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City Allocates P5M for ‘Permanent’ Night Market in Colon St.

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Cebu City Mayor Mayor Michael Rama has already informed the Office of the President in Malacañang that he wants to make the night market in Colon Street permanent, allocating P5 million for the street’s revitalization to make it more attractive to prospective customers.

Rama also furnished Cebu City Council a copy of his executive order for them to facilitate for the other documentation, including the rerouting of vehicles that would be affected by the night market that will start at 6 p.m.

The portion of Colon Street—the oldest in the country— at the corner of Osmeña Boulevard to Mabini Street, is where the night market would be held.

The project’s main purpose is to encourage the public to patronize the products of downtown area businesses so as to restore Colon’s grandeur as the heart of Cebu City’s shopping and business activities.

As planned, the city would install entrance markers at the Osmeña Boulevard intersection, particularly beside McDonalds, and an exit marker at the Mabini Street juncture.

City Administrator Lucelle Mercado said the Office of the President has been informed already on Rama’s September 11, 2014 executive order, which could only be implemented if the City Council approves the requested budget.

Rama said in his order that Colon Street was once a celebrated and famous center of downtown Cebu, but it slowly became a low-grade or second class shopping center after several malls mushroomed at the uptown sections of the city and at the North Reclamation Area.

“To restore Colon Street’s once held grandeur and to compete with other shopping malls and business centers, there is a need to strengthen Colon Street economic viability and sustainability, hence this revitalization concept is imperative,” read the executive order.

It said that aside from the daytime operations of shops and stores, night market operations shall also be allowed in Colon Street, with uniform booths or stalls available 6 p.m. until midnight. Vendors would be required to wear a uniform with name plates.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-7 had already suggested that if the city would allow the operation of night market, it should be done in thoroughfares not considered as major roads so it will not affect
traffic.

The city assured it would first secure DPWH’s approval before re-allowing the night market.

The Department of Engineering and Public Works of the city has been assigned to repair and improve Colon Street, particularly its drainage system and sidewalks.

More police and security personnel would also be assigned in the area to protect the public from lawless elements.

Meanwhile, traders who would be allowed to operate during the night market would have to make sure that they do not sell illegal, harmful, and dangerous products.

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DOH Opens Slots for Medical Scholarship in the Visayas

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Image Source: desiringgod.org

The New Year brings good news to the Cebuanos as the Department of Health (DOH) reopened its scholarship program for would-be doctors and midwives.

In today’s Kapihan sa PIA Cebu, Mario Natividad, Nurse II, DOH 7 said the scholarship program for medical courses are now being offered in partner schools in Cebu and Visayas.

“This means that DOH is offering all in free education, the scholar will not pay for anything while enrolled in the program,” Natividad said.

Image Source: pia.gov.ph

Initially, two courses are open for the scholarship program – medicine and midwifery – and so far, these are offered in three partner schools in the Visayas.

For medicine course, two slots are available at the University of Cebu Medical Center (UCMED) in Mandaue City and four slots at the Southwestern University in Urgello, Cebu City.

For midwifery, it is offered at the University of Bohol in Tagbilaran City.

The requirements to avail of the scholarship, Natividad said, will depend on those set by the partner schools.

For those who are accepted in the Medicine scholarship program, they are entitled to receive more than P30,000 package which include allowances for books, uniform, miscellaneous, transportation, lodging, living subsidy, and an annual premium for PhilHealth.

For midwifery, the scholar is entitled to a book allowance worth P10,000 for every semester and uniform allowance at P2,500 annually.

Aspiring scholars will have to apply directly to the partner school which has their own set of requirements.

After graduation, the scholars will have to take the Professional Licensure Examination within the year.

If they fail to pass, the scholar will have to shoulder the expenses for the succeeding licensing exam.

Furthermore, Natividad said the scholars are also required to render a “return of service.

“For every year of the scholarship program, multiply that by two and that is the required return of service obligation years,” Natividad said.

They shall render first three years in Public Health Care Services through the Doctors to the Barrio Program.

The remaining years shall be in government service, either in national or local public health institution, academe, residency training, and research and development.

The aim of the program is to draw more medical professionals to work in the public health sector to address the inequitable access to quality health care services prioritizing the depressed, hard to reach communities, the marginalized, and vulnerable population in the country. (fcc/PIA7-Cebu)

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Cebu Province Gives P500,000 for Devotee City

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Image Source: cebucity.gov.ph

For the first time, the Provincial Government of Cebu budgeted P500,000 for the mounting and operations of the Devotee City for this year’s Sinulog season.

Baltazar Tribunalo, Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer (PDRRMO), said Governor Hilario Davide ordered the assistance considering that majority of the beneficiaries of the Devotee City are from the province and nearby islands.

The Devotee City caters to revelers and devotees from Carcar City and beyond in the south and Danao City and beyond in the north as well as those from other provinces.

All they have to do is to present a boat or a bus ticket to be accommodated in the Devotee City.

Tribunalo said that other than the budget, members of the disaster teams from the different local government units are also around to augment the emergency responders of Cebu City.

Last year, the PDRRMO participated for the first time as responders in the Sinulog festivities and church observances.

Cebu City Councilor Roberto Cabarubias, who had been assigned to oversee the Devotee City in the last 10 years, said this year the facility can accommodate lesser number of people after a portion is already designated as a commercial area.

“From 120 container vans, there are now just 88, but they still have the basic amenities such as cooking area, washing and bathing area, plus the 10 gig Wifi offered by PLDT,” Cabarubias said.

“There is also an assigned house parent for every container to ensure safety and order in the facility,” Cabarubias added.

There are also policemen assigned 24/7 in the area.

The Devotee City started during the time of the late Cebu City Councilor Fe Mantua Ruiz.

It was then called as “Tent City” set up at the Plaza Independencia.

In the olden times, revelers and devotees from far-flung areas would bring with them pigs and chickens and other food which they will cook for everybody after paying homage to Señor Santo Niño. (fcc/PIA-Cebu)

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Fiesta Señor and Sinulog 2018 Goes Digital

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Image Source: www.cebu.gov.ph

Amid the digital era, organizers of the Sinulog festival have decided to tap social media to help deliver the message on the real essence of the celebration, which is the devotion and gratitude to the Holy Child Jesus, Sto. Niño.

Sinulog Foundation Inc. has launched the Sinulog 2018 app, where users can plot their own Sinulog route and schedule, as well as take a good look at various Sinulog activities, parade contingents, and the official route maps.

The app also enables the user to vote for this year’s Sinulog festival queen of their choice.

“One of the goals for the Sinulog 2018 is to bring back the essence of Sinulog to the Sto. Niño, especially to the younger generation who generally just wants to party,” said Stephanie Villarica, Sinulog Foundation Inc. Marketing and Promotions head.

In coordination with the social media teams of the Cebu Provincial Government and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the organizers are also exerting efforts in expanding social media presence.

Both government institutions will serve as reliable sources and will provide real-time updates during the celebration.

Aside from downloading the Sinulog 2018 app, Sinulog head secretariat Fr. Ric Anthony Reyes also encourages the public to download prayer apps.

Sinulog activities

Dubbed as “Kalingawan sa Plaza,” nightly activities are held at the Plaza Independencia for free. Fresh farm produce are also sold around the area.

The organizers also stressed that there will no longer be booths and Sinulog activities held along the Fuente Osmeña circle.

The Cebu City Government recently banned all parties and sale of liquor within 300 meters of the route.

www.cebu.gov.ph

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Cebu Transport Group Seeks P5.50 Fare Hike

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Image Source: pageone.ph

A local transport group is set to submit its petition for a Php5.50 fare hike in view of the increasing price of fuel and higher excise tax on petroleum products.

Ryan Benjamin Yu, chairman of the Cebu Integrated Transport Cooperative (Citrasco), said they would submit their petition to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Friday together with their argument on why the minimum fare for jeepneys in Central Visayas should be increased to Php12 from the present Php6.50.

The transport group chairman said they would give their full explanation on their demand for increase during the public hearing to be called by LTFRB.

Jeepney passengers would be paying double should the Citrasco petition be implemented in the city.(Michelle Bugtai/PNA)

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