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Cebu’s future wonders of the world

By: Malou Guanzon Apalisok - CDN Digital | January 05,2020 - 07:34 AM

In a previous column, I wrote about the impact of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) otherwise known as the 3rd Cebu Bridge and soon to be baptized as the Santo Nino Bridge.  The P30-billion project is being undertaken by the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corporation CCLEC, a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways (MPTC).

My interview with CCLEC President and CEO, Engineer Allan Alfon, last month over the advocacy show “Co-op TV” on the alternative TV station CCTN Channel 47 allowed me to view the project in a wider perspective.

First off, Engineer Alfon pointed out the 3rd bridge caters to the southern part of Cebu City.  It will free traffic jams in that area thereby easing traffic flow not just in the northern part of the city but also in the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-lapu.  The net effect of liberating traffic snarls in Metro Cebu is bound to bring plenty of development opportunities to the southern stretch of the province, from Talisay City to Santander.

But it is the 3rd class municipality of Cordova which is seen to reap the biggest economic bonanza from the 3rd Bridge.  Engineer Alfon said investors are already looking at Cordova for investments in tourism, industrial parks, real estate development for commercial and residential uses.

It’s going to be a whole new world and a new beginning for Cordova.  I hope it opts for sustainable development and avoid PH offshore gaming operators POGO investments like what is happening now in Lapu-lapu City.

POGO is a magnet for towns and cities looking for investments that pay high rental fees and bigger salaries, but as a ton of articles have been written about POGO, it comes with organized crime.  On top of it, it does not pay taxes. Cordova Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy So will do well not to squander the great opportunities for sustainable development offered by the 3rd Bridge.

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MPTC has assembled a top of the line multi-national construction and engineering firms specializing in roads and bridges: ACCIONA of Spain, First Balfour of the Lopez Group of Companies and DM Consunji, Inc.  To highlight the diversity of the experts involved in the iconic project, Alfon told me ACCIONA brought in German and Australian civil engineering experts to its team.

By the way, this is ACCIONA’s second major project in the Philippines.  In June 2016, the company won the bid for the design and construction of the New Putatan drinking water treatment plant in Muntinlupa City.  ACCIONA together with local partner Jardine Energy Control Philippines JECP and Frey-Fil Consortium inaugurated the US$100 million project for the Maynilad Water Services MWSI in April 2019.

Also supporting CCLEC and front liners in the consortium are Danish consultants in association with the locally-based owner-consultants DCCD.  This is on top of independent consultants from Norway.

The 3rd Bridge will meet the requirements of modern bridges: it can withstand a wind speed of 280 kph.  In addition, it is designed to “behave” with sudden earth movements like during earthquakes because it is fitted with rollers.  In terms of structural strength, the 3rd Bridge can withstand earthquakes measuring intensity 8, according to Engineer Alfon.

I can only say that by practically pulling out all the stops in the design and construction of Cebu’s 3rd bridge, it is well on its way to becoming a wonder of the world.

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Thursday this week, Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma together with acclaimed architect and urban planner Felino Palafox, Jr. will meet the press after they shall have formally signed the contract for the Master Planning and Architectural Design of the 6.3-hectare Archdiocese Shrine of the Divine Mercy de Cebu in Barangay Garing, Consolacion, Cebu.

Archbishop Palma will sign in behalf of the Shrine of the Divine Mercy de Cebu Foundation, Inc., the non-stock and non-profit organization authorized to oversee the construction and site development of the shrine, while Jun Palafox will do so as Founder and Principal Architect of Palafox Associates and Palafox Architecture Group, Inc.

This collaboration adds up to the excitement that builds in the run up to the 500 years of Philippine Christianization next year because the icon of the Divine Mercy that will rise up in the mountain of Garing, Consolacion will be a labor of love for FPJ.  As such, he could be designing it as a future wonder of the world like the imposing statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, or even better.

With plenty of positive vibes as I write my first article for the new decade 2020 may I greet all CDN Digital readers, Happy New Year!  

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