Parks: The lungs of Cebu City

By Victor Anthony V. Silva September 29,2017

AS URBAN planning advocates point out the importance of green spaces like parks in the city especially in Metro Cebu, there are a few of these kinds of places in Cebu City.

The Cebu City government lists three major parks under its care including Plaza Independencia, Fuente Osmeña, and Plaza Sugbo as well as minor parks such as the Heritage Park, Hamabar Park, Osmeña Shrine, and parks under the J. Luna and Ayala flyovers.

Cebu City Hall spent P37.2 million for the renovation of the plaza and P3.3 million for the rehabilitation of the stage and playground.

Between 2014 and 2015, under the administration of former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama, the local government opened to the public the Senior Citizens’ Park and Magellan’s Park, both of which are just a few meters away from City Hall.

Dr. Librado Macaraya, Jr., head of the Cebu City Parks and Playgrounds Commission (CCPPC), said that was the last time they built new public parks.

“As far as I know, there are no plans to build new open spaces this year. This time, I also do not know (whether building more open spaces is part of the plans of the current administration),” he said in a phone interview with Cebu Daily News.

The CCPPC was created on Dec. 2, 1968 through Ordinance No. 647 titled “An Ordinance Creating the Cebu City Parks and Playgrounds Commission.”

More than its name suggests, the body is also tasked to maintain the city’s center islands as well as take action on concerns regarding hazardous trees along sidewalks, among others.

At present, he said the commission is preoccupied with the removal of center islands along the Bus Rapid Transit Route in Cebu City as well as the rehabilitation of the seawall at the South Road Properties.

Nonetheless, Macaraya stressed the importance of having green and open spaces in the city.

“It’s a place where students can gather after their classes, a place where they can practice their dances or whatever, as well as for senior citizens to jog,” he said.

Aside from public open spaces, there are also public parks present in the city such as the Family Park in Barangay Talamban and the Rainforest Park in Barangay Mabolo.

Cebu Holdings, Inc. (CHI) also has patch of green grass at the Ayala Terraces where children and their parents alike can run around or even have picnics.

Macaraya added that even residential and commercial projects in the city have dedicated open spaces already, albeit only limited given the scarce availability of land here.

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