Colon revitalization project gets nat’l funding

THE Cebu City Government is getting P5 million from the National Government for its revitalization project on Colon St.

The City had not set aside funds for it.

City Legal Office Chief Atty. Jerone Castillo, head of the Colon Revitalization Project, said Sen. Pia Cayetano will provide the amount through the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Proposed budget

“We have sought her (Cayetano) help because we knew of her advocacy on historical sites. The funding has already been approved in principle. We will put it in a special trust fund,” he said.

“You know, Colon is not only the pride of Cebu but of the Republic of the Philippines because it is the country’s oldest street. It is also the country’s first trading center,” he said.

Castillo said they had earlier proposed a P15-million budget for the project, but it was not carried when the City Council approved the P13.4-billion annual budget for this year.

Executive order

On how the P5 million will be used, Castillo said it will cover the implementation of the master plan for Colon. The master plan will be formulated by the University of San Carlos.

The revitalization project is covered by an executive order (EO) issued by Mayor Michael Rama last year.

Under the EO, the project will include the establishment of boundary markers, particularly besides McDonald’s Colon and the islands at the end of the street.

The EO also provides that the aesthetic value of Colon will be enhanced to make it “glamorous” and “elegant” so that it will be at par with other world-class shopping centers.

It added that the night market operations on Colon should be improved by having uniform stalls.

The secretariat of the Colon Revitalization Project disclosed yesterday that the uniform stalls will be implemented by November.

Affected families

A private company will shoulder the cost of the uniform stalls, which will be distributed to vendors who have been selling in the night market.

Meanwhile, the secretariat said 59 households from the entire stretch of the Estero-Parian Creek will be affected by the restoration of its three-meter easement.

They have already been identified by the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP).

DWUP has already finished conducting a socio-economic survey to determine what form of assistance the City will extend to them.

A portion of the Estero-Parian Creek passes through Colon. The existence of illegal structures in the creek is said to be among the causes of flooding in the downtown area.

The City wants Colon to be revitalized to restore its grandeur and strengthen its economic viability and sustainability. It also seeks to enhance its cultural value, historical significance and beauty.

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