This Week in Cebu (April 16 to 22, 2018)

While heavy traffic literally costs the city, good news are also aplenty!

By: Peter Parcon | April 16, 2018
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travel update in Cebu

Traffic congestion costs Cebu over PhP1 billion every day.

Image: Mark Dela Cuesta

School’s out, but April showers continue to fall down on the city throughout the week. The rain isn’t the only thing Cebu has to bear, as a recent study showed that the metro is losing over PhP1 billion per day due to traffic. On the flipside, some good travel updates in Cebu include a potential increase in tourist arrivals with the upcoming opening of the new terminal of Mactan Cebu International Airport and a mobile accreditation planned for tourist guides in far-flung areas in the region.

Weather: Rain showers and thunderstorms throughout the week

This week may not be a good time to hit the beach as April showers continue to affect much of Cebu. Monday and Tuesday will see cloudy weather affecting a good part of the Queen City of the South. Bringing an umbrella may be a good idea as scattered rain showers and thunderstorms are expected to dominate the rest of the week. Temperatures will range from a low of 24 0C to a high of 32 0C [1].

Traffic News: 1.1 billion lost,

Even as summer vacation has come, the traffic continues to affect much of the city. This congestion in the streets of Cebu has resulted in economic losses of up to PhP1.1 billion each day, based on a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) [2]. In addition to these economic losses, the local tourism industry may also be affected once the UN Avenue in Mandaue City is closed to traffic once the underpass project starts in the third quarter of the year, according to Cebu Business Club (CBC) president Gordon Alan Joseph.

Travel Updates

Terminal 2 of Mactan-International Airport nearing completion

It appears the June opening of Terminal 2 of Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) may be attainable as it is nearly completed. According to a press release of the Philippine Information Agency - 7 (PIA 7), the passenger terminal is already 97.3 percent complete as of the end of March 2018. The new terminal is expected to increase the overall capacity of the airport from 4.5 million passengers to 13 million passengers annually. This is a godsend to hotels and resorts in Cebu as tourist arrivals will increase by three times once the new terminal opens.

Cebu seen as an offshore gambling hotspot

Offshore gambling is gradually making its presence felt in Cebu. A report from Colliers International Philippines showed that Cebu is home to two offshore gambling companies, one located in Mactan Newtown while the second is situated at Cebu Business Park [3]. While the players are not physically located in the Philippines, these companies still have similar operations as brick-and-mortar casinos. The number of offshore gambling companies in the country saw an increase after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) formed an office in September 2016 to deal with these operators. Colliers indicated that more offshore gambling companies may set up shop in Cebu if it has a more conducive local regulatory environment.

Mobile tour guide accreditation planned for far-flung areas

Tourist guides are among the most important people in the tourism industry of Cebu since they deal with tourists from different parts of the world. To ensure they would put a smile on the face of every visitor, the Department of Tourism 7 (DOT 7) will conduct mobile accreditation for guides in different areas in the region [4]. One of these places is Camotes, which is one of the top tourist destinations in Cebu. The guides should have good interpersonal skills and can communicate well in English, and they will also be given basic safety training. This comes following an incident in Siargao where first aid was not immediately given to an injured tourist.

Passed Ordinance

A part of a Cebu City ordinance requiring a motorcycle rider to wear reflectorized vests will not be implemented following complaints from motorists [5]. Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña made the announcement through his official Facebook Page. He assured motorcycle riders that they will not be apprehended and fined if they violate that rule. However, the other sections of the ordinance will be implemented, including prohibiting obstructions on the pedestrian lane and an increase in administrative fines for traffic violators.

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About Peter Parcon
After leaving spending 16 years of his professional life in the academe, Peter decided to try his luck in the world of online freelancing. For the past eight years, he has been creating content for clients all around the world. He can work on just about any topic - from tattoos to technology and food to finance. He dreams of visiting every island in the archipelago some day.
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