Category Archives: Cebu City News

Bus Rapid Transit is Approved

The BRT system has been approved by the national government through National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and bidding will take place in the second quarter of 2015 for potential contractors responsible for building the system.

The estimated cost of construction is P10.618-billion.


The Transportation Department said it is ready to bid out the P10.618-billion Cebu bus rapid transit system in the second quarter of 2015, after the mass transit project received the green light from the National Economic and Development Authority last week.

Cebu BRT, a project supported by the World Bank, involves the development of a dedicated bus way in Cebu that will serve over 330,000 passengers daily once it starts operations in 2015.

“We are pleased that we can now proceed with these projects. They will modernize our country’s transportation systems, and boost traveling convenience, safety, and efficiency for the people. Our hard work today will pay off tomorrow, which is why we now have to make sure that they will be bid out, awarded, and implemented at the soonest possible time,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said over the weekend.

The proposed project in Cebu will be the first BRT system in the Philippines. It will run on a 23-kilometer corridor with 33 stations where 176 high-quality buses will be deployed through dedicated and exclusive bus-ways from Bulacao to Talamban, with a link to Cebu’s South Road Property.

The Transportation Department said a detailed engineering design was currently being prepared for Cebu BRT. It said bidding for construction would start in the second quarter next year.

The second phase involves the supervision of the transit way and the supporting infrastructure during the construction.

The BRT system, which has been successful in other parts of the world, entails a segregated lane for buses, controlled dispatching, priority in stoplight signaling, fixed stops and various technical components. Buses run on fixed schedules, providing riders with greater reliability, efficiency and convenience.

Cebu BRT will be patterned after the BRT systems in Bogota in Colombia, Curitiba in Brazil, Seoul in South Korea and Guangzhou in China.

Another project approved by Neda last week was the P4.107-billion Busuanga airport to support the booming tourism industry in Palawan. The Transportation Department said it would first bid out the detailed engineering and design component of the project in the third quarter, then the construction component in second quarter next year.

The other project was Light Rail Transit Line 2 operations and maintenance, a public-private partnership project for the 10- to 15-year concession to operate and maintain the LRT-2 system. It will include the current 13.8-kilometer line from Recto to Santolan, as well as the 4.19-kilometer extension to Masinag in Rizal.

The project is expected to result in higher performance standards, improving train availability and punctuality. It will also ensure better system preservation covering the tracks, train coaches and other facilities.

Sunstar Daily also has its report.

Beware of this Man

cebu wanted

If you happen to see this man around Cebu City, then be aware. According to a certain Edwin San Nicolas in his Facebook post, this man was caught inside their property in Mabolo. Although, the suspect didn’t get anything, but he was still arrested for “trespassing”.

Edwin San Nicolas full post:

This guy/stranger was caught inside our property where our house is (still under construction) and went inside my neighbor’s property climbing the low fence in between. He was seen by my neighbor and went back to our area and was caught there. This happened last Saturday night at around 10. His alibi: he wanted to wash his feet! …at 10pm and there is a faucet near our entrance gate, go figure.

Anyway, he was detained at Mabolo Police station Saturday night until this morning for trespassing. He was caught with nothing from either my area or my neighbr’s. I was not there when this happened. This morning, I went to the police station to see this guy. I didnt believe a single excuse he made but decided not to press charges. The 2-night stay in that stinky cell with other guys for me was enough punishment for him. He had to be detained since Nobody can process his release on a weekend. I had him released with a stern warning not to set foot in our neighborhood.

Remember this face people just incase this guy will create trouble in your area. His name is Jundril Jemenez. I dont even think its his real name since he didnt have any identification docs with him. He said he is going back home to Kawit, Bantayan since he only came to Cebu to look for a job and found non…one of his alibis. I gave him some money so he can go home…hoping he will indeed go home. I still believe this guy was lucky enough…a hollowpoint load could have been discharged if things happend differently…God forbid, because i would not hesitate…

Miss Philippines-Earth 2014 is from Cebu City!

Congratulations to Jamie Herrell who is now the newly crowned Miss Philippines-Earth 2014!

Herrel was also the winner of Sinulog Festival Queen last year, and the second Cebuano to have won Miss-Philippines Earth.

The 19 year old beauty also got the Best in Cultural Attire, Best in Swimsuit, and Miss Solaire 2014.

Miss Cebu City

Azkals is Coming to Cebu to play against Singapore

Soccer Cebu

This will the chance for the Cebuanos and from nearby cities and towns to watch the Philippine National Football Team or better known as the Azkals.

It will be the first time for the national team to play an official international friendly game besides Manila and Bacolod.

Ticket prices:
VIP tickets: P2,000
Red bleachers: P800
White: P600
Blue at P400
Yellow: P400
Pink: P200
Green: P200
The CFA is also planning to install 600 portable bleachers priced at P1,000.

Will you watch?

Bus proposal for Cebu gains Support

Bus Rapid Transport Cebu City
Integrated Transport Planning Managing Director Colin Brader shows the flow of traffic around Fuente Osmeña once the Bus Rapid Transport system is in place. (Arni Aclao)

CEBU CITY — The Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system for this city is on its last two months of consultation before the feasibility study will be completed.

Colin Brader, the urban planner from Integrated Transport Planning, the consultancy firm for the BRT, told the Movement for Livable Cebu (MLC) that Osmeña Blvd. is the most feasible area for the system.

Brader made a presentation with MLC on Tuesday, following the group’s request that V. Rama be made the major street where the BRT will pass through.

Joel Lee of MLC explained that Osmeña Blvd. is a heritage and showcase area for Cebu City and that a mass transport system may destroy its view.

He cited as example the possibility that the view of the Capitol building facade might be blocked.

Brader showed MLC and a couple of other youth groups the difference between V. Rama and Osmeña Blvd. and the advantages of the latter.

For one, about 2,800 vehicles pass through Osmeña Blvd. compared to V. Rama’s 1,300. The latter is mostly residential while the former is more commercial.

MLC believes that because V. Rama is more of a residential area, then a good number of people will be serviced by the bus.

Brader, though, explained that it is not just about the starting point but also about the destination.

“The significance of Osmeña Blvd. is that it is a major destination,” he said.

The area also has the support of the barangay officials of Sambag I, Sambag II, Santa Cruz, San Antonio, Capitol Site and Camputhaw.

After consulting with MLC last Tuesday and the persons with disabilities last Monday, Brader and BRT point person Maricon Encabo of the Cebu City Government are set to consult the 14 barangays that will benefit from the project.

Brader said that so far, there has been no opposition to the program.

Another important reason why Osmeña Blvd. is a better option, he said, is that using it for the BRT can help revitalize the downtown area, with Citilink as the ferry point. People will get down at Citilink and ride jeepneys to the downtown area.

The BRT is planned to start in Bulacao through N. Bacalso then turn to Osmeña Blvd., pass through Escario St. and go straight to Talamban.

As the feasibility study is expected to be concluded by August, a detailed design is expected to begin in October, to be completed in May.

The detailed design will provide the specifics of the BRT system like the road network, stops and intervals.

Proponents are aiming for an October 2013 start, and if all goes according to plan, the system may be operational by 2015.

Brader is just thankful that even if the political climate in Cebu City is heating up, the BRT system was never affected.

Brader started working on the BRT when Tomas Osmeña (now Cebu City, south district congressman) was mayor of the city three years ago. Now, he finds himself in close contact with Mayor Michael Rama or his representative for the smooth implementation of the project.

Brader said that Osmeña Blvd. also has wider roads compared to V. Rama and has a better transition road going to Escario St. compared to V. Rama’s M. Velez St.

Lee also asked how the project will affect the sidewalks along Osmeña Blvd. that have been improved by the Beautiful Cebu Movement Foundation Inc.

Brader did not totally discount V. Rama, saying, “Maybe it will be a good route in the future.”

By July, the BRT will have an exhibition in major malls in Cebu City so that regular people, those not attached to any organizations, can make their sentiments known on the BRT system.

Lee was satisfied with the explanation of Brader and commented that the BRT is a good project for Cebu City.

He also commended the massive consultation done by the Brader’s firm in coordination with the Cebu City Government, comparing it to the flyover projects that did not go through public consultation. (JGA/Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 20, 2012.

Who’s Slowly Killing the Cebuanos?

health cebu city

Why you should minimize your habit of smoking, drinking, and eating too much Cebu lechon or any unhealthy foods.

1 of 4 monthly deaths in Central Visayas due to cardiovascular disease

CEBU CITY — Cardiovascular disease is a “silent killer” responsible for one of four deaths in Central Visayas every month, according to the Department of Health (DOH) 7.

DOH 7 described cardiovascular disease as a “silent killer” because it strikes anyone who is not health-conscious.

But it said the disease is highly preventable.

Dr. Juditha Tawatao of DOH 7 said the best way to prevent heart disease is to avoid all factors that may cause it.

People who smoke, are overweight, are heavy drinkers, have high cholesterol level, and have a family history of the disease are most likely to have cardiovascular disease.

A proper diet and eating nutritious food help, Tawatao said.

She said those who constantly exercise and have a health lifestyle would be least likely to have the disease.

In 2011, heart ailments and other cardiovascular diseases topped the causes of death in Cebu City.

Dr. Stella Ygona, Cebu City health officer, said there were 874 reported deaths last year caused by cardiovascular diseases.

The most common cardiovascular disease is hypertension.

Last May 19, World Hypertension Day was marked to increase awareness about the said disease.

Source: Interaksyon

Tsunami Panic in Cebu City

An unusual sight or event happened in my beloved Cebu last February 7.

An earthquake occurred at 11:45 in the morning and at 8:30 in the evening.

Office workers were in panic and went out of their offices. A good excuse for not working, haha.

I was out with my friends, we were about to eat lunch when the shaking happened.

No reported death or major structure damage in Cebu.

Below is in Pasil.

Gaisano South on Fire

Video of Gaisano Capital South caught on fire.

The fire started around 1am, and probably last about 24 hours, but 18 hours according to the news.

Unknown to most Cebuanos, Gaisano South is about 8 storeys in height. So this probably made it difficult for firefighters to resolve.

I used work here in year 2000.

Cebu City Should Not Vie to be the Capital of the Philippines

I’ve heard in the past from Cebuano politicians pushing Cebu City as the next capital of the Philippines, replacing Manila.

I disagree with that idea.

If I base it from Manila’s present condition, it does not look good. Yes, economically, Manila is up there in the clouds.

Manila is over-populated, crime rates shooting up, congested traffic. It’s taking the blame for the whole country’s troubles.

So, Cebu should stay the same, but move up economically and values.

Aboitiz to Transfer to Manila

I still could not tell if this move is good for Cebu City or not. I don’t have any knowledge or statistics of other companies who made similar moves.

Maybe something maybe lost in this, it’s pride.

Aboitiz is one of the largest companies in the Philippines, and them transferring to a rival city will surely make a dent in the Cebuano’s hearts.

Aboitiz to transfer HQ from Cebu to Manila

WITH over 70 percent of its profits coming from its business in Luzon, the Aboitiz Group is moving corporate headquarters of two of its publicly listed companies to Manila.

The decision was announced yesterday by Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) chief human resource and quality officer Txabi Aboitiz and chief reputation officer Susan Valdez.

“We have come to a decision that we want to move our corporate headquarters for Aboitiz Equity Ventures and Aboitiz Power Corp. to Manila,” Txabi said in a news conference.

AEV is the holding and investment management company of the Aboitiz Group with core investments in power, banking and food. Aboitiz Power, its wholly-owned subsidiary, was listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange to provide financial flexibility for growth in the local power sector.

To remain
Txabi said they will retain the Aboitiz and Co. headquarters in Cebu and that their corporate office in Banilad will continue to operate, with core teams continuing services to other Aboitiz Group units based in Cebu and Mindanao.

These include units in real estate, construction, shipbuilding and corporate social responsibility.

The decision, he said, was arrived at because they wanted to be more efficient in their transactions and that the constant traveling required of their executives was becoming too stressful.

“We felt that it was important for us to be where the action is, which is in Manila,” he said.

He added that many of their business units have grown in the Luzon area for the last few years and that they have been discussing the inevitability of a move “for a long time.”

40 years
“From discussion to decision, it took about 40 years,” Txabi said.

Though they have always thought of moving to Manila, he said, the inconvenience then was not too great and that they wanted to stay in Cebu for as long as possible.

Functions that will be moving to Manila include the treasury, IT support, audit, human resources and legal departments while accounting and IT databases can remain in Cebu.

While Txabi could not give a specific time frame for the move, a statement released by the company said the relocation process is expected to be completed by June 2013.

The statement also quoted AEV president and chief executive officer Erramon Aboitiz as saying that the move has been in discussion “for generations,” as they transformed from being a regional company to a national enterprise and transacting with stakeholders based in Manila. Their main market and customers for electricity are in Luzon.

‘Our home’
“Our growing investments in Luzon are demanding more and more of our attention. By continuing to be based in Cebu, we end up compromising many things in terms of being able to deal with these stakeholders more effectively,” Erramon said.

“Cebu will always be our heritage and our original home. But as professionals, we sometimes have to make tough calls and do what is best for the business. It is our responsibility to our shareholders, as well as to ourselves, to do what is necessary for what is best for the Aboitiz Group,” he added.

While technologies like video conferencing and other forms of digital communications have allowed them to remain headquartered in Cebu, company officials felt the technology could not replace official meetings and representations that have to be made in Manila.

Because traveling was an added cost, Txabi said, executives had to cram in appointments as much as their schedule would allow whenever they were in the capital.

Valdez added that meeting with regulators, bankers and heads of government agencies had to be held in Manila, where most central offices are.

Company executives announced the decision to team leaders Monday afternoon. Asked what the general sentiment was, Txabi admitted it was shock. “For all of us, it was very hard.”

Some 200 employees of AEV and Aboitiz Power are in Cebu. The company will work out who among them will have to relocate, although majority of the departments is expected to move.

The company assured they will extend “whatever assistance is necessary” to help those who may be affected by the relocation.

After the decision to move was made, Txabi said they will now work on how to go about it, by determining who among the employees should go and if there are any who ought to remain in Cebu.

Since they have hired some employees in Manila who had to move to Cebu, he said they will probably be first to have slots in their new offices there.

For employees who prefer to remain, he said they will try to find slots for them in other business units and swap positions with those interested to relocate to Manila.

“We are not in a rush. We will do it well, not right away,” he assured, saying team leaders will be asked to present their plans regarding the structure of their respective departments to ensure that the move will not make too much of a disturbance in their operations, and that they will not lose the talent they currently have.

Asked if the move has tax implications, Txabi admitted there could be but said figures, as well as the cost of the move, have yet to be figured out and discussed.

He assured that the move will not mean they will be seen less in Cebu, saying that they will continue holding the same activities that they have always had with Cebuano stakeholders for the past years.

Dondi Joseph, Cebu Business Club president: “The firm’s move (relocation) has no impact at all and it makes good business sense for them. It is refreshing to see a local company expand to Manila. Other companies of Aboitiz are expanding. Through their family foundation, they are active in the Mega Cebu project. This is an indication of their commitment to Cebu.”

Samuel Chioson, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president: “There is no effect since it is business efficiency that they are doing in their operation.”
Eric Mendoza, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president: “It was a business decision. The Aboitizes are exemplars of very successful Cebuanos with global business operations.”

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia: “As they continue to conquer new grounds, they will always remain as Cebuanos. They will continue to be a great pride of Cebu. I know that whereever the company may go, whereever the infrastructure may go, whereever the outfit may go, in the end, they will always come home and home is Cebu.”

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama: “In expanding their empire, it will help not just Cebu City but the entire country. The move is understandable because Manila is attractive for business while Cebu City is more for tourism.” Erramon Aboitiz’s being awarded the top Chief Executive Officer of the country may have also contributed to the decision to move to Manila.

Cebu City Rep. Tomas Osmeña: He was not surprised, saying evolution is a long-term process and a world-wide trend. He remembered that the old headquarters for Aboitiz was in downtown then it was transferred to Banilad because the officers were living in Maria Luisa. “Where the CEOs live, that’s where the next corporate headquarters will be.”

Cebu City Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young: “Manila is a bigger market but their core business here will stay so I think it’s okay as of the moment. It will depend on what they decide to do with their business here later.”

Cebu City Councilor Alvin Arcilla, chairperson of the Council’s committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship: Aboitiz will still have various real properties and commercial development in Cebu City. “It’s hard to leave Cebu City especially business-wise.”