WITH its well-paved and tree-lined sidewalks, Champs-Elysees is considered one of the most visited tourist attractions in France.

The City’s Super Beautification Council (SBC) would like the city to have its version of that famous Parisian avenue.

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The SBC had its first meeting with Mayor Michael Rama at City Hall yesterday, where they planned Paris-inspired improvements on Osmeña Blvd.

Businesswoman and philanthropist Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung said they are committed to work hard to realize their plans, with the help of other volunteers from the private sector.

She said she is happy that a lot of women are volunteering their time and expertise to help Rama improve the sidewalks along Osmeña Blvd. and rehabilitate Fuente Osmeña circle.

Yeung, a good friend of Gov. Gwen Garcia, said she is volunteering out of her love for Cebu City and Rama, whom she considers a brother, and it should not be misinterpreted as her attempt to get involved in city politics.

Rep. Tomas Osmeña, whose relations with the governor soured when he was mayor, earlier criticized Rama’s move to create the council since he reportedly did not inform the Parks and Playgrounds Commission about it. The commission is in charge of

beautification projects in the city.

“There are a lot of suggestions on how to go about it, we’re just the implementors.

We’re just a group of women who love and want to help Cebu City. We will work very hard without stepping on anyone’s toes.

And definitely, there is no politics here, we just love Cebu City too much,” said Yeung, who lost in the mayoral race in Bogo City in the May elections.

Rama wants the sidewalks along Osmeña Blvd. to be cleared of any obstruction, as a way of making the area more tourist-friendly. He wants the sidewalk paved and adorned with plants.

Aside from planning the rehabilitation project, the SBC will hold activities to raise funds for their project, since they will be relying mainly on private sector funding.

She said the group will be sure to coordinate with the Parks and Playgrounds Commission, whose officers include City Councilor Margarita Osmeña.

Aside from Yeung, who heads the council, businesswoman Marguerite Lhuillier, architect Tessie Javier and Governor Garcia’s daughter, lawyer Cristina Codilla-Frasco, will also be in the team that will rehabilitate Osmeña Blvd.

Yeung said she will rely on Lhuillier’s suggestions, “because she’s half-French and she knows Paris like the back of her hand.”

“There are a lot of suggestions already and we will decide on the concrete plans later and discuss what’s doable. We also have to raise funds so definitely, we will not be a burden to the City or the Province,” said Lhuillier.

For her part, Atty. Frasco said the group will concentrate on rehabilitating the sidewalk, starting from Sanciangko Ave. going up to the Capitol.

Like Yeung, she said hers is purely volunteer work, which her mother is excited about.

“She (Gwen) is very excited about this, with everyone coming out to do what they can for the city. I love Cebu City, I love Cebu Province and anything I can do to help would be a great opportunity,” Frasco added. (LCR)