Sunday, November 28, 2010

Homeless rescued from streets | The Freeman The Freeman Sections Cebu News

Over 100 individuals were rescued off the streets of cebu city last thursday and friday as the city government strengthens its campaign to clear the city of night dwellers.
Homeless rescued from streets The Freeman The Freeman Sections Cebu News

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Live coverage gains support | Sun.Star Network Online

Live coverage gains support Sun.Star Network Online
Government must bring those responsible for the killing to justice, whoever they may be, the Cebu City Council said in a ressolution, drafted by Councilor Alvin Dizon.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Self-help gets P3M from City | Sun.Star Network Online

Self-help gets P3M from City Sun.Star Network Online
These self help projects will facilitate the provision of basic services that will directly benefit thousands of urban poor families, said Councilor Alvin Dizon who sponsored the resolution. The council, in its session last week, also allocated 1 million for a study on the current conditions of socialized housing projects the city government funded in the different barangays.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Councilor wants boxing clinics to search for 'the next Manny' | Sun.Star Network Online

Councilor wants boxing clinics to search for 'the next Manny' | Sun.Star Network Online
After Manny Pacquiao's victory, a Cebu City councilor said he wants the Cebu City Sports Commission to build up its boxing clinics in the barangays.
These clinics, said Councilor Alvin Dizon, may help the city discover "the next boxing hero".

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lorega families prepare to bid graves goodbye

AFTER 74 years, today will be the last All Souls’ Day at the Lorega-San Miguel Cemetery, which will be closed to give way to a P13.1-million socialized housing project.

Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon said the closure should have been imposed late October, but the families and relatives of those who buried in the cemetery asked the City Government to extend it until after All Souls’ Day.

In his visit to the cemetery yesterday, Dizon said the exhumation of the bones will start in the second or third week of November.

According to Dizon, they only lack the certification from the Palace of Justice, which is looking into the background of those who have been buried in the cemetery, particularly if are involved in any pending cases.

Dizon said they expect the certification to be released by the Palace of Justice next week.

Of the 3,012 bodies buried inside the Lorega cemetery, 362 will be displaced by the socialized housing project. The bones that will be exhumed will be temporarily placed in a bone chamber inside the facility.

The remaining 2,650, Dizon said, will soon be removed to give way to further site developments.

The City Health Department (CHD) has already posted notices announcing that the cemetery will now be closed for burial.

It no longer meets the safety standards mandated by Section 6, Article 21 of Presidential Decree 856 or the Sanitation Code of the Philippines.

“We have to close this because it is no longer compliant with the Sanitation Code of the Philippines, which states that a cemetery should be 25 meters away from dwelling places and 50 meters away from the water source. So we have to close this to eliminate the threat to public health,” Dizon said.

The actual construction of the project, Dizon said, will start by December and will be finished within six months. JJ&J Construction will build it.

Of the total amount intended to fund the socialized housing project in Lorega, P10 million came from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Rep. Rachel del Mar, while the remaining P3 million came from several non-government organizations.

At least 60 families are set to benefit from the housing project.

Asked about the mode of payment once the housing project will be in place, Dizon said the Local Housing Board is leaning towards having it rented, saying it will be an additional financial burden to the families if a rent-to-own scheme is chosen.

If the houses will be rented, families will have to pay P500 to P750, compared to P2,000 to P3,000 if they will have a rent-to-own scheme, Dizon said.

Payments will be used for the maintenance of the housing project.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


By Fatrick Tabada, Correspondent, Cebu Daily News

Inspired by Camarines Sur's successful tourism program, a Cebu City official said visitors to Cebu City should be offered bed-and-breakfast accommodations as an option to pricey hotels.

The twist is to offer the affordable lodging in urban poor homes, not upscale residences.

Barangay Luz is a good choice for a pilot area with its location near malls, said Councilor Alvin Dizon, chairman of the housing committee and one of 13 city councilors who joined the four-day “lakbay aral” tour to Camarines Sur in the Bicol region.

“This is a very good opportunity to boost tourism and at the same time our urban poor residents will have an extra income,” he told Cebu Daily News.

Dizon said Cebu City officials found out that Camarines Sur's bed-and-breakfast project offers local and foreign tourists a place to stay in resettlement areas. He said many tourists prefer the simple lodging, paying only P500 a day instead of P2,000 or more for a hotel room.

Attention on Camaraines Sur was heightened by results of the 2010 Conde Nast Traveler annual survey, reported in Cebu Daily News front page last Monday. Cebu was dropped from the list of Top Island Destinations, and replaced by Luzon in 7th place.

(Cebu, for four years, ranked 7th place in the international travel magazine's reader-based survey and 8th place for two years.)

The slide in ratings puzzled Cebu officials and even rekindled a word war between Rep. Tomas Osmeña and Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia over leadership and priorities of tourism development.

Osmeña praised Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. for being “very focused” in developing water sports and promoting his province while blaming Garcia for promoting “her face” more than Cebu province.

Governor Garcia, in turn, said Osmeña was spreading “lies” that Cebu was no longer the no. 1 tourist destination, when statistics of the Department of Tourism show otherwise.

DOT official figures show that Camarines Sur drew the biggest number of domestic tourists in the country last year at 1,258,212 with a sharp 140 percent increase in a year's time.

But combining local and foreign visitors, Cebu is still the no. 1 tourist destination in the Philippines drawing in 1,615,982 tourists in 2009. Camarines Sur was close behind with 1,566,447. (See table.)

Councilor Dizon said he'll meet on Monday with the city housing board to discuss his idea of replicating a bed-and-breakfast program by next year.

Dizon was impressed with how Camarines Sur was using tourism revenues for programs to alleviate poverty and develop communities.

“If they can do that, then there is no reason why Cebu City can't do it,” Dizon said.

“This is also a good chance to make the tourists feel the hospitality of Cebuanos.”

He said barangay Luz would be a good pilot area as well as barangay Camputhaw and Mabolo.

Marlyn Paracuelles, president of the Association of Barangay Apas Community Association (ABACA), which has 1,200 urban poor households, said Councilor Dizon called them yesterday about the idea.

“We will welcome the program with open arms. It is another income-generating activity for our urban poor residents,” she told CDN.

Dizon said guidelines can be set with heads of urban poor organizations and City Hall's Division of Welfare of the Urban Poor for the pilot project.

The 13 councilors were expected to arrive to Cebu City last night.

Vice Mayor Augustus Young and Councilor Margot Osmena arrived last Friday.