Plans are in place to create a Singapore-like experience in Cebu.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama’s vision of developing the city as a world-class destination like Singapore has received support from the Philippines’ Ambassador to Singapore.
Singaporean diplomat Gerard Ho Wei Hong expressed his support for the improvement of the Queen City of the South’s public transportation systems, as well as the construction of high-end infrastructure projects.
Ho expressed this during a courtesy call with the mayor at the Cebu City Hall on Monday, February 13, 2023, citing that there are Singaporean companies that can provide solutions to help improve the city.
POTENTIAL CRUISE SHIP DESTINATION
Ho recommended that Cebu City should implement a cruise terminal similar to Singapore to boost the city’s tourism and economy.
The Singaporean ambassador pointed out Cebu’s beauty after seeing the scenic view of the Mactan Channel and the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) from the eighth floor of the Executive building of the Cebu City Hall.
Councilor Jocelyn “Joy” Pesquera, the chairperson of the Cebu City Tourism Commission (CCTM), said that the diplomat’s observations were an honor for the city.
However, she pointed out that a feasibility assessment needs to be implemented before the tourism project should be launched. She also mentioned that they need to partner with other local government units to develop the best possible voyage.
She also said this program may be able to accommodate international cruises once it is properly developed to be more sustainable.
The CCTM already has a project like this implemented in the form of the Sunset Cruise, where passengers are being toured around Cebu starting at the CCLEX and going to Mactan Island.
Singapore on the other hand is already famous for its many cruise terminals like the Marina Bay Cruise Centre which offer tourists a chance to experience the different parts of the country from its cuisine to its local businesses.
“SINGAPORE-LIKE” VISION FOR CEBU
Rama initially revealed his plans for a “Singapore-like” Cebu during his election as mayor in 2022. He encouraged all the city’s stakeholders to support him in improving the city’s development.
One of the plans he had for this new vision was to move the annual Sinulog festival to the South Road Properties. While it gained mixed reactions at first, the festival was successful on January 17, 2023, and watched by millions of people.
Rama also planned to house the informal settlers, homeless individuals, and employees affected by their projects in easing the river systems, by building 200 medium-rise buildings.
Moreover, Rama vowed to finish the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which has been postponed for over a decade now. He is also studying the possibility of a monorail, light railway, and cable car system in the future.
In 2023, the 16th Cebu City Council headed by Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia also approved a historic annual budget of P50 billion to be used for Rama’s infrastructure projects.