News Stories

The New Plaza Independencia

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(CEBU CITY – Public Information Office) One of the most popular tourist attractions in the Queen City of the South is Plaza Independencia.

This historical site is strategically located between Fort San Pedro and Casa del Gobierno de Visayas which was used as the Provincial Capitol until 1938.

Several excavations have been conducted in the place and at the adjacent areas of the Plaza, which have yielded tremendous information about the pre-colonial trading port called Sugbu. These include the 1984 excavation conducted by the University of Michigan and the 2000 and 2006 excavations conducted by the national museum.

Four centuries of human activity combined with the forces of nature and the elements have raised the site by an average of two meters from its original surface.

Excavations at that dept have unearthed burial sites with earthen ware and ceramics from China, Thailand and Vietnam marking pre-colonial trading.

In 1971, the excavations of the University of San Carlos inside Forth San Pedro yielded Ming Dynasty blue and white China as well as Thai ceramics dating back from the year 1368 and the 1500s multicultural trading, migrations, upheavals.

Only the age-old acacia trees dotting the area stand as silent witnesses to the many phases and events that once took place in this historical and cultural landmark of Cebu.

The Plaza Independencia has been called by a number of names. In 1600 it was known a Plaza de Armas when it served as a public square for military training and parade grounds. Later it was called Plaza Mayor when it was expanded to include the area near the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Once, it was called Plaza Maria Cristina in honor of the then Queen Regent of Spain.
When the Americans came, the name was changed to Plaza Libertad to commemorate the Liberty of our Filipino ancestors against the Spanish rule.

With the turns of events in our country, it became known as Plaza Independencia, a tribute to Philippine independence. But like so many parts of the City, Plaza Independencia has not been spaced by urban decay. For many years, more and more people heed a widely negative perception of the area sighting many concerns, safety and security especially.

Today, however with the emerging concept of urban space rehabilitation, many old cities and areas in the world has been revitalized. 

The city government’s step to rehabilitate Plaza Independencia is a response to the changing times, paving towards a more humane environment in the city.

In 2007, Plaza Independencia was temporarily closed to the public because of the tunnel construction beneath it. The grand old lady of all parks all over the Philippines became a haven for furtive activities at night. She had lost all her attractions becoming, instead, a place to be avoided even feared.

In order to restore its old glory, the Cebu City government has allocated a Php20 Million budget for its rehabilitation. This project started right after the completion of the tunnel last November 8, 2010.

The century-old site has been refurbished with a modern design more attuned to the changing lifestyle of the Cebuanos and better equipped as a tourist destination. This was spearheaded by the Geety Construction and Realty Development Incorporated.

The enhancements done in Plaza Independencia include the installation of new benches and lampposts, the restoration of the original fountain, addition of triangular concrete pavers thus making the Fort San Pedro the center of attraction upon entering the main gate of the Plaza, redesign of the walkways for better access, flexible use, safety and to highlight and direct attention towards Fort San Pedro, Architecturally significant landscaping to create more green areas with carabao grass and additional palm trees among others, the rehabilitation of the Magsaysay and War Veteran monuments; and the re-structuring of the Plaza Kiosk and Legazpi Obelisks.

Mayor Michael Lopez Rama has emphasized that this is one of the major projects of his administration. As such, no detail is to be left out especially the concern for safety - there are plans of installing CCTV cameras to ensure the security of the public while they are in the vicinity.

President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III has said, “Plaza Independencia has witnessed important moments in our nation’s history, and through the years, has continued to play a part in our continuing struggle to assert and strengthen our national identity. What was once a mark of dominion is now a symbol of our country’s independence, a reminder of our long journey to freedom and of people’s unity and determination to realize our aspirations.”

Last May 8, 2011 Plaza Independencia was was re-opened to the public which marked the beginning of another phase in Cebu’s history. It serves as a venue for exercise and other various fun and leisure activities. 

The restoration of this hallowed site is a timely undertaking that coincides with our efforts to usher in an era of transformation and renewal for the Filipino people. This will reinforce the vigor of Cebuanos and make active contributions in our drive to attain our collective goal of comprehensive growth and equitable progress.

The city government’s effort to enhance and preserve Plaza Independencia has bear fruits. It achieved recognition as the Best Public Park by the SunStar Publishing Incorporated 2013 Best of Cebu Awards.

A concerete example of Mayor Rama’s aim for a People-Privately Driven Governance, more importantly Plaza Independencia reminds every Filipino of our most precious heritage – our Independence. With your involvement we shall realize the promise of our true potential as a great nation. (By: Greggy Jiggs P. Senados, PIO Staff)

Bus Rapid Transit

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Funding for #Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (#BRT)system approved!

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved the funding strategy for the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.

Of the total project cost of P10.62 billion ($244.78 million*), P9.48 billion ($218.48 million) will be funded by borrowings and the remaining P1.14 billion ($34.11 million), which will be used to acquire vehicles for the BRT, will be financed by the private sector.

The P9.48 billion will come from loans from Agence Francaise de Development, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Clean Technology Fund.

DBM Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad said the borrowings would be sourced through a Forward Obligational Authority, a process needed for government to be spared from servicing unnecessary commitment fees.

The Cebu BRT is one of the current administration's priority projects, as mentioned by President Benigno Aquino III in his 5th State of the Nation Address.

Set to roll out this year, the 23-kilometer Cebu BRT will have 33 stations and 176 environment-friendly buses. It is meant to enhance urban mobility in the country's second biggest metropolis.

"The new bus transit …will provide a safer, more efficient, and environment-friendly mode of travel in and around Cebu City," Abad said, adding that the project would be completed by 2018.

Earlier, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the BRT system aims to improve commuter experience and upgrade the country's transportation system in light of worsening traffic congestion.

The BRT system was popularized in Bogota, Colombia in 2000 through the efforts of its mayor at the time – Enrique Peñalosa. The system was widely recognized for helping reduce air pollution, average travel time, and road accidents in Bogota.

In a message, Peñalosa said the BRT system would be of tremendous benefit to Cebuanos.

“The Cebu BRT will do many things: it will help Cebu’s mobility and save transportation time to tens of thousands of Cebuanos, which they will better spend with family and friends; it will help Cebu’s urban structure; it will be a symbol of democracy, as public transport users move faster than those in private cars; it will strengthen Cebuanos’ confidence in their capacity to create their destiny,” Peñalosa said. – Mick Basa /

Rappler Article Link:

BCLP ni pirma ug Manifesto

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BCLP ni pirma ug Manifesto

(CEBU CITY - Public Information Office) Ni pirma og manifesto ang Barangay Councilors League of the Philippines-Cebu Chapter agi’g pagsupporta sa pagbaligya sa lote sa SRP niadtong Agosto 26, 2014. 
Matud pa ni Atty. Raymond Garcia, nadisisyonan sa grupo nga mosuporta sa maong lakang sanglit kay maka-benipisyo ang tibuok dakbayan pinaagi sa pagbaligya sa mga lote. 

Mokabat og kapin 12 bilyones pesos nga revenues ang makuha sa pagbaligya niini,ug abot 1.3 bilyones pesos ang makolekta sa real property tax. 

Dugang pa, mahimo nang mabayaran ang utang, ug magamit na sa general fund ang 500 million pesos a year nga principal payments. Sa kinatibuk-an, kapin sa 2 bilyones pesos ang mo balik sa kaban sa Kagamhanan sa dakbayan sa Sugbo.

Nasayran nga 70% sa maong luna usa ka commercial area ug gibana-bana’ng maka gama kini og abot 60,000 hangtud 70,000 ka trabaho sa dakbayan. 

Magsilbi sag kining additional funds alang sa pagpadayon nga paghatud sa batakang serbisyo sama sa nagkalain-laing proyekto, program, ug uban pa.

Matud pa sa president sa BCLP,karon na ang ensaktong panahon alang sa pagbaligya sa lote nga pila na katuig wa na puslan.

Gikalipay og dako ni Mayor Michael Rama sa maong kalamboan ug mapasalamaton kaayo sa gihimong lakang ug tiunay nga suporta sa BCLP. (By: C.L.K. Aznar/Cebu City


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