THE two skywalks along Osmeña Blvd. belong to the office of former congressman Raul del Mar, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has told Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo, head of the City Council’s committee on infrastructure.

Engineer Marilyn Ojeda, Cebu City District Engineering Office (CCDEO) planning division head, informed Guardo on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, that it was the district engineering office that implemented the construction of the skywalk near Fuente Osmeña and the Cebu Normal University but that the funding came from the congressional funds of the late del Mar.

This was confirmed by del Mar’s daughter, Cebu City North District Rep. Rachel Marguerite del Mar, in a text message to SunStar Cebu on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023.

But she has yet to respond when asked if that meant the north district representative’s office owns the skywalks.

In the text message, she said the issue of ownership does not lean towards saving the skywalks, but focuses on their demolition. However, she did not elaborate.

Congressional funds are taken from the national budget, which is derived from taxes, borrowings, non-tax revenues and other sources such as Official Development Assistance.


Engineer Nigel Paul Villarete, an urban planner and former Cebu City administrator, said in an interview with SunStar Cebu’s news and commentary program “Beyond the Headlines” on Thursday that sometime in 2012, there was already a department order coming from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), which formed a steering committee composed of three different agencies: the DOTr, DPWH and the local government unit.

He said the committee should have already discussed any possible issues that could affect the implementation of the CBRT at that time, including ownership of the skywalks.

“Didto unta gi-estoryahan any issues nga makaaffect sa tulo ka mga ahensya,” Villarete said.

He said that if the project was implemented by a national agency, the project would not appear on the list of assets in the regional office or district office.

“Ang maayo unta ato, didto e discuss sa national kay (ang mga) secretaries na may mo ingon ana ‘okay’ kay aron kausa ra,” Villarete said.

(It might be better if the matter is discussed in the national level so when the secretaries of the concerned agencies say “okay” then that’s the end of the story.)

The skywalks’ ownership is important to establish as the skywalks have been marked for demolition to make way for the implementation of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT), whose Package 1 covers the 2.38-kilometer stretch from the Cebu South Bus Terminal on N. Bacalso Ave. to the front of the Capitol building along Osmeña Blvd.


Work on the P1 billion Package 1 is ongoing and being implemented by Hunan Road & Bridge Construction Group Company Ltd. of China.

However, Ojeda said the CCDEO had no documents that could attest that the two skywalks belonged to them.

Ojeda said that after the implementation of the project years ago, the project was turned over to the proponent, which was the office of the late del Mar.

She said they cannot claim ownership because it was not listed among their properties.

“Wala na sa among (list of) properties ang kanang mga skywalks. Wala na sa among Road Bridge Information (RBI) application. Dili jud na namo makita didto,” Ojeda said.

(The skywalks is not among the list of our properties. That’s not in our Road Bridge Information (RBI) application. We really can’t find those there.)

She said the skywalks belong either to the local government or the proponent.

Regarding the removal, Guardo asked Ojeda if the DPWH could just issue a certificate of no objection, but the latter said they could not issue one.

“We cannot issue a certificate of no objection, kay unsa may among i-object nga dili man na amoa (because what can we object to when the skywalks are not ours),” Ojeda said.

She said they had submitted a letter to the CBRT management, certifying that CCDEO was the implementing entity of the skywalks, and informing the CBRT management that they could not issue a certificate of no objection.

CBRT project manager Norvin Imbong recently asked the Cebu City Council to pass a resolution for the City Government to assume ownership of the two skywalks and order their demolition.

However, some councilors balked at the idea, saying they could be sued if the council granted Imbong’s request as the City could also not prove that it owned the skywalks.