Cebu News Digest: April 9, 2015: Cebu City to hold ‘dance rally’ on International Dance Day on April 29; SM offers to develop SRP roads, proposes tax credits in exchange

Cebu-based performers have something to look forward to after the National Committee on Dance (NCD) of the National Commission for Culture and Arts has selected Cebu City has one of the places to hold a dance rally to promote the country’s heritage sites.

In exchange for tax credits, SM Prime Holdings expressed willingness to develop the roads in the South Road Properties to ensure these are functional by the time its property opens in the last quarter of this year.

Here are the top stories for today:

Simultaneous, nationwide dance

On April 29, Cebu City will join other areas in the country by holding a dance rally called “Yugyugan Para sa Kultura ng Bayan,” which will be staged simultaneously nationwide.

Other areas to perform simultaneously with Cebu City to the official music “Filipino Ako, Filipino Tayo” are:

Angeles City in Pampanga
Baguio City, Iloilo City,
Cagayan de Oro
Batangas City
Manila’s Rizal Park

In Cebu City, the event will be held at the Cebu City Sports Complex at 6 p.m. on April 29 to signify the observance of the International Dance Day. It is also part of the National Dance Week celebrated annually every fourth week of April.

“This is a promotion of the culture and the arts and in support of our advocacy in the protection and preservation of our heritage sites.” –NCD executive member Victor Lim Hao Cuenco

The event will be a venue for local performers, including members of school-based and community-based dance organizations to express and show their passion for dancing.

Proposed exchange arrangement

SRP road
SM Prime Holdings, Inc. offers to develop SRP roads in exchange for tax credits.

Road development in SRP is necessary for the high-quality public transport system (HQPTS) that will serve the SM Seaside City, which is why SM Prime Holdings Inc. offered to the Cebu City Council that it will develop the roads, while the cost of building the roads in the SRP can be converted into tax credits for SM Prime Holdings Inc.

“We already did that in the past. It is an open thing. It is just a matter of how the City wants this to be treated.” – SM regional operations manager Sherry Tuvilla

Road development is among the Cebu City’s responsibilities.

HQPTS will involve hybrid buses, specifically 77 13-meter-long buses that will serve the routes Talisay-SRP-Mambaling, North Bus Terminal-SM City Cebu-Downtown-SRP-Mambaling, Talisay-SRP-Downtown-SM City Cebu-North Bus, and Talisay-SRP-Plaza Independencia-SM City Cebu-Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Here are some updates concerning HQPTS:

The routes were approved by the Department of Transportation and Communication last January.
SM is only waiting for the franchise to be issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

The buses are expected to arrive in August.

SM Prime Holdings hopes to have the HQPTS operational by October.

“I’m seeing the urgency of the situation. I’m afraid it will not be accomplished before you need it.” – Councilor Margarita Osmeña

Next week, the City Council said that it will pass legislative interventions to help SM implement the HQPTS.

Other top Cebu News stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: Margot asks: Where is P11M for El Niño?
The Freeman: Approach site for 3rd bridge lacking
Cebu Daily News: Farmers ask for help
Cebu Daily News: Cebu reclamation authority authorizes Cordova to negotiate for dev’t project

Cebu Business headlines:

Sun.Star Cebu: We’re still number 1 in mobile: Smart
The Freeman: In Toledo City, Aboitiz subsidiary starts power plant expansion
The Freeman: DTI reminds businessmen to utilize free trade deals


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.

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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.


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