THE Cebu City Council wants the image of Barangay Kamagayan to be changed from being the city’s red-light district and a haven for illegal drug activities to a tourist and heritage area.

So this can be achieved, Councilor James Cuenco, in a privilege speech yesterday, is asking the Police Coordinating and Advisory Council (Pcac) to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the barangay.

Cuenco is also asking the Cebu City Police Office, together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to implement heavy police and military checkpoints in the entry and exit points of Kamagayan.

Cuenco also asked the executive department, particularly the Department of Public Services, to install more streetlights in the strategic places of the barangay.


Cuenco, who is the chairperson of the council committee on tourism, said there is a need to change the image of Kamagayan, considering that the city has been named as the “most livable city” in Asia by Lamudi, an online real estate listing site.

He said the barangay should be developed into a tourist and heritage area, since it is the home of Colon St., which is the country’s oldest street, and the University of San Carlos, the oldest school in the country.

Near the school, the councilor added, is where Junquera St. is located. He said the area is also rich in history, saying that it has been named in honor of then Gov. Gen. Junquera, who was a protector of the natives.

“It is a heritage site that has, unfortunately, carried its ill-repute as the city’s unofficial red light district through many administrations. It has been known to be the haven of prostitution and the den of illegal drugs...It is time for us to squarely face the issue,” he said.

“The City Government prides itself for its cultural heritage and religious monuments on one hand and cannot, on the other hand, go on turning a blind eye towards the promiscuity and widespread drug abuse that are in our midst. Let us start walking the talk with clear measures to final obliterate Kamagayan’s image as the city’s red light district and Nubain capital of the Visayas,” he said.


Nubain is an injectable painkiller and is identified as dangerous drugs.

Cuenco then said that once Kamagayan’s image will be improved, it will also improve the barangay’s potential income and tourism value.

During their regular session yesterday, the council just noted and did not approve yet Cuenco’s suggestions on how to improve the image of Kamagayan.

The legislative body agreed to tackle Cuenco’s suggestions further in their regular session next week for further refinement.