
The Freeman: Retail prices of chicken and pork down by P5
The Freeman: Cebu CFI Community Cooperative mulls real estate investments
The Freeman: International retail brands drive Phl tourism growth
Sun.Star Cebu: Belo beauty company sees double-digit growth this year

Categories
Business Events Places

Filinvest starts work on Il Corso in Cebu

Imagine a strip of land dotted with retail shops, boutiques, bars, cafes and restaurants. Shaded walkways and landscaped gardens allow people to walk along the 11 connected buildings that can be found all throughout its length.

The whole stretch has a view of the sea on one side. At the far end is built a marina for boating and aqua-sports activities. Some distance out to sea but connected to the mainland is a functional lighthouse that will serve to aid sea vessels going by the area.

This is how Filinvest Land, Inc. (FLI) envisions its commercial and lifestyle strip at South Road Properties (SRP) called Il Corso when it opens by the last quarter of 2015.

According to FLI senior vice president for commercial center and retail management Joy Polloso, Il Corso will be the ultimate shopping and lifestyle destination in Cebu.

il corso cebu
An artist’s rendition of Filinvest Land’s commercial and lifestyle strip Il Corso that it plans to open by late 2015.

Il Corso – which is Italian for “the way” – will be a convergence area for family, friends, shoppers, business people, and fitness enthusiasts, she added.

The eight-hectare development, which is part of Filinvest Land’s 50-hectare master-planned community in SRP called Citta de Mare, will set aside spaces for jogging and biking. Across the road from Il Corso will rise FLI’s resort-themed residential town anchored by the Piazza, an Italian-inspired common amenity area.

Filinvest held its first concrete pouring last week to mark the start of construction work on Il Corso. A ceremonial unveiling of the Il Corso lighthouse logo also happened on the same day.

il corso cebu unveiling
Filinvest Group president and CEO Josephine Yap (2nd from R) leads the Il Corso ceremonial unveiling at SRP in Cebu City. (Photo courtesy of Humility Igaña)

A short presentation on Filinvest’s first foray into retail development showed that located in the middle of its Il Corso strip will be a central plaza with a fountain and a vantage view of the sea that can be used for big productions or intimate events.

A major feature, it added, will be a 1,000-seater amphitheater.

“Filinvest is committed to enhancing the development of the Cebu community and enhancing the lifestyle of the Cebuanos” through Il Corso, said Polloso.

Il Corso, according to her, totals 70,000 square meters in floor area but only 36,000 square meters will serve as gross leasable area. The complex will be able to accommodate around 300 establishments that will provide a dynamic array of brands in retail, dining, as well as health and wellness.

Polloso said Filinvest is spending P3 billion for the whole Il Corso development.

Categories
Events

More people join RAFI’s 2011 Gabii sa Kabilin

More than 2,500 participants attended the fifth annual Gabii sa Kabilin last May 27. This is a significant increase from the 1,800 participants last year, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. said in a press statement.

At the same time, the Gabii sa Kabilin featured 11 museums and seven heritage sites, which are more than the nine museums and heritage sites opened in 2010.

ORCHESTRA. The Marigondon Public School Children’s Orchestra perform on the grounds of the Casa Gorordo Museum during the Gabii sa Kabilin last May 27. Click on image to view larger photograph. (PHOTO BY RAFI)
ORCHESTRA. The Marigondon Public School Children’s Orchestra perform on the grounds of the Casa Gorordo Museum during the Gabii sa Kabilin last May 27. Click on image to view larger photograph. (PHOTO BY RAFI)

This year’s participating museums included the Casa Gorordo Museum, Cathedral Museum of Cebu, Fort San Pedro, Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, Museo Sugbo, University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF)-Rizal Museum, Museuo Parian sa Sugbo (1730 Jesuit House), Sacred Heart Alternative Gallery, Cebu Normal University (CNU) Museum, Cebu City Museum, and Mandaue City Central Plaza. The heritage sites include Plaza Independencia, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Sacred Heart Church, Heritage of Cebu Monument (Plaza Parian), Plaza Hamabar, and Plaza Sugbo.