We’ll deal with flooding, Sec. Villar assures Cebu leaders

The government of President Rodrigo Duterte will be responsive in dealing with calamities like the recent widespread flooding in Cebu, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Sec. Mark Villar told Cebu leaders earlier today.

Villar was in Cebu on Wednesday, July 6, to attend a consultation with local leaders at the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center. The consultation is also for the crafting of next year’s government budget.

“You can expect that the DPWH and this administration will be very aggressive, very visible, especially during this time when we have major problems and even calamities,” Villar said.

Improve lives of Cebuanos

Villar said the government will deal with the problems “head on” and promised that the “lives of Cebuanos will improve significantly.”

Last July 1, parts of Metro Cebu were severely flooded due to a downpour that lasted for more than an hour, causing a 5-hour traffic congestion.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) Mactan Station recorded a rainfall intensity of 55 mm per hour a while the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Banilad Station recorded 99 mm per hour in some places. A PAG-ASA official, however, said this was just a “normal” amount of rain.

Mega Cebu Mark Villar
MAKING WAVES. Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino signs an oar or bugsay to symbolize Mega Cebu’s campaign of Making WAVES or Wholesome, Advanced, Vibrant, Equitable and Sustainable. With him are (from left) DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas, Cebu Business Club president Gordon Alan Joseph, DPWH Sec. Mark Villar, and Roberto Aboitiz, Mega Cebu co-chairman. (Photo by Princielo Vuelban of USJ-R)

Focus on solutions

Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino asked people to stop pointing fingers at who could be responsible and instead focus on finding solutions. He said there were projects that were not sustained that contributed to the flooding.

Engineer Fortunato Sanchez, Jr. said three things are needed to solve the flooding problem: planning, solving the right-of-way problems and building dams.

Sanchez is the chair of the subcommittee on Infrastructure and Utilities of the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board’s Research Program and Organizational Development.

Studies on flooding

He said there were studies on the state of flooding in Cebu City such as those done by Norwegian consultants in 1983, the JICA Master Plan in 1995, and the Drainage Master Plan by CBICI. He said these were not acted on.

“If we don’t do something, in 2023 maybe moderate rain can cause flooding or traffic,” he said.

Among the things pointed out by a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was the widening of rivers and creeks to handle the water. He said Cebu is mountainous making it prone to flash floods.

This was also recommended by DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas.

Common causes

Canlas cited what he said were causes of flooding: the encroachment of informal settlers within waterways, failure to observe the required easement, improper disposal of garbage, cement residuals and other related wastes disposed from industrial establishments into the drainage line along national roads, insufficient outfall located inside the compound of a private establishment, and insufficient outfall traversing within private properties.

“Pinabuksan po ang drainage natin, and this is what we saw, tumigas na po na semento. Nakita namin walang silt traps yung drainage nila para sana tubig lang po ang lumabas. Our drainages are designed to capture runoff water,” Canlas said when they inspected the drainage along Logarta St.

They also found out that some waterways were cut by the roads and ended inside some private compounds.

Mega Cebu flooding
WORKING TOGETHER. Public Works Sec. Mark Villar and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino with leaders of Cebu’s business community after their consultation that tackled the recent widespread flooding in Metro Cebu. (Photo by Princielo Vuelban of USJ-R)

Political will

When Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Glenn Soco asked about the possibility of enacting emergency powers to cut government bureaucracy in dealing with the problem, Villar said they can deal with this by “sheer political will.”

“What tragedy will we have tomorrow, or next month or in November if a hundred millimeter rainfall hits or 150 or 200,” said Cebu Business Club president Gordon Alan Joseph.

Joseph said the Mega Cebu initiative pushes integrated planning by the experts as the best solution to dealing with problems like flooding. This is coupled with cooperation among the private sector, national agencies and local government units.

Address problems, propose solutions

Joseph also highlighted efforts of Mega Cebu in convening experts to address the problems and propose solutions. He also raised the need to study the human aspect of problems.

“Ang goal namin, is we want to take them [informal settlers] out of the danger areas and put them in areas where they are safe, where they have own housing,” he said in a separate interview with the media after the meeting.

The meeting ended with the signing of a bugsay or oar by the various stakeholders in Metro Cebu to symbolize the Mega Cebu campaign of making WAVES or Wholesome, Advanced, Vibrant, Equitable and Sustainable.

(Reggie Clyde Delosa is a Communication student at the University of San Jose-Recoletos. He is currently an intern of InnoPub Media, the publisher of


Cebu News Digest for Feb. 15, 2016: 2012 study shows traffic in Cebu costs P132M/day; Congress fails to tackle Mega Cebu bill; Bus firm eyes new routes for Robinsons.

This is the roundup of stories that came out in local publications on Feb. 15, 2016.

Cebu traffic costs P132 million a day, says 2012 study

Cebu traffic
COSTLY TRAFFIC. A study by JICA done in 2012 shows traffic in Cebu is worth P132 million per day in lost man-hours.

A 2012 study by a Japanese agency found that traffic in Metro costs businesses P132 million in lost man-hours. The four-year old study, done by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, only highlights the effect of the traffic situation at present, which has been worsened by various road projects in Mandaue City.

When my guests found out about the traffic last Tuesday, they all canceled our meetings. We lose business because our clients do not want to spend two hours stuck in traffic. Roy Lotzof, Cebu Leads Foundation Inc. president.


Mega Cebu runs out of time in current Congress

The bill that would have created the Mega Cebu Development Authority filed by nine Cebu legislators has ran out of time to be passed into law by the 16th Congress due to the election period. Neda 7 assistant director Dioniso Ledres Jr. said MCDA would have spurred economic growth and generated jobs. The bill will be tackled in the next congress and has already been approved at the committee level in Congress.

This means we are one step closer to the creation of the MCDA. Evelyn Nacario-Castro, Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center executive director.


Bus company wants Robinsons route

A local bus firm is seeking Cebu City’s endorsement of their offer to the LTFRB for additonal routes that would serve the new Robinsons Galleria Cebu. KMK, which has routes from Naga City, Minglannila and Talisay going to SM City Cebu, wants additional units that would serve Northern and Southern Cebu City going to the new Robinsons mall.

In our thrust to improve accessibility of Robinsons Galleria Cebu, we are amenable to this proposal subject to terms and conditions acceptable to Robinsons Land Cop. and Cebu City KMK Transport Corp. Floramie Vega, RGC Regional Operations Manager.


Cebu Daily News: Bus firm seeks Cebu City’s help in getting approval for new routes for Robinsons

Other Cebu News:

Sun.Star Cebu: CCMC contractor confident of meeting four-floor target of City Hall for Charter Day celebration.

Sun.Star Cebu: Mandaue City Council approves PHL’s first pro- LGBT ordinance.

Sun.Star Cebu: Councilor Wenceslao wants City to put up water conservation program.

The Freeman: No partial closure of Mandaue-Mactan bridge until MCWD pipes are repaired.

The Freeman: Comelec reminds candidates to refrain from giving freebies during rallies.

The Freeman: Activists plan protests as 400 schools increase fees.

Cebu Daily News: LTRB 7 to come up with updated fare matrix for Cebu City.

Cebu Daily News: Cubana restaurant loses P100,000 to burglars.


Cebu Business News:

Sun.Star Cebu: Mactan Hotel offers ‘local touch’ to entice more tourists.

Sun.Star Cebu: 1,909 Lapu-Lapu Rural Bank depositors file claims with PDIC.

The Freeman: Business leader says Cebu will benefit from ongoing infrastructure projects.

The Freeman: Retailers group in Cebu says entry of foreign, national brands has weakened local retailers.

Cebu Daily News: DOST urges businessmen to support local startups.

Cebu Daily News: DTI backs five-year road map for coffee farmers.


Cebu Sports News:

Sun.Star Cebu: Athletes overcome lack of facilities, support, win gold medals in regional meet.

The Freeman: Moralde beats Cebu’s Sabalde to win vacant WBF international crown.

Cebu Daily News: Naga City shows it can be a future sports hub in Cebu.



Number coding in Cebu? LTO offers to help solve Mandaue traffic; Church monitors priest accused of molesting girl: Cebu News Digest: July 21, 2015

The head of the Lapu-Lapu City Traffic Management System (CTMS) suggested trying number-coding or color-coding to deal with the traffic gridlock in Metro Cebu. CTMS Chief Frank Brazil also suggested increasing regulations on the sale of vehicles.

“More people are buying cars but our roads are not getting wider.” — CTMS Chief Frank Brazil, according to Sun.Star Cebu

The Land Transportation Office (LTO), meanwhile, offered to help address Mandaue City traffic. LTO 7 Director Arnel Tancinco said they will first determine how many vehicles use Mandaue City’s main roads during specific hours. The data will help determine the number of enforcers needed to be fielded in specific areas. LTO will also include in report recommendations on the use of traffic signs.

On the implementation of number-coding or color-coding, Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue chief Glenn Antigua said this might backfire.

“It might encourage people to buy more cars, and that will only worsen traffic.” — TEAM chief Glenn Antigua, according to Sun.Star Cebu


Sun.Star Cebu: LTO offers to help

IS NUMBER-CODING THE SOLUTION? The chief of the Lapu-Lapu City traffic office is proposing number-coding or color-coding to deal with the traffic gridlock in Metro Cebu. (Creative Commons photo by Dominique Bergeron)

Church officials closely monitoring priests accused of molesting 16-year-old girl

The Archdiocese of Cebu is closely monitoring a priest in Aloguinsan, Cebu accused of molesting a 16-year-old girl inside his car.

Cebu Archdiocesan spokesperson Msgr. Joseph Tan said they also received complaints from the priest’s parishioners in the St. Raphael the Archangel Parish in Aloguinsan. The priest has denied the allegation, according to Msgr. Rey Penagunda, the vicar general assigned to look into the complaint.

Tan said the priest will undergo a canonical investigation, the result of which will be submitted to the Vatican. But he assured that even with this church investigation, the Archdiocese will cooperate with legal proceedings.


Sun.Star Cebu: Priest who ‘molested’ girl closely monitored

Cebu to get P1.5 billion worth of road projects

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said the Department of Budget and Management approved the setting aside of P1.5 billion for provincial roads. Capitol sought funding for provincial roads to help boost Cebu tourism.

Davide said Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson sent him a message saying the P1.5 billion will be given to DPWH 7. Davide said he will provide more details in his State of the Province Address next month.



Piso-piso campaign raises P13 million for International Eucharistic Congress

The campaign to raise funds for the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) has gathered P13 million of its target of P20 million. The Piso Para sa Misa ng Mundo (PPMM) campaign is meant to gather donations to help in Cebu’s hosting of the IEC in January 2016.

Organizers project that they will need to spend P250 million for the IEC. Msgr. Joseph Tan, media liaison officer of the IEC, said 2,000 of the 5,000 delegates who registered online have already paid the registration fees.


Sun.Star Cebu: ‘Piso-piso’ raises P13M for religious congress

PNP Central Visayas to field more police officers on the streets

Following an order by the new Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, police will deploy more officers on the streets in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.

Police Regional Office 7 Director Prudencio Tom Bañas said workers at the headquarters will be assigned to the streets to increase police visibility.

“In line with the directive, we will make plans that our own people here in the regional headquarters will go to the streets in the different cities in Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.” — PRO 7 Director Prudencio Tom Bañas, according to The Freeman

Bañas, himself, will help patrol downtown Cebu City.


The Freeman: More cops on the streets

More Cebu News Headlines

» Logistics constrain Cebu City from releasing senior citizens’ cash assistance monthly, says city accountant

» DILG denies move to reset proceedings, to continue hearing complaint against Rama, city officials over calamity assistance

“It’s now becoming very obvious that Rama, are moving heaven and earth to delay the disposition of the case calculated to reach the 90-day period given to resolve the case and the 45-day ban for suspension of public officials.” — Lawyer Reymelio Delute, who filed complaint

» Mayor Rama tells telecommunications, utility companies to comply with Cebu City policy on dangling wires, rotten poles

» LTO 7 office in release of drivers’ licenses now at 22,000

» Robber shoots Japanese man for giving only P100 and calling out for help

» Drugs worth P300,000 seized in buy-bust in Pasil

» SRP locators choosing among 3 Manila-based consultants on whom to tap for drainage master plan

» Cebu City asks court to dismiss petition by National Government to reclaim Compañia Maritima building

» Cebu City tells contractor to start first phase of Cebu City Medical Center building work

Cebu Business Headlines

» Cebu risks property glut with oversupply of residential projects, expert warns

“Oversupply is already felt, that’s why some developers have pushed back with their launches.” — Colliers International research and advisory services director Julius Guevara, according to Sun.Star Cebu

» China Bank to open 50 more branches this year

» Azpired BPO, outsourcing company that focuses on technical support services, looking to hire 220 employees in Cebu this year

“I’m confident we will not have difficulty in hiring talents for this type of services because for one, Filipinos are highly-trainable and quick learners.” —  Scott Johnson, Azpired BPO chief executive officer.

» Local developer to build 100 serviced apartments near Cebu IT Park

» Body & Sole looking to expand in Japan


Businessman shot dead in downtown Cebu City ambush; Rama asks: how do we solve traffic? Cebu News Digest: July 15, 2015

Businessman Jaime Blas Villaceran was killed in an ambush at the intersection of Colon St. and Osmeña Blvd. past 7 a.m. yesterday, shortly after he dropped of his two daughters at school. He was 36.

Villaceran was driving a Toyota Hi-Ace Grandia and was about to stop for a red light when two men on a motorcycle approached the van. The passenger then shot at him. Police said Villaceran died of multiple gunshot wounds in different parts of his body.

Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Intelligence Branch chief Supt. Romeo Santander said the attack may have been related to the victim’s alleged links to illegal drugs. Police recovered 2 .380 pistols, a .25 Derringer revolver, a .45 pistol, 3 magazines, 19 bullets, notebooks, 1 cell phone, and P227,000 in cash from Villaceran’s vehicle. A police investigator said the notebooks contained names.

“He is in our watch list on illegal drugs. I cannot divulge what his level is with due respect to his grieving family.” — Supt. Romeo Santander, according to Sun.Star Cebu

Santander said Villaceran had been in the drugs watch list for a long time although he had never been arrested. He lived in Barangay Lorega-San Miguel, Cebu City.

Sun.Star Cebu reported that Villaceran was said to have sold pork and chicharon and operated a lending firm.

Colon ambush
COLON AMBUSH. Businessman Jaime Blas Villaceran was killed in an ambush at the intersection of Colon St. and Osmeña Blvd. past 7 a.m. yesterday. (Photo posted on Facebook by FB user Rik Rik Onartsipac)

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama ordered the CCPO to conduct a stringent investigation on the killing and to explain why there were no police officers in the area.

“How did it happen? I would like to make a very clear position sa ilaha (to the police). Look for the culprit. Di man na mahimong ingnon drug involvement ra (They can’t just say drugs were involved). It’s not an excuse. There is a crime. Look for the culprit.” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, according to Sun.Star Cebu


What’s your alternative to solve traffic: Mayor Rama tells critics

Criticisms will not stop Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama from removing the center island on Cardinal Rosales Ave. to Gov. Cuenco Ave., from the Ayala intersection to under the flyover, to ease the traffic gridlock in the area.

Trees on the island will be earth-balled and transferred to the Cebu City-owned lot at the North Reclamation Area, Sun.Star Cebu reported.

“I have to address the traffic problem in that area now because if I don’t, the situation will be worse in the future… So to those who are opposing, let me ask… what is your alternative?” — Mayor Michael Rama

The center island will be replaced with steel railings that can be removed as needed. Read: Ka Bino Guerrero’s open letter to Mayor Rama about the plan.


Talisay Mayor de los Reyes bashes political opponents in city address

Talisay City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes blamed his political opponents for blocking important projects and cuttings his annual budget during his State of the City Address last Monday.

De los Reyes told more than a thousand supporters gathered for this speech at the Tabunok Public Market that despite not getting the support of members of the City Council, which is dominated by Alayon, he was able to do more than his predecessors.

“Nakabuhat ko ani tanan bisag pa nga ang inyong mayor wala’y kabangkaagan (With hardly any knowledge to run the city I was able to achieve this).” — Talisay City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes, according to Sun.Star Cebu


We’re merely protecting people’s money, Talisay opposition retorts

Councilor and former mayor Socrates Fernandez yesterday justified slashing Mayor Johnny de los Reyes’s budget saying the City did not have enough funds.

“We are just merely protecting the people’s money.” — Councilor Socrates Fernandez

The slashing of the budget was among the key issues de los Reyes raised against the council during his State of the City Address.

Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante, a former ally, also denied they were being obstructionists. He did not attend the SOCA but listened to it on the radio. Villarente said what happened was not a state of the city report but a miting de avance or political gathering.

Sun.Star Cebu: We are not obstructionists: Talisay City opposition on de los Reyes’s allegations

Dry weather ahead with El Niño, PAG-ASA warns

Central Visayas will see drier weather ahead and an average temperature of 32 degrees Celsius, said PAG-ASA Visayas Director Oscar Tabada. This is because of the El Niño weather phenomenon, which is expected to be in effect in the region until the middle of next year.

“Mag-antos gyud ta sa kainit ug kakulang sa water supply kay less ang rainfall.” — PAG-ASA Visayas Director Oscar Tabada, according to The Freeman.


Other Cebu News Headlines

» 8 Cebu mayors get Seal of Good Local Governance award, P3M each

» Gov. Davide okay with Cebu City’s move to improve Fuente Osmeña

“Let’s stop talking about who owns it, it belongs to the people of Cebu, not the Province, not the City, it’s for everybody.” — Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III

» 11 of 139 tricycle, trisikad drivers in Pardo fail surprise drug test

» Turnover of Bantay Radyo to coop identified with Garcias not a problem, says Gov. Davide

» PB Member Gigi Sanchez-Zaballero seeks court’s help to continue to hold Bantay Radyo

» With heavy rains, water supply in Cebu now almost stable: MCWD

» Woman killed in Ceres bus accident now identified

Cebu Business Headlines

» Online freelance work on the rise

» Company to build ‘eco-conscious’ development, with 70 percent of project dedicated to green open spaces, in Lawaan, Talisay City

» Unit rentals next step for Azon Residences in Lapu-Lapu City

» Property Summit scheduled in Cebu

» Philippines missing out on global medical tourism market

» LGUs, trade officers asked to improve investor relations


Workers ask for P145/day salary increase in Central Visayas: Cebu News Digest – July 14, 2015

A labor group filed a petition yesterday for an across the board P145 increase in the daily wage of Central Visayas workers.

The Cebu Labor Coalition (CELAC) filed the petition with the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) 7. The wage board last increased salaries in Central Visayas in November 2014, according to a Sun.Star Cebu report, when it issued an order for a P13 per day basic pay adjustment in Bohol and in 10 towns and 1 city in northern Cebu. It ordered companies in the rest of Central Visayas to incorporate an earlier P13 cost of living allowance into the basic pay of their employees.

“It is also about time for the wage board of Region 7 to assess and evaluate their failure to provide substantial and significant wage increase for the workers.” — CELAC said in its petition, according to Sun.Star Cebu.

CELAC said the wage board has been merely ordering “token” salary increases in the 26 years of its existence.

The minimum pay in Central Visayas ranges from P275 to P340, the fourth largest rate among 17 regions, according to Sun.Star Cebu.


Central Visayas salary increase
TOKEN INCREASES. The Cebu Labor Coalition accused the Central Visayas wage board of merely granting workers token pay increases. (Creative Commons Photo by Jocelyn Kelly)

Pope Francis won’t be able to attend IEC in Cebu

Pope Francis will not be able to attend the International Eucharistic Congress 2016 that will be held in Cebu City in January, according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president Archbishop Socrates Villegas.

Villegas, in a report at the official CBCP website, also ruled out another papal.

“Let us give other countries the chance to see him. Because if we insist, it’s as if we’re being selfish because it will lessen his opportunities to visit other countries.” — Archbishop Socrates Villegas, as quoted by the official CBCP website.


Rama asks Citom to go after illegally parked motorcycles; Mandaue to clear roads of motor repair shops

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has asked the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management to clear narrow roads of illegally parked motorcycles. Rama said parking motorcycles anywhere violates the city’s traffic code and carries a fine of P1,500. Car owners face a fine of P2,500.

“Kanang mga areas nga naay allowable parking, okay ra na pero kon sa sidewalk, dakpon gyud na…I’m having CITOM to focus sa tibuok syudad asa ang naay mga side roads nga dakong space, naay nose in and nose out (parking scheme) dili kay mo-backing.” — Mayor Michael Rama, according to The Freeman

In neighboring Mandaue City, authorities are going after motor repair shops that block the sidewalks and force pedestrians to walk on the streets. A council resolution authorizing the crackdown was passed last Monday.

Councilor Jimmy Lumapas, who sponsored the resolution, said many of these shops are in Barangays Ibabao, Mantuyong and Guizo.


Ombudsman suspends 4 Highway Patrol Group policemen linked to killing of lawyer Noel Archival

The Office of the Ombudsman suspended 4 of 5 Highway Patrol Group (HPG) 7 policemen accused of killing lawyer Noel Archival and two of his companions in an ambush in Dalaguete last year.

Former HPG 7 director Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, former HPG 7 Special Operations Team chief Insp. Joselito Lerion, SPO4 Edwin Galan, and PO1 Alex Bacani have been suspended for six months without pay. Former HPG provincial chief Eduardo Mara was not included in the order because he has retired from government service, according to the ombudsman.

Iglesia, Lerion and Bacani are facing a multiple murder case for the killing of Archival, his aide Candido Miñoza and driver Alejandro Jayme. They also face a frustrated murder case for injuries sustained by Paolo Cortes, the sole person to survive the ambush. Galan was cleared by prosecutors.

“Considering that the pieces of evidence gathered by NBI-PNP Task Force Archival appear to be strongly indicative of the culpability of the respondents for grave misconduct…it is warranted that respondents be placed under preventive suspension for the duration of the case.” — read the order written by graft investigation and prosecution officer Myra Zipagan and approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales

The policemen are fugitives and the subject of a nationwide manhunt by the National Bureau of Investigation.


Police go over the vehicle lawyer Noel Archival was riding when he was ambushed and killed in Dalaguete. (Photo by Mark Luzano)
Police go over the vehicle lawyer Noel Archival was riding when he was ambushed and killed in Dalaguete. (Photo by Mark Luzano)

Other Cebu News Headlines

»‘Overspeeding’ bus hits, kills still unidentified woman who crossed street in Cebu City

“The wheel’s skid mark on the road reached 16 meters; it wouldn’t have reached that far had the bus’s speed been under 40 kph.” — Citom Operations Division Chief Jonathan Tumulak, according to Sun.Star Cebu

» South Road Properties developers to hire drainage consultant to address flooding

» Cebu City closes Fuente Osmeña rotunda for facelift, upgrading in time for APEC, IEC

» Couple, 3 public school teachers lose P562,000 worth of gadgets, items in Balamban highway robbery

» Boy who studied on sidewalk, became social media phenomenon gets college scholarship

» NBI 7 charges Mactan airport customs examiner for allegedly stealing 100,000 yen from Japanese lawyer

» PB Member Sanchez asks courts to stop takeover of Bantay Radyo by CFI Cooperative

“I was aware the Garcias were interested in the radio stations.  But I’m just one person holding on.  There are nine of them in politics.” — Provincial Board Member Gigi Sanchez-Zaballero, according to Cebu Daily News

Cebu Business Headlines

» 40,000 foreign retirees in the Philippines, reports agency

» Diving accident that killed Korean won’t affect tourism: DOT 7 director

» Value of Central Visayas projects hit P13.7 billion in 2nd quarter: Board of Investments

» DTI orders ICC issuance within 3 days from filing


Cebu News Digest: March 7, 2015: Taxi flagdown rate reduced to P30 starting Mar. 9; Tiu open to settlement in Ungab case, wants apology; Road repairs may not be finished by APEC events in August

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ordered the drop of the flagdown rate for taxis nationwide from P40 to P30 starting Monday. Commuters welcome the move but taxi operators plan to go to court to stop the rollback.

Lawyer Jiecel Tiu, according to her spokesperson lawyer Rex Fernandez, is amenable to enter into a compromise agreement but would like to set the conditions. One of the things she’s asking for is a written public apology from the vice mayor, his wife, and two other family members.

flagdown rate rolldown
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ordered a P10 cut in the flagdown rate for taxis nationwide. Creative Commons photo by Andrionni Ribo.

The bidding process and securing approval from the Cebu City Council for road rehabilitation projects is causing the delay of road repairs.

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

While the flagdown rate for taxis will be reduced by P10 from P40 to P30, the rate of P3.50 for each succeeding 300 meters of travel remains. The yellow taxis that serve the Mactan-Cebu International Airport are also included, with flagdown rate from P70 to P60.

The provisional rollback is due to lower fuel rates. Pump prices of premium gasoline and diesel have dropped more than P10 per liter between September 2014 and March 4, 2015.

The rollback is a welcome move for the commuters but some taxi operators in Cebu are planning to go to court to stop the rollback.

The last time the flagdown was P30 was in December 2010.

‘Ridiculous, stupid offer’

Tiu’s camp turned down the offer Vice Mayor Jonnah John Ungab presented when he visited Tiu’s residence in Minglanilla, Cebu Thursday night, calling it a ridiculous and stupid offer.

Fernandez denied that Tiu asked for P500,000 from Ungab to settle the case.

Tiu wants to set the conditions to the settlement, first of which is that Ungab, his wife Pearl and two of the vice mayor’s family members issue a written public apology to Tiu.

Pearl Ungab allegedly rammed Tiu’s car and attacked Tiu with a baseball bat last Feb. 26 over suspicions of an extra-marital affair between her husband and the lawyer.

Tiu is also seeking “restitution for damages incurred.”

Road repairs may be delayed, new traffic schemes to be explored

Cebu City may not be able to finish the road rehabilitation projects in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) whose meetings would start in August this year.

According to City Department of Engineering and Public Works Chief Jose Marie Poblete, accomplishing all the required documents may take two to three months. Also, since the appropriation for road projects are in lump sum, the budget per project need to be forwarded to the council for approval.

If there is no problem in the road right of way, road projects would usually take at least three months to finish in the urban areas.

Meanwhile, another traffic experiment will be implemented along Escario Street in Cebu City, with the inclusion of the internal road of the Capitol grounds for vehicular access, to address the traffic congestion in the Capitol area.

In the North Reclamation area, Mandaue City Traffic Manager Edwin Ermac said he would seek another coordination meeting next week to restore the two-way access in Ouano Avenue, to ease the severe traffic congestion in Mandaue City after the closure of S. Osmeña Road for rehabilitation work.

  • The Freeman: Road repairs may go beyond APEC dates
  • The Freeman: Traffic trial to use inner Capitol road

Other top Cebu News stories:

Cebu Daily News: Mandaue seeks 2-way access to ease S. Osmeña traffic
The Freeman: No BIFF, MILF in Cebu Province
Cebu Daily News: Men, boys walk on heels for Women’s Month
Sun.Star Cebu: ‘Fire those cops’
Cebu Daily News: 40 days after Mamasapano, pray for peace

Cebu Business headlines:

Sun.Star Cebu: Delegates fine-tune Cebu Action Plan
The Freeman: Phl at risk of losing designing advantage
The Freeman: Business groups encourage members to conserve power


Cebu View: Watching backs of cars all day, what are we to do with traffic?

When you think of Cebu, do you think of coconut trees, huts and white sand beaches? True, it is that. But often, this is your most common view in Cebu.

Cebu Traffic Problem

Traffic has gone worse by the day. Earlier this week, The Freeman warned in its editorial, “Cebu is imploding from a traffic mess.”

What should we do? What can the government do to ease this daily gridlock? What can drivers and commuters do to deal with traffic?

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Cebu News Digest: Jan. 12, 2015: Cebu imploding from traffic mess, what can be done? Biz leaders want minimum PUJ fare cut to P6; BRT proponents study social impact

Traffic in Metro Cebu is getting worse and The Freeman has sounded a clarion call – the “lack of imagination and inspired leadership” in solving the city’s traffic problem is driving it “to the brink of economic stagnation.”

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Teresa Chan, meanwhile, said the minimum fare should be P6.50 or even P6 and not the P7 that was approved because the price of diesel is now P28.75 per liter and may decrease some more in the coming days.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for Monday, January 12, 2015:

The failure to solve the traffic problem "driving Cebu City to the brink of economic stagnation," warned The Freeman. (Creative Commons Photo by Flickr user Chad M)
The failure to solve the traffic problem “driving Cebu City to the brink of economic stagnation,” warned The Freeman. (Creative Commons Photo by Flickr user Chad M)

Cebu imploding from traffic mess: The Freeman warns in editorial

There is no truth to the assumption that Cebu’s traffic situation is not as bad as Metro Manila’s. On the contrary, it is far worse.

Metro Manila is the seat of government and therefore enjoys top priority in the landing of big ticket infrastructure projects meant to address traffic congestion. Cebu City does not enjoy the same status in the pecking order of government projects. It has to fight and beg for what is left of the national infrastructure pie. Or it is forced to borrow.

This lack of imagination and inspired leadership is driving Cebu City to the brink of economic stagnation. Do not be fooled by the unbridled rash of real estate development and construction because they represent only one aspect of growth. Unless some solution is found and found fast for the traffic mess that is already here and choking everyone, even vertical development will have to consider its contribution to the overall congestion.

Bus Rapid Transit stakeholders study impact on drivers, operators, businesses

Stakeholders of the Bus Rapid Transit project to be implemented in Cebu will be in the city today to look into the impact of the project on businesses, drivers and transport operators. The group will come up with a “comprehensive plan to restructure and review” the project’s social management aspect, according to a report from The Freeman.

“We really have to carefully peruse the project’s social aspect as there would be displacement otherwise we will be in big trouble socially.” BRT office head Rafael Yap.
The Freeman said at least 2,614 jeepney drivers of 1,307 jeepney units and 912 operators with 1,191 franchises and 22 routes will be affected by the BRT project.

Cebu City clears sidewalks in preparation for Sinulog Grand Parade

More than 30 structures on Osmeña Boulevard and General Maxilom Avenue were cleared by Cebu City Hall in preparation for Sunday’s Sinulog Grand Parade. Among those cleared was a stage built by Crown Regency Hotel for a concert outside its main entrance. City Hall said the structure did not have a permit.
City Hall also warned those who want to hold street parties not to put up structures that will obstruct the route of the parade on Sunday and procession on Saturday.

New performance routines help 2 schools top Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan

Vicente Rama Memorial Elementary School and Apas National High School were the top contingents in the elementary and secondary divisions of the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan yesterday.
Don Vicente Rama won with a performance inspired by the animated film “Antz.” Its 100 dancers dressed as ants impressed the judges at the Cebu City Sports Center to score the first win for the school.

Apas, meanwhile, banked on a simple dance routine and synchronized movements to win, according to a Sun.Star Cebu report.

The group’s choreographer said they did not expect to win, considering they only started practicing during the Christmas break.

“Our concept is praising the Sto. Niño through different sets of prayers, from the old ones up to the present. Our routine is simple ra gyud tungod sa kagamay sa.” — Apas choreographer Venancio Esparaguera, as quoted by a Sun.Star Cebu report.

Davide tells provincial engineers: Hurry up on road repairs

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III has ordered provincial engineers to speed up the repair of provincial roads and other infrastructure damaged by tropical storm Seniang, The Freeman reported. Capitol will repair provincial roads in the towns of Alcantara and Barili that have been rendered impassable by the storm. To speed up repair and rehabilitation, Capitol will buy heavy equipment.
The Freeman: Davide: Hurry up on road repairs

Other top Cebu news stories:

“It is but a rare occurrence that a foreigner will develop such immense interest on Cebuano history as substantiated by his lifelong dedication to the research and study of Cebu.” — resolution naming Dr. Michael Cullinane adopted son of Cebu City

“We are concerned about this matter because this can help our employees a lot. While P5 may not be feasible, considering the operational costs, we hope our jeepney operators and drivers will help the riding public, the majority of our population who are wage earners, by offering P6.” — CCCI president Tess Chan.

Cebu Business News

USC student group builds juice business

The Quenchers booth during the USC Entrep Fair in Ayala Center Cebu. (Photo by USJ-R MassCom Intern Nel Mozol)
The Quenchers booth during the USC Entrep Fair in Ayala Center Cebu. (Photo by USJ-R MassCom Intern Nel Mozol)

A group of BS Entrepreneurship students from the University of San Carlos have built a bottled juice drink business that has been described by a Sun.Star Cebu report as “gaining popularity in supermarkets, school canteens, and shipping lines.”

Their drink, Quenchers, started out as a school projected that they decided to turn into an actual business. Their company now produces more than 2,000 bottles of the drink every week.

Other business news stories:

The Freeman: Faith and business: Donatos carving Sto. Niño images for decades
The Freeman: “Balik Cebu” organizers to build 50 houses in Yolanda-hit areas