BBM touts P2.9B for Lapu, potential of Mactan Expo

Mactan Island
Mactan IslandPhoto by Yans Baroy

THE Marcos administration has pledged to further invest in the success of Mactan Island as a premier tourism destination by building infrastructure projects.

“The government, for its part, will also continue to invest in its success, which is why in 2024, the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) is funding about P2.9 billion in infrastructure projects here in Lapu-Lapu City alone,” President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said in his speech during the capsule laying ceremony of the Mactan Expo Center in Mactan Newtown on Saturday, April 27, 2024.

The infrastructure projects cover the road widening projects that would help decongest traffic along major thoroughfares such as the Mactan Circumferential Road and the Mactan Airport Road.

He added that the government will also pursue major projects aimed at improving road connectivity and addressing traffic congestion such as the Official Development Assistance-assisted Cebu-Mactan 4th Bridge and the Lapu-Lapu City Coastal Road.

The Cebu-Mactan 4th Bridge is a P76.412 billion, 3.3-kilometer, four-lane bridge that will link Barangay Ibo in Lapu-Lapu City with Mandaue City, which is close to the Cansaga Bay Bridge. The Japan International Cooperation Agency would partially lend the project a loan of about 120 billion yen, or roughly P50 billion.

Marcos was in Cebu to grace the 503rd celebration of the “Kadaugan sa Mactan” (Victory at Mactan), which commemorates local chieftain Lapulapu’s victory in battle over Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Magellan was attempting to conquer the island for Spain.

Mactan Expo Center

Marcos also led the capsule laying ceremony of The Mactan Expo Center, which is Megaworld’s latest project inside The Mactan Newtown. He was joined by House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo Jr.

Marcos lauded the investments that Megaworld is continuously pouring in Cebu, describing the Mactan Expo Center as “a source of pride not just for Cebu, but for the entire country.”

“Currently there has yet to be a stand-alone convention center in the province, and this P1.5 billion Mactan Expo Center is truly a first-of-a-kind development here in Cebu,” said Marcos.

“By tapping the huge potential of the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions or the so-called Mice sector, the Mactan Expo Center will enable us to generate more employment and business opportunities to solidify our position as an event destination and entice even more investment,” he said.


The president described the convention center as a strategic development, being near the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and the world-class resorts and hotel developments on the island.

“There is no better way to end the long day of meetings and conferences than to enjoy the beaches of Mactan and partake in its local food, drinks and delicacies. Take a short trip to nearby Cebu City, experience its sights and sounds, and this investment will certainly solidify Lapu-Lapu City and the province of Cebu’s position as a leading driver of growth and prosperity in the country,” he said.

During his speech, Kevin Tan, chief executive officer of Alliance Global Group Inc., recalled that the Mactan Expo Center had long been part of the company’s expansion plans but had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, he noted that it was during one of Marcos’ trips to Jakarta, Indonesia that they were encouraged to pursue and mobilize immediately the second phase of Mactan Newtown’s development.

“You told me that there needs to be a venue outside Metro Manila that can host regional and global summits where we can have several heads of state confidently visit and stay comfortably,” Tan told Marcos.

Tan said Lapu-Lapu City is an ideal destination, citing the presence of the globally recognized MCIA and the presence of international five-star hotels and resorts.

Asean Summit

The Philippines will be hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in 2026. Marcos already formed an Asean National Organizing Council to facilitate the planning, implementation and monitoring of programs, activities and projects for the hosting of the regional meet.

“We commit to finishing the Mactan Expo Center by next year to host big international summits and conferences. This is our company’s contribution to further boost Cebu’s growing Mice (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions) industry, and of course, the overall tourism agenda and programs of the Marcos administration,” said Tan.

Expo center features

The Mactan Expo Center is a state-of-the-art convention facility, which will have a seating capacity of almost 3,000 for theater-style setup. It will be Cebu’s first and only standalone convention and exposition center that has its own beach.

The two-level Mice facility will offer almost 10,000 square meters of space. It will feature a convention hall for theater-style and banquet-style setups, which can be divided into three smaller halls. It will have its own foyer and pre-function areas, and the ground level will have two drop-off areas, a service kitchen area for various catering requirements, cafes, and an event showroom where expo center clients can check sample event setups and arrangements.

At the mezzanine level, the expo center will have two meeting rooms for smaller and more intimate events. Each meeting room can accommodate up to 100-150 persons for both banquet-style and theater-style setups.

The convention facility will be compliant with the requirements of the Philippine Green Building Council as it integrates several sustainability features into the structure.

Megaworld, the real estate arm of Alliance Global Group Inc., has already spent around P30 billion in the development of the township that started more than 10 years ago.

At present, the township is home to almost 1,500 residents in nine residential towers and around 8,000 workers from the information technology, business process management and education sectors in eight office towers. / KOC


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