FUENTE Osmeña Rotunda is temporarily closed to the public for several months.
That means couples will have to find a new place to canoodle. Pet owners will have to let their imported canines poop somewhere else. And runners will just have to run… somewhere else.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama ordered the area closed yesterday to pave the way for the enhancement and upgrading of the park.
The Cebu City Parks and Playground Commission in partnership with private personalities led by Architect Socorro Atega and other volunteers will undertake the rehabilitation using a private-public partnership approach, Rama said.
“We encourage all those who would want to help because this is for the City,” the mayor said.
The Lhuillier group of companies earlier offered to shoulder the cost of the project, but it backed out, he said.
“I just received an unfortunate position from the Lhuillier group of companies that they will continue with the Christmas tree but they will not be anymore pursuing it (the rehabilitation). It’s not very good news but we can’t do anything,” Rama told reporters.
He pointed out that the park should be repaired in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit later this year and the International Eucharistic Congress next year.
Considering the heritage site is strategically located in the center of the City, Fuente Osmeña will be a landmark representing what Cebu City is to visitors, he said.
As proposed, the group will work on the repair of the pavement, the outer and inner fence of the circle, including the century-old fountain at the center of the park.
The group assured that park will look better before Apec summit in August, but the rehabilitation will be completed by October, before the mayor’s birthday.
Meanwhile, Rama also directed the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) to focus on apprehending and towing motorcycles illegally parked on the sidewalks.
“This serves as a stern warning to them not to park on the sidewalks,” he said.
Rama said the City will designate areas specifically for motorcycle parking.
He said he asked Citom to put up a parking area on Don Gil St. that will be exclusively for motorcycle use.
A lot near the Magellan’s Park in front of the Cebu City Hall will also converted into parking for motorcycles.
Rama sought the help of lawyer Rey Gealon to handle the new traffic adjustments he wants implemented in some areas in the city.
Gealon will be working with Citom Executive Director Rafael Christopher Yap and Operations Chief Jonathan Tumulak.