Cebu News Digest: Jan. 29, 2015: LTO: Motorcyle ban in SRP not effective; Rama: I know what I am talking about, just help enforce ban

In today’s news, the Land Transportation Office said banning motorcycles from the SRP will not solve the spate of accidents in the area and would, instead, worsen traffic. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama was displeased by the comment and retorted that what the agency should do is help City Hall implement that ban. I know what I am talking about, Rama said.

Cebu City-based alumni of the Philippine Military Academy yesterday called on the government to reject the Bangsamoro Basic Law after Sunday’s encounter between police and the MILF left more than 40 policemen dead.

Are you planning to live in Liloan? How about buying a vacation house there?

Primary Homes, which sponsors the Cebu News Digest, prides itself as being “your reliable partner” in building your dream home. In Liloan, it has Colorado Dos, “an affordable housing development made of stone bricks that can provide a more comfortable temperature especially during very warm seasons.” Check it out in the company’s website.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for today, January 29, 2015

LTO: Motorcycle ban in SRP not effective; Rama: LTO should help enforce ban

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama expressed displeasure yesterday with the Land Transportation Office’s stand on his plan to ban motorcycles from the South Road Properties (SRP) as a way to address accidents in the area.

LTO 7 Director Arnel Tancinco said banning motorcycles from the SRP will not be an effective solution and would, in fact, worsen traffic. Tancinco said that what the City needs to do is study its traffic plan to come up with an “absolute” solution.

“The mayor knows what’s his talking. I will continue to stand, as the mayor, I have that responsibility that carries an obligation and the power emanating from the constitution but I cannot execute my responsibility (without some help from the national agencies).” — Mayor Michael Rama.

“Kun i-allow nato ang mga motorcycles, suyopon sa mga kasakyan nga tupad tungod sa kakusog pa dagan. Whoever these people from LTO, they should study physics – the aerodynamics and the Boyle’s law para makasabot sila ngano.” — Mayor Rama.

The Freeman: LTO should help solve SRP motorcycle problem – Rama

Mayor Michael Rama
JUST DRAMA. Mayor Michael Rama on the decision by 4 Cebu City councilors to return their P20,000 calamity assistance: “Too late the hero. They should not have accepted it at all. I just find it a little bit of a drama… Tell them to join showbiz.” (Photo taken from Cebu City PIO Facebook page)

4 Cebu City councilors return P20,000 calamity aid after COA ruling; Rama: Drama, they should join showbiz

Cebu City Councilors Eugenio Gabuya Jr., Sisinio Andales, Nida Cabrera and Nestor Archival returned the P20,000 calamity assistance they received to the City Treasury Office yesterday. The 4 got the money along with other City officials and workers as calamity assistance after the 2013 earthquake and Super typhoon Yolanda.

“During the filing of the case, I asked CTO to deduct the amount from my salary but they were unable to do it that is why I am returning this now.” — Cebu City Councilor Nida Cabrera

Cebu City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas said the money will go back to the City’s general fund.

Mayor Michael Rama said the decision by the councilors will not weaken their appeal of the COA disallowance.

“Too late the hero. They should not have accepted it at all. I just find it a little bit of a drama… Tell them to join showbiz.” — Mayor Michael Rama

PMA alumni in Cebu call on government: Reject Bangsamoro Basic Law

Philippine Military Academy alumni in Cebu are calling for the rejection of the Bangsamoro Basic Law following Sunday’s encounter between the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

“With the latest development regarding the murder of the 50 SAF personnel, it is our collective humble opinion that the so-called Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) suffers (from) constitutional and legal infirmities and should, thus, be rejected. Otherwise, the worse or worst is yet to come.” — the Philippine Military Academy Cebu Squad Inc. said in a letter to the House of Representatives, Senate, and Supreme Court.

Cebu policemen wore black armbands yesterday to show sympathy with the slain policemen.

Cebu City News Front pages
FRONT PAGES. The top stories in today’s editions of Cebu City’s 3 English dailies.

Other Cebu news headlines

Sun.Star Cebu: Process of getting part of $250-million WB grants for post-Yolanda rehab of LGUs ‘meticulous’

Sun.Star Cebu: Group behind 30-storey building sues Mayor Rama, 3 City Hall officials for refusal to issue building permit

Sun.Star Cebu: Police arrest 7 persons for making fake checks, lot titles

The Freeman: Talisay Council defends budget cuts before Governor Davide

“Gikuha namo ang P350 million kay if we will include that in the budget, mura mi’g ma-technical ba nga tabla ra og amo na siyang gi-authorize nga mo-utang og P350 million. Unya ang council di man gusto mo-utang og P350M.” — Talisay Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante on decision to remove the P350 million allocation for the construction of a new Tabunok Public Market, which the council scrapped.

Sun.Star Cebu: City-owned property in Budlaan not safe for relocation; Councilor Cabrera warns location is a ‘multi-hazard area’

Cebu Business Headlines

Sun.Star Cebu: DOT hopes for more Cebu grantees of tourism grant to fund skills trainings

Sun.Star Cebu: Mactan airport working to increase number of guests, holds promotions, invites other international carriers

The Freeman: BIR in Cebu steps up collection efforts to meet new target


Cebu News Digest: Jan. 24, 2015: Rama threatens to close SRP to vehicle traffic; Sinulog 2016 street parties to be spread out in other cities

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is all over the news today: threatening to close the south coastal road if traffic measures to prevent accidents are not in place; threatening to bar vehicles from Talisay City from passing the SRP if the city does not allow Cebu City to dump garbage there; proposing other LGUs to host street parties for a mega-Sinulog next year.

Meanwhile, are you still reading this on a laptop or PC? We invite you to try it out on your phone. We made sure this site works well on your phone so that you can start your day with coffee and a rundown of the top Cebu news stories on your phone or tablet (just as your parents started their day reading newspapers during breakfast). Bookmark on your phone’s browser. Our app is still coming.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for today, January 24, 2015:

SRP road
SRP ROAD. Mayor Michael Rama has threated to close SRP to vehicle traffic unless safety measures are put in place.

Mayor Rama threatens to close SRP to vehicle traffic unless steps are taken to prevent accidents

After the spate of accidents in the Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR) in the South Road Properties (SRP), Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has threatened to close the road network.
Rama said that unless the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Cebu City and South Road Properties Management Office (SRPMO) implement 5 road safety measures today, he would close the CSCR.

The measures are:

  • Cutting speed limit to 40 kilometers per hour from 60 kph
  • Putting up road safety signs
  • Deployment of traffic personnel 24/7
  • More street lights
  • More speed control measures like rumble stripes, road markings with reflectors and flashing caution lights

“Motorists are ordered to maintain caution by reducing their speed limit. Those who will drive beyond the required limit will be apprehended. Motorists shall also be mindful of the new road signs and observe them with due diligence.” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama

“Ang kuwang ra man gyud diha is disiplina. All the measures the City will take will be useless if the drivers do not cooperate. We need their cooperation.” — Citom traffic operations division chief Joy Tumulak

Accidents increasing (based on Citom records)

  • 199 in 2010
  • 256 in 2011
  • 272 in 2012
  • 280 in 2013

5 accident-prone areas:

  • Cebu City-Talisay City boundary
  • L. Pardo junction
  • Sugbo Building intersection
  • Mambaling junction
  • Ludo Bridge

Sun.Star Cebu: ‘Fix it or I close it’
The Freeman: Rama closing SRP to traffic if…

Rama wants to make Sinulog ‘mega-event,’ spread out street parties to Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Talisay, Minglanilla, Consolaction

Mayor Michael Rama wants next year’s Sinulog to become a “mega event” that will go beyond Cebu City. Rama is encouraging the cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Talisay and the towns of Minglanilla and Consolacion to organize their own street parties and gimmicks.

“Ang ending, you shared the benefits with other LGUs, reduce the burden and you make everybody happy during the Mega Sinulog 2016.” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, overall chairman of the Sinulog Foundation Inc.

Rama said the Sinulog next year should be “extraordinary” because Cebu will be hosting the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016 and Pope Francis has been invited to it.

“Sinulog 2016 must be an extraordinary Sinulog, therefore it must be extra-ordinarily prepared anticipating for the arrival of VIPs and sister cities’ representatives around the globe.” — Mayor Michael Rama

Note: We are asking readers to send in suggestions to make next year’s Sinulog better. Feel free to add your suggestions in the post here: MyView: Did we party too hard during Sinulog? What should City Hall do in Sinulog 2016?

Mayor Rama press conference
PRESS CONFERENCE. Mayor Michael Rama answers questions of reporters during a press conference. (Photo from the Cebu City PIO Facebook page)

Rama threatens to bar Talisay City from passing SRP if Cebu City is not allowed to dump garbage in Talisay

Mayor Michael Rama yesterday threatened Talisay City he will close the South Road Properties to vehicle traffic from Talisay if officials will not allow Cebu City to dump its garbage in Talisay.

Talisay City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes has allowed Cebu City to dump its garbage in Talisay’s dumpsite but the City Council, which is dominated by the mayor’s political opponents, has questioned the move as being disastrous to the city’s environment.

“It would be against the interest of the people of Talisay if we allow others to also dump in our landfill.” — Talisay Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante

Rama said he will settle the issue with the Talisay City officials. De los Reyes said Cebu City will pay Talisay P700 per ton of garbage and with this fee, he estimates the city could earn millions in just a month.

“Importante mag-estorya. Kun kontra nila si JVR ayaw lang kontraha ang mayor sa Sugbo ug ayaw gahi og ulo kay kun kamo ang mohangyo nako basi di ko mosugot ug ipasirado nako ang SRP, Mambaling nalang makaagi.” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama

Cebu News
BANNER NEWS. Today’s front pages of Sun.Star Cebu and Cebu Daily News.

Other top Cebu news stories

Sun.Star Cebu: Hubo or ritual changing of the clothes of the Sto. Niño marks end of Sinulog festivities

Sun.Star Cebu: Congress has until February 20 to postpone SK elections

The Freeman: Suspect in killing lending collector in Argao arrested in KTV bar in Carcar, less than 24 hours after robbery and killing

The Freeman: LTFRB submits recommendation on petition for taxi fare rollback

The Freeman: Suroy-Suroy Sugbo participants praise tourism event; Aguinid falls on the spotlight

The Freeman: Danao City Government gets disaster information system from Smart Communications

Danao Infoboard system
COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM. The Danao City Government and Smart Communications, Inc. launched the city’s Infoboard system on Friday, January 23. Infoboard is an emergency and disaster management system that allows government officials to quickly send vital messages and information to citizens and disaster responders. Shown in photo are Danao City Vice Mayor Ramon “Red” Durano VI and Atty. Maria Jane C. Paredes, Smart senior manager for public affairs Visayas and Mindanao. (Photo taken from the Facebook page of Atty. Paredes, reprinted with permission)

Cebu Business Headlines

Sun.Star Cebu: 3.4 million tourists visited Central Visayas from January to November 2014, 200,000 more than same period in previous year

Sun.Star Cebu: 47 of 116 towns in Central Visayas lack banks, according to central bank

The Freeman: Regional Development Council asks local governments to support agri development plans


The Freeman: Cebu City imploding with unsolvable problems

The offer of Talisay City to allow Cebu City to dispose of some of its garbage in its garbage dump illustrates yet one more problem that Cebu City should have long ago found a remedy for. We say remedy because solutions have simply become too hard to come by these days. Like the problem with traffic and flooding, the problem with garbage is not something that cropped up only yesterday.

And that is just about garbage. Up to this time, the city sinks in the rain because it still is in the dark on how to cope with floods. And when it is not drowning, it is getting choked in traffic. Everyday. There is not a day that passes that it does not choke in traffic. And like every other problem, Cebu City does not know how to deal with it. And when it does not have a problem, it goes looking for one — like promising to gift everyone with money it does not have. Sick!

Read the full editorial.

Bong Wenceslao asks: Where’s the new CCMC

I thought that with the City Government soliciting the help of the people in building the new CCMC, it would repay the help by speeding up work on the project and regularly updating them on the work’s progress. But city officials have been silent for months now like nothing happened. Will we ever see any movement in the old CCM site, which has already been fenced shut?

I have already said this before. The Rama administration has a penchant for starting many projects and not following up on them. For example, it has torn down the old CitiCenter building in Kamagayan with a promise to build a structure for City Hall employees there. What we see in the area now is a parking area and a small karnabal.

Read the full column

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.